State Policy Network
Think tanks send Congress recommendations to preserve and strengthen educational opportunities for all students

Families, teachers, and schools are struggling with the abrupt shift to virtual learning brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The transition has been particularly hard on families attempting to support their children’s education at home. Many families need financial assistance to supplement these costs. And another essential component—broadband access‐is unavailable for nearly 12 million children living in homes without internet.

Further, private schools are struggling to keep their doors open. The coronavirus pandemic has created record unemployment, and many families are trying to get by with less. Some families are finding it hard to make tuition payments to their children’s schools. Without the income they need to operate, many private schools could close.

Without private schools, families lose a valuable choice in where they can send their child to school. Private schools benefit families for many reasons, but key among them is that a private education is often a better fit for their child’s unique needs. These closures would also be devastating to public schools, as private school students will have to enroll in the public system, which is already facing significant budget challenges of its own.

Fortunately, congressional action can give states the flexibility and opportunity to address these issues and ensure families have the education options they need. Eighteen state think tanks sent a letter to Congress with policy recommendations to ensure all students have access to a quality education. State think tanks asked Congress to include the following solutions in any future federal relief legislation:

Enable school choice and provide direct support to families

Support private schools

Improve internet access for families who need it

Support teachers and the transition to distance learning

Read the full letter here.

Participating state think tanks