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Protecting students and teachers as classes resume

Things look a lot different this year as students and teachers return to school.

Throughout the spring and summer, we've worked hard as a community to maintain physical distance and slow the spread of COVID, but the pandemic isn't over yet. We all want our students back in school, but only if it's safe. As we've seen across the country, schools and states that have rushed to reopen have seen dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases.

With remote learning as the new normal here in NW Oregon, everyone is making adjustments. Our teachers, families, and students are all doing their best, but they need support from their elected leaders.

I'm fighting back against Secretary Devos's threats to cut funding for public education. Teachers and staff are working hard to help students learn during an unprecedented school year, and they need additional resources to educate students safely and equitably.

Additionally, parents are struggling to balance work and manage their children's education at home. Quality child care was unaffordable for too many families before the pandemic. With schools closed and even more limited options, I'm working hard to increase investment in child care and to create an equitable, universal early childhood education system.

Students are also struggling with social isolation. Many have unreliable internet – or none at all. We need universal broadband so students aren't left behind and to help our rural communities.

We've made some progress already. The House passed my bill to give school districts the flexibility they need to serve meals to students when school buildings are closed, and we also passed a bill I worked on to invest $50 billion in the childcare system. I've introduced a bill to provide all students with free lunch during the upcoming school year – but there's much more we need to be doing to invest in our children.

If you're teaching, supporting, or learning – I want to say thank you for your hard work in this challenging time. Keep looking toward a better future, and I'll continue fighting for you every step of the way as we work together to get through this pandemic.


Posted on September 8, 2020.

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Meet Suzanne

Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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