Anna Maria Chávez, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), made the following statement in response to President Biden’s joint address to Congress last night.

“President Biden outlined a bold vision for rebuilding and reinvesting in American public schools and students.

“For decades, this nation has shortchanged its education system and asked educators to rely on ingenuity, shortcuts, and even a little duct tape to ensure that our students are prepared for the future. COVID-19 was a shock to our system in so many ways, revealing long-standing challenges that have gone ignored for decades.

“Overcrowded schools cannot adhere to social distancing requirements. Outdated school buildings lack reliable heat and air conditioning systems, much less the advanced filtering and ventilation systems required during an airborne pandemic. And when school buildings close, insufficient household access to broadband and high-speed internet leaves millions of students disconnected from their teachers and classmates.

“Last night, President Biden presented a new vision for the future of education in America. A vision that not only addresses shortcomings revealed by the pandemic, but one that invests in the nation’s public schools and its students. One that chooses innovative school buildings and 100 percent access to broadband over crumbling concrete and leaky lead pipes. And one that extends access to education early in a child’s life and after high school graduation—a bookend approach that would help more students, especially those facing the greatest challenges, receive the education they need to build a twenty-first century workforce and power our nation in the future.”

Around NSBA

a boy being tutored at a desk

Black Students in the Condition of Education 2020

The Center for Public Education selected relevant data from the Condition of Education to help school leaders not only monitor the educational progress of Black students, but also rethink what public schools can do better for Black students.