Booker, Cornyn, Murphy, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Tutoring for Underserved Students

Booker, Cornyn, Murphy, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Tutoring for Underserved Students

The PATHS to Tutor Act establishes a $500 million competitive grant program for teacher-preparation programs to partner with K-12 schools to provide tutoring in underserved communities during the pandemic


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Susan Collins (D-ME) introduced a bipartisan bill, the Partnering Aspiring Teachers with High-Need Schools (PATHS) to Tutor Act, that will expand access to one-on-one and small group tutoring in underserved communities during the pandemic. The legislation will also strengthen the pipeline of future teachers by placing teacher-candidates into tutoring roles.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing education inequities. According to a recent study done by McKinsey Analysis, lower income students are less likely to have access to high-quality remote learning, resulting in them being more likely to fall behind, exacerbating the achievement gap by 15 to 20 percent. Additionally, a study by the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) found low income students experienced a 7 percent decline in learning, while wealthier students had a 5 percent gain in learning.

“COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated the deep structural inequities within our education system,” said Senator Booker. “It is unacceptable that many students of color and students from low-income families are being disproportionately denied the opportunity to access high-quality education during this crisis. The PATHS to Tutor Act will provide crucial resources to underfunded schools by expanding access to one-on-one and small group tutoring for the students who need it the most while also preparing the next generation of educators to succeed.”

“Sadly, far too many students in Texas do not receive the educational tools they need to succeed, and this issue has been compounded by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Cornyn. “The PATHS to Tutor Act will expand access to small group tutoring in high-need areas while simultaneously reducing economic burdens on our teachers by allowing this tutoring to count toward national service and their TEACH grant service requirement. Texas students deserve every resource we can give them to achieve on a level playing field, and this legislation will give them just that.”

“The quick transition to remote learning caused by COVID-19 has disproportionately affected low-income students and created even more glaring inequities in our education system. I’m glad to team up with my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan legislation that supports high-quality tutoring programs to help address learning loss, while helping educators find new opportunities and allowing teachers in training to put their skills to immediate use in meeting this tremendous need,” said Senator Murphy.

“During the pandemic, too many students have fallen behind due to reduced in-person instruction and other challenges,” said Senator Collins. “By expanding access to high-quality group tutoring services for students who need it most, this bipartisan bill would support teachers while providing a boost to students to help them remain on course to achieve lifelong success.”

Link to quotes from endorsed organizations and Universities

 Specifically, the PATHS to Tutor Act, would do the following:

  1. Provide funding for innovative partnerships between schools of education and community-based organizations (CBOs) to expand access to one-on-one tutoring for low-income students and/or high-need schools.

    • $500 million in competitive grants for teacher-preparation programs to partner with K-12 schools, other Institute of Higher Education (IHE), CBOs, teacher unions and other groups to provide high-dosage tutoring and small group instruction to high-need schools and low-income communities.

  1. Reduce the economic burden on teachers by making tutoring and small group instruction count toward loan repayment and national service.

  • TEACH Grant service requirements are amended to allow one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction to count toward the service obligation outlined in the Higher Education Act.

  • The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is instructed to recognize one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction programs as a national service

The following organization have endorsed the PATHS to Tutor Act: National Black Child Development Institute, Committee for Children, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), New Leaders, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Teaching Matters, Teach Plus, The School Superintendents Association (AASA), National Rural Education Association (NREA), National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium, Association of Educational Service Agencies, Teach For America, National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), TNTP, The Education Trust, The Learning Accelerator, Turnaround for Children, Deans for Impact

The full text of the bill can be viewed here.

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