Rosa DeLauro honored with Thomas Mondani CEA Friend of Education Award for her decades of dedication to children.
The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) presented its highest award, the Thomas P. Mondani CEA Friend of Education Award, to U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who represents Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District.
“This is our biggest, most prestigious award, given only to those who stand head and shoulders above the rest in their commitment to public education and advocacy on behalf of teachers and students,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “We are proud to honor Congresswoman DeLauro with this award for her support and dedication to improving the lives of Connecticut’s children and her decades-long crusade to end child poverty.”
“I am honored and humbled by the CEA’s recognition,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Education can serve as a great equalizer that opens doors and opportunities to jobs, higher wages, and a better life. But it can only serve as this great equalizer if it is affordable, accessible, and achievable for all. Our schools, our teachers, and our students have been struggling for far too long, and the pandemic has only exacerbated issues within our educational system. We are in a moment where we must create the architecture of our nation’s future, and that includes making robust investments in education. I look forward to continuing our partnership in advocating for students and teachers so that we can build back better.”
The Congresswoman’s advocacy resulted in the inclusion of an expanded child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill signed by President Joe Biden. The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University estimates that the credit will reduce U.S. child poverty by 45 percent overall and 52 percent for African Americans, effectively moving 27 million families across the poverty line. Unlike the preexisting program that offered families the tax credit annually when they filed their taxes, the relief package will provide families with monthly payments expected to start this summer, providing a stable cash flow. The credit is also being extended to millions of families who earn too little to qualify for the credit under existing law.
“The expanded and improved Child Tax Credit is a historic change that is a lifeline to the middle class and drastically cuts child poverty,” said DeLauro. “These payments to children and their families throughout the year will help them with the costs of things like food, childcare, diapers, healthcare, clothing, and taxes.”
DeLauro, who has been in Congress since 1981, began pushing for the tax credit expansion as early as 2003. In her current position as chair of the House Appropriations Committee, she was finally able to get it over the finish line this year. Dubbed “the children’s version of Social Security,” this is considered the single greatest measure to reduce poverty in generations, delivering up to $3,600 per child annually to low- and middle-income families, many of whom received nothing under the old formula.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who visited New Haven promoting the American Rescue Plan, praised the Congresswoman for her unwavering commitment to children.
“You tirelessly challenge our country and its leaders to see our children, and to understand that when we lift up our children, we lift up the entire country,” said Harris.
“From the time she first introduced legislation to help end child poverty, our great Congresswoman has returned to Washington year after year to continue the fight,” said Leake. “The Vice President called Congresswoman DeLauro a gem for our state and our country, and I couldn’t agree more.”
Leake presented Congresswoman DeLauro with the prestigious award during a CEA Board of Directors meeting in Wallingford this evening.