Representative TJ Cox Joins Central Valley Dems in Letter Asking Newsom to Support Rural Education

May 8, 2020
Press Release
Today, Rep. TJ Cox joined fellow Central Valley Reps. Josh Harder (CA-10) and Jim Costa (CA-16) in sending a letter asking Governor Gavin Newsom to prioritize support for rural school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than one in four Americans in rural areas lack access to reliable internet access, making it more difficult for students in these areas to access digital learning options.  
 
The Members of Congress are asking Governor Newsom to:  
  • Ensure that schools in rural and low-income areas have the resources they need to bring connectivity and distance-learning technology to their students who don’t have a suitable home internet connection, 
  • Ensure that small school districts aren’t harmed disproportionately by increased spending needs as a result of the crisis, and 
  • Ensure that small, rural districts that may not have as much infrastructure or as many resources to train teachers and students on distance-learning have the support they need to do so. 
 
In the letter, the Members write: “Frontline educators urgently need professional development. In a matter of weeks, our entire education system shifted to online and other distance learning methods. This is expected to last through the 2019-2020 school year, and there has been discussion of whether it will continue into the fall. Educators are working full-tilt to adapt to these new conditions, but they’re in uncharted waters, and they need support – both technical and pedagogical – to ensure that they have the tools they need to educate in this new medium.” 
 
Rep. TJ Cox also led a bipartisan letter today along with Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH-12) urging Congressional leadership to invest in rural STEM education.  
 
Read the full text of the letter to Governor Gavin Newsom here.