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Trying to stop our children from taking it on the chin…

Members of Congress still trying to get Washington DC to do more to save out nation’s children from missing school

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority Leader McCarthy:

Thank you for your swift, bipartisan action to respond to the health and economic impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As you prepare for a fourth economic relief package, we respectfully request significant funding to be allocated to Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) to support vulnerable students and their families impacted by the virus. COVID-19 has disrupted the learning of millions of students. From in-person classroomclosures to the cancellation of essential after-school programs, students across the nation have lost invaluable and formative academic experiences.

These students are missing out on more than graduation ceremonies and exams; their academic and personal lives have been destabilized, and their career prospects have been shaken. Many students are in dire need of immediate, comprehensive support during this time of academic and economic uncertainty.Low-income students, students with disabilities, first-generation students, youth who are homeless, have limited English proficiency, and who are in foster care, students in rural communities, and military veterans all already face greater obstacles to their learning experiences and now are often encountering a more substantial impact from COVID-19.

These students are at risk of falling through the cracks of our system and permanently losing a chance to pursue higher levels of education.TRIO programs help ensure that these vulnerable studentsreceive the support they need to progress through the academic pipeline. Through a set of outreach and student services programs, TRIO works to mitigate existing disparities in access and assistance for students. Their programs not only enrich individuals academically, but they also strengthenour workforce’s economic prospects by empowering more people to earn high school diplomas and post-secondary degrees.

The assistance that TRIO program professionals can provide to these students is even more necessary during the pandemic.A significant increase in overall program capacity would allow significantly more vulnerable students to receive support that is critical to their success and to the economy’s revival, such as academic tutoring and counseling; financial literacy programs; assistance with post secondary planning, college admissions applications, and career counseling; peer and adult mentoring; work-study opportunities;and connections to wrap-around services that make high school and college completion more likely.We thank you for your support of these vital programs for our nation’s most vulnerable students and their families, and we look forward to working with you on the next relief bill to ensure our most vulnerable students are supported.

Sincerely,/s/ Jeffrey A. MerkleyJeffrey A. MerkleyUnited States Senator/s/ Susan M. CollinsSusan M. CollinsUnited States Senator/s/ Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiUnited States Senator/s/ Jon TesterJon TesterUnited States Senator/s/ Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinUnited States Senator/s/ Mike CrapoMike CrapoUnited States Senator/s/ Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandUnited States Senator/s/ Thom TillisThom TillisUnited States Senator/s/ Brian SchatzBrian SchatzUnited States Senator/s/ James E. RischJames E. RischUnited States Senator/s/ Cory A. BookerCory A. BookerUnited States Senator/s/ John BoozmanJohn BoozmanUnited States Senator/s/ Mazie K. HironoMazie K. HironoUnited States Senator/s/ John CornynJohn CornynUnited States Senator/s/ Tina SmithTina SmithUnited States Senator/s/ Martha McSallyMartha McSallyUnited States Senator/s/ Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownUnited States Senator/s/ Richard J. DurbinRichard J. DurbinUnited States Senator/s/ Jack ReedJack ReedUnited States Senator/s/ Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Cortez MastoUnited States Senator/s/ Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinUnited States Senator/s/ Ron WydenRon WydenUnited States Senator/s/ Tim KaineTim KaineUnited States Senator/s/ Bernard SandersBernard SandersUnited States Senator/s/ Kamala D. HarrisKamala D. HarrisUnited States Senator/s/ Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharUnited States Senator/s/ Edward J. MarkeyEdwardJ. MarkeyUnited States Senator/s/ Angus S. King, Jr.Angus S. King, Jr.United States Senator/s/ Michael F. BennetMichael F. BennetUnited States Senator/s/ Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenUnited States Senator/s/ Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalUnited States Senator/s/ Jacky RosenJacky RosenUnited States Senator/s/ Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseUnited States Senator/s/ Chris Van HollenChris Van HollenUnited States Senator/s/ Thomas R. CarperThomas R. CarperUnited States Senator/s/ Tammy DuckworthTammy DuckworthUnited States Senator/s/ Robert MenendezRobert MenendezUnited States Senator/s/ Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaUnited States Senator/s/ Joe Manchin IIIJoe Manchin IIIUnited States Senator/s/ Jeanne ShaheenJeanne ShaheenUnited States Sena

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