Kuster Meets with NH Teachers, Discusses Support for NH Schools in American Rescue Plan
Concord, March 31, 2021
Tags: Investing in Education
Concord, N.H — Today Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) hosted a virtual roundtable with Granite State teachers from Nashua, Littleton, Alstead, Chichester, and Amherst to discuss ongoing reopening efforts and support for New Hampshire schools in the Kuster-backed American Rescue Plan.
The American Rescue Plan Act prioritized students and included $122.8 billion in grants to support K-12 schools across the country, including more than $350.5 million in federal funding for New Hampshire K-12 schools to advance reopening efforts.
“Our Granite State educators have been hard at work to ensure our students receive a high-quality education as we continue efforts to end this public health crisis,” said Rep. Kuster. “The American Rescue Plan meets the demands of this moment and provides critical resources for our NH communities, including funding for our state’s public K-12 schools to bolster after-school and summer learning, and expand access to broadband services and devices. It was great to hear first-hand from our public school educators and to discuss how the American Rescue Plan supports our K-12 schools, children, and working families. There’s a lot of work to be done to recover and rebuild, and I thank all of our New Hampshire educators for their efforts to ensure no student is left behind.”
“The American Rescue Act will make a huge difference in what we can do to support our students in NH,” said Deb Howes, a reading teacher in Nashua and vice-president of AFT-NH. “We have a serious education funding problem in NH in normal times, at the state level and in most school districts. We barely have enough money to keep schools going in normal times and often fund classroom supplies out of our own pockets. The COVID pandemic has placed huge new demands on schools. The pandemic has brought a whole new layer of trauma for some students, loneliness and isolation for others, and fear of returning to large groups for others still. We will be able to use some of that money to address students' needs and help reconnect them with their school community so they can thrive and learn. We also look forward to supporting students in making up some of the learning gaps that have developed in the past year through additional, quality instruction.”
“We finally have the response we’ve been asking for to provide students, educators, and families the relief we desperately need, and the resources to help every school implement measures to keep students and educators safe,” said Larry Ballard, a teacher in Amherst. “This really is historic legislation that will also lift countless children and families out of poverty. Now, we must make our voices heard so that state and local leaders ensure all students receive the support, tools and resources they need so that school buildings and college campuses can reopen — and stay open — safely and equitably.”
Kuster has been a leading advocate in Congress for increased relief for New Hampshire schools and families as the nation works to end this pandemic. Kuster helped to get the American Rescue Plan Act over the finish line in the House of Representatives, championed provisions for state and local funding to re-open schools safely to get students back into classrooms, and successfully got funding for her legislation — the Coronavirus Vaccine and Therapeutic Development Act — included to ensure that the United States will be able to mass-produce and administer COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics quickly and efficiently.