The Senator Also Underscores the Need to Expand Broadband Access to Support Remote Learning
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan took to the Senate floor today to push for significant additional funding for schools in the next COVID-19 relief package as teachers, parents, and students prepare for the upcoming school year. The Senator also discussed the importance of additional funding to expand broadband access in order to support the remote learning needs of students and teachers.
To watch the Senator’s speech, click here.
“We have known for months that schools would face enormous challenges this fall. And federal delays have only made the situation more challenging across the country,” Senator Hassan said. “For months, the Senate Majority Leader stalled action on an additional COVID-19 relief package, saying that he felt ‘no urgency.’”
Senator Hassan continued, “Now, he’s released a completely inadequate and unacceptable proposal that provides too few resources to schools and would actually withhold aid if schools don’t fully reopen in-person.”
As an alternative to Senator McConnell’s proposal, the Senator highlighted a $430 billion proposal that she cosponsored that would help schools navigate the year ahead and address some of the most pressing issues facing students.
The Senator also underscored the challenges for students and teachers throughout New Hampshire who lack high-speed internet: “Educators have noted that in many areas of our state, families are still having trouble accessing an adequate broadband connection and devices that can support online learning throughout the day at home.”
Senator Hassan went on to reference a conversation she had with a teacher from Gilmanton School District, who shared that some parents were taking their children to the parking lots of their school to do their schoolwork because it was the only way they could access a Wi-Fi connection.
Senator Hassan helped introduce the Emergency Educational Connections Act, which would work to address this issue by helping to ensure that all K-12 students have adequate home internet connectivity and devices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senator concluded, “Inaction and ineptitude are making a truly difficult set of challenges much, much worse. And at a certain point, inaction and ineptitude are indistinguishable. Congress must address these needs so that our educators can overcome these immense challenges, and do what they do best – help our children learn and grow.”