Congressman Al Green Hosts “For the Children Day of Action” Free Drive-Thru School Supply and Mask Distribution at Westbury HS

Sep 2, 2020 Issues: Education

(Houston, TX) — On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, Congressman Al Green hosted a free, drive-thru school supply and mask distribution at Westbury High School for local students of all grade levels. Congressman Green released the following statement:

“As many prepare to return to school in person, it is essential that they are equipped to learn with school supplies but also prepared to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),” Congressman Green says. “The House passed the Heroes Act, which includes nearly $58 billion for K-12 schools, 110 days ago. While the Senate stalls, students and educators are beginning to return to schools that lack the necessary equipment to protect them from transmitting this deadly virus to one another and carrying it home to their loved ones.”

He added, “Although I am proud to provide masks this year with the usual school supplies given to the school-aged children in my congressional district annually, I realize it is not enough. Eventually, the masks will run out, and the students will still need a safe place to learn. The Senate must act. The health and lives of our nation’s children depend on it.”

Congressman Green has hosted his Green Light to Healthy Living Health Fair annually at Westbury High School for several years, where his congressional office provides free school supplies, giveaways, and health resources such as free immunizations and flu shots to the community. In the wake of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, Congressman Green chose to provide school supplies via a drive-thru distribution in lieu of the annual event.

Andrew Dewey, Executive Vice President and Business Manager of the Houston Federation of Teachers, expressed, “The Trump Administration and the Republican controlled Senate are putting politics above science and the safety of students and educators. The Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act more than 100 days ago. The Heroes Act provides schools the resources they need to cope with this crisis, but the Trump Administration and the Republican controlled Senate have refused to take any action on the bill at all. Instead of providing resources needed to mitigate the danger of opening schools, they continue to threaten to strip funding from schools that cannot reopen safely. Instead of treating education workers as essential workers they are instead treating them as expendable workers.”

Congressman Green has also provided supplies and masks to five schools throughout his congressional district: one in Alief ISD, one in Fort Bend ISD, and three in Houston ISD. Each school will announce distribution details to students and their families directly.

Education Funding in the Heroes Act

  • Nearly $4 billion to governors to award funding to school districts and institutions of higher education.
  • Nearly $27 billion to for higher education institutions and their students
  • Nearly $58 billion for K-12 schools to continue delivering instruction, including purchasing educational technology and hotspot devices, planning and implementing summer learning, training, and professional development, and maintaining school personnel employment
  • The legislation does not specify what the funding would be used for specifically but suggests that more than $100 billion in direct emergency funding for students, schools, and institutions is intended to maintain action to education.
  • The Heroes Act invests more than $100 billion in funding for childcare providers, school districts, and institutions of higher education, which are facing a surge of unexpected costs and need financial assistance to maintain existing operations and demands.
  • Texas would receive approximately $6 billion to support public schools.
    • Texas was allotted $1.3 billion dollars in CARES Act funding which is scheduled to be used to meet existing budget needs for the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Houston ISD was allotted approximately $81 million in CARES Act funding from the state – the highest amount of any Texas school district because it is the state’s largest.