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Letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives - Reps. Lowenthal, Matsui, Lead California House Delegation Members In Urging Additional Federal Relief To Higher Education

Letter

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,

As you consider additional stimulus measures to combat the economic effects of COVID-19, we
respectfully request that you provide support to our nation's higher education institutions. While
colleges and universities have effectively dealt with a rapid transition to remote instruction, this
transition has led to the loss of billions of dollars in revenue through the suspension of in-person
classes, early termination of student housing and dining contracts, interruption of on-campus
services and countless other losses. These institutions serve as foundations for their community,
and their full recovery must be a top priority for Congress. In California, for example, the
University of California includes more than 285,000 students, 180,000 faculty and staff, and
more than 2 million living alumni from 10 campuses across the state. The California State
University System is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23
campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. The California Community Colleges is
the largest higher education system in the nation, with 115 colleges serving over 2.1 million
students.

The more than $14 billion dollars provided to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
(HEERF) that was authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
(CARES) Act was an important initial step toward meeting the urgent needs of students and the
colleges and universities that serve them, but more support is desperately needed. We therefore
request that you provide additional support to students and institutions by increasing the HEERF
by $47 billion.

Additionally, as schools continue to instruct remotely, we request the creation of a technology
fund administered by institutions to help ensure that all students are able to participate in remote
learning by facilitating access to broadband or hotspots. Furthermore, a technology fund specific
to higher education would help ensure that students with disabilities or additional needs receive
the proper tools in order to continue education and help close the academic achievement gap.

We encourage you to include the above in any forthcoming legislation in response to this
pandemic. Thank you for your continued leadership during this uncertain time.


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