Hyde-Smith cosponsors bill to empower parents to help their children regain learning losses

Published 6:00 pm Saturday, September 17, 2022

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), of Brookhaven, has cosponsored legislation to redirect unspent federal funds to empower parents to help their children regain learning losses from pandemic school closures.

The Raising Expectations with Child Opportunity Vouchers for Educational Recovery (RECOVER) Act (S.4753) would allow states and school districts to use unspent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) education funding on providing Child Opportunity Scholarships to parents directly.

“We are seeing the price paid by students because of the long pandemic shutdown of our schools. We can begin to help recover learning losses by giving parents resources directly to use on what will help their children academically,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Committee. “The RECOVER Act is a responsible way to use what would be otherwise wasted ARPA dollars to empower families.”

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As of May, states and school districts had yet to spend 93 percent of the $122 billion from the Democrats’ ARPA for education. At the same time, national test results in elementary school math and reading have fallen to levels not recorded in more than 20 years.

The Child Opportunity Scholarships outlined in the RECOVER Act would be targeted for low-income families to be used for educational opportunities, including: tutoring services, private school tuition, books and other curriculum materials, testing fees; and educational therapies for children with disabilities. This legislation does not authorize new spending.

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced S.4753, which has been endorsed by the American Federation for Children, Parents Defending Education Action, Heritage Action, and Independent Women’s Voice.

“States and school districts have only spent a fraction of the education funds they received through the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan — leaving kids helpless as they struggle to recover from academic setbacks,” Scott said. “It’s clear that big-government bailouts won’t solve our education crisis. That’s why the RECOVER Act allows those funds to flow to a much better steward: parents.”

Twelve other senators have also co-sponsored the bill with primary author Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

A companion measure (HR.8671) has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

 Read the full text of Senate Bill 4753, the RECOVER Act, here.