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How we get students and teachers back in school safely:

How and when we open schools for in-person learning is important for our children, communities, and economy. The decision is ultimately one best made at the local level because there's no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are some of the principles I keep in mind in my work in Congress:

  • Students learn best when they're in school.
  • We all want our kids to be healthy and safe from the virus.
  • We all want our teachers and school staff to be healthy and safe from the virus.
  • The coronavirus is highly contagious, but with masks, hand-washing, ventilation, and physical distancing, we can dramatically reduce the spread of the virus.
  • The vaccines work

Put that all together and we know what to do:

First, the Senate must pass the American Rescue Plan and deliver millions of dollars to local school districts so they can retrofit ventilation systems and install windows that open; hire extra teachers, bus drivers, and custodial staff; buy masks, sanitizers, and cleaning supplies; and more. We can open schools safely, but schools need the resources to do so.

Second, we must move as quickly as we can to get teachers vaccinated, particularly those who are older and those whose health conditions make them especially vulnerable.

Third, we must accelerate vaccine distribution and make sure that marginalized communities are included so our families and communities are safe as children return to school.

As a member of the House Education Committee, I'm glad that the House recently passed the American Rescue Plan, which will deliver millions to schools in every corner of our country, including about $2 billion right here in Oregon.

When it's your turn, get the vaccine. And encourage everyone you know to get the vaccine, too.

And thank the teachers you know. Let them know just how important they are to you, to our families, and to our communities.

We are going to get through this. Together.

Thank you for standing with me,


Posted on March 3, 2021.

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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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