RAMC Requests Additional Congressional Support for Community College Students

Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), A coalition of community colleges, today sent a letter to congressional leaders urging additional provisions to support community colleges and their students in the next COVID relief package advanced by Congress.
“Not only are community colleges taking action to ensure students can continue to pursue a degree or credential despite the COVID pandemic, schools are also offering support to local hospitals and first responders through donated equipment and 3-D printed PPE materials and collaborating with the local workforce to identify new skills training and educational programming needs,” said Joe May, RAMC Board President and Chancellor of Dallas College. “As we do our best to help students and communities through these extremely challenging circumstances, we ask Congress to consider avenues to support our efforts through the next COVID relief package.”
In the letter, RAMC members write:

Amid this current national emergency, our institutions and many other community colleges across the nation are working tirelessly to help ensure students have access to the education and support services they need to continue with their programs. This has meant moving thousands of courses to new online modalities and instituting new programs and initiatives to aid the many students who are struggling through the COVID-19 crisis, such as offering free Wi-Fi hotspots, creating pop-up food pantries for food-insecure students, and lending office spaces to provide mental health services.

While our colleges are working diligently and creatively to find new outlets to support students and their communities, additional aid from the federal government is vital to our continued ability to help students during this crisis and ensure community colleges across America have the ability to continue to respond to our nation’s education and workforce needs.

The letter advocates for congressional leaders to consider the following programs and policies:
  • Enact short-term Pell Grants
  • Provide additional funding for students and institutions through the Education Stabilization Fund
  • Ensure broadband access for low-income students
  • Provide funding to support air quality enhancements for community college facilities
  • Increase WIOA funding
  • Reimburse colleges for equipment provided to healthcare facilities
  • Invest in virtualization technology for healthcare programs
  • Provide low-interest loans for capital projects
To read the letter in full, click here.