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RELEASE: Policymakers Can Build Back Better and More Equitably by Increasing Educational Opportunities and Fortifying Systems To Ensure Continued Learning

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a major new report looking at why, as a matter of equity, policymakers must develop an education system capable of ensuring students—from early childhood through postsecondary education—can continue learning and succeeding, no matter where or how schooling happens. While the pandemic shined a light on the urgency of having a high-quality and enduring learning system, other external forces such as climate change and the threat of terrorism could cause similar mass disruptions to schooling, which, as the pandemic has underscored, are not shouldered equitably across districts.

The report looks at what must be done to ensure that all students have access to quality education as well as the key barriers to continued learning for students. It includes policy recommendations for federal, state, and local governments on how to utilize American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds and stresses the urgent need for Congress to pass the Build Back Better reconciliation package to enhance educational opportunities and shore up students’ social-emotional health, both in person and in an remote environment, including access to physical and mental health care, nutrition, and housing, among other needs.

“The Build Back Better agenda represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand educational opportunity in America and fortify our education systems to provide high-quality instruction and social-emotional support for students, no matter where or how schooling happens,” said Khalilah M. Harris, acting vice president of K-12 Education Policy at CAP. “It is critical for Congress to pass the proposal to recover from the pandemic, bolster access to learning opportunities in the face of other external events, and build toward the long-term change needed to guarantee all students have access to a quality education.”

Please click here to read “Budget Reconciliation Must Support a Quality Education for All Students” by Khalilah M. Harris, Jessica Yin, Arohi Pathak, Laura Dallas McSorley, Marshall Anthony Jr., and Jill Rosenthal

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.