On Tuesday, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, made a request to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to make congressionally-approved funds immediately available to help Southwest Washington where in-person public education is closed.
In a letter to the governor, Herrera Beutler mentioned the $745 million she recently secured for Community Service Block Grants to assist students during school closures due to COVID-19 health restrictions. Recent federal actions make the funds available to pay for private school tuition and other in-person resources. However, the decision to provide those funds to Washington families is up to the state.
“Low-income students are estimated to lose over a year of learning due to school closures, which is expected to exacerbate current achievement gaps by 15-20 percent,” Herrera Beutler said in her letter to the governor. “Public schools play a central role in educating our students, yet many remain closed in communities throughout Washington. Where in-person public learning is inaccessible, we should provide vulnerable students with access to every available tool including allowing them to use funds from the Community Service Block Grants for private school tuition and other in-person options to safeguard their learning and personal welfare during this crisis.”