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


“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.”


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 Institutions 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.


2. 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 COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing education inequities.  According to a recent study 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.  In addition, a study by the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) found low-income students experienced a seven percent decline in learning, while wealthier students had a five percent gain in learning.


The following organizations 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, and Deans for Impact.


Click HERE to read the full list of endorsement quotes from organizations and universities.


Click HERE to read the full text of the bill.