WASHINGTON — Health inequities and vaccination strategies were the topics of debate at today’s House Education and Labor joint subcommittee hearing. The witnesses and committee members discussed ways to protect vulnerable communities from COVID-19, such as schools.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, black, indigenous children of color under the age of 19 are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized than white children, based on data as of August 31st.

School closures also disproportionally affect underfunded school districts, which is why the U.S. Department of Education started Project SAFE grants, federal funding rewarding COVID safe in-person learning. Congress hopes to work on initiatives to encourage more vaccinations.