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APA Board Endorses ASA Letter Calling for Additional Support for Higher Education

Thursday, June 4, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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The APA’s board of officers has joined 36 other scholarly societies in signing on to the American Sociological Association’s letter to Congressional leaders calling for additional funding for higher education, with a focus on students and institutions most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders McConnell, McCarthy and Schumer:

Thank you for your efforts to ensure the wellbeing of Americans during this critical moment in our history. We are grateful for the support that has been provided thus far in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are writing today to encourage the provision of substantial additional funding for higher education in future bills, with focus on those students and institutions hardest hit by the consequences of the pandemic.

Like many sectors of the economy, higher education is facing debilitating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges and universities have refunded student fees and room and board payments from the spring term, significantly reducing their operating revenue for the current fiscal year. The uncertainty of the pandemic means that many students will delay or forego their education, leading to large declines in enrollment for many institutions. In addition, public institutions anticipate lost revenue as states, facing their own revenue losses, make deep cuts in higher education funding.

The $14 billion allocated to higher education in the CARES Act was a useful first step in helping higher education weather the crisis. However, it is not enough. Without additional federal support for students and institutions, the seriousness of the crisis will necessitate additional layoffs of staff and faculty; elimination of programs and services for students; and significant tuition increases for students and families.

Thus, we urge you to allocate additional relief funds to higher education and to ensure that these resources are distributed to the students and institutions who need them most. Although the pandemic has affected all of us, its consequences are not uniform. The most marginalized institutions and individuals are hit hardest. This means that HBCUs, community colleges, underfunded public institutions, and tuition-dependent non-profit private colleges face the most economic precarity. In addition, the pandemic has made it even harder for students from working class and low-income backgrounds, who are often the first in their families to attend college, to access higher education.

We understand that you face difficult choices in allocating funds to all sectors of society that have been decimated by this pandemic. Providing additional relief funds to higher education would be an investment in the public good. Higher education employs over 4 million people and is the primary employer in communities across the country; it opens opportunities for students from all walks of life, and it ensures that America is positioned to continue to lead the world in scientific, economic, and creative endeavors.

Sincerely,

African Studies Association
American Anthropological Association
American Educational Research Association
American Folklore Society
American Historical Association
American Musicological Society
American Philosophical Association
American Political Science Association
American Psychological Association
American Society for Environmental History
American Sociological Association
Archaeological Institute of America
Association for Asian Studies
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Association of College and Research Libraries
College Art Association
Economic History Association
Executive Board of the Association for Jewish Studies
Executive Committee of The National Women's Studies Association
International Center of Medieval Art
Medieval Academy of America
Midwest Political Science Association
Modern Language Association
National Communication Association
National Council of Teachers of English
National Council on Public History
Organization of American Historians
Phi Beta Kappa
Society Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Society for Ethnomusicology
Society for Research in Child Development
Society for the Study of Social Problems
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Biblical Literature
Sociologists for Women in Society
World History Association


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