March 22, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Department of Education to Issue Guidance for Summer Enrichment Programs

In a letter, the senators advocated that states address the academic, emotional, and social needs of students during the summer 2021

Washington, DC — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today urged the U.S. Department of Education to issue guidance for how to use funding from the American Rescue Plan to provide summer enrichment programming for children and families.

In a letter with 10 colleagues to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, the senators stressed the importance of the department’s leadership in ensuring that states maximize the potential of these funds to address the academic, emotional, and social needs of students, particularly those in low-income communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

 “With summer approaching quickly and significant resources now available to states and districts that could help provide a variety of programming to students and families over the summer, it’s critical that the Department take a leading role in both prompting and guiding the state-level conversations and decision-making required to maximize the reach of these resources,” Wyden and his colleagues wrote. “Unlike most other forms of educational support and services, summer programming often takes place outside of school systems and requires substantial coordination and partnership among a variety of stakeholders.”

The senators continued: “As states, districts, and community-based organizations are already underway in finalizing their plans for this summer, and families are deciding what summer opportunities best fit the needs of their children, we urge you to issue clear and timely guidance on how to use these funds to plan and implement evidence-based summer enrichment programs that respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs, as required under the law.”

Wyden was joined in the letter by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

A full copy of the letter is here.