Robbie Owens reports.
- Billions of dollars in federal stimulus money is earmarked for schools right now, and local schools are still waiting for the money. Robbie Owens, reporting today that there is pressure now on lawmakers to distribute that money and to do it now.
- For many families, those federal stimulus dollars have already been spent.
JAMIE WILSON: I can't see what the problem is. Over 40 states have already figured out how to get this funding to our schoolchildren.
- But Texas schools are still waiting for their share of some $18 billion in federal aid now caught up in budget wrangling in Austin.
SUZI KENNON: If nothing is done this year, any chance of recovery will be swallowed up whole. We must act now.
ROBBIE OWENS: With COVID impacting almost everything in education, still, public school advocates are using a three legged stool to make a point about what's needed to help our schools recover.
Take any leg away, and the stool collapses. So advocates say stimulus dollars are critical, and not just for certain communities.
ALEXIS MILLER: You know, you hear that a lot. You know, our most vulnerable students need this, but what we've learned about this pandemic is that it did not discriminate, right?
- Lewis Hill third grade teacher, Alexis Miller, urging lawmakers to act, adding that students on all incomes and abilities have struggled.
- It's beyond, hey, we don't have enough pencils for the classroom. We are talking we need more help, mental health advocates in our schools. We need more social workers. We need more counselors.
LAUREN ABELL: It can be scary for people to unmute, and ask questions, and to turn your cameras on. It causes a lot of anxiety, and I think, also, like, not being in the same room with students, like talking to each other about how your day is going, making jokes about things happening, can cause a lot of students to feel very lonely, which is known to lead to depression.
- We have no time to waste. There is a sense of urgency.
- In Grapevine, Robbie Owens, CBS 11 News.