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In Exeter, Senator Hassan Talks About Opposition To Trumpcare

Senator Hassan Visits Exeter Hospital, Joins Medical Professionals to Discuss Need for Bipartisan Action to Lower Health Care Costs for Granite Staters

EXETER – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan joined medical professionals at Exeter Hospital to discuss the need for members of both parties to come together to lower health care costs for Granite Staters and to build on and improve the Affordable Care Act. Senator Hassan and other attendees also highlighted how Senate Republican leadership’s various plans to repeal the ACA would result in higher costs and rip insurance away from Granite Staters.

Senator Hassan was joined by Exeter Hospital President and CEO Kevin Callahan, Exeter Hospital Vice President of Strategic Planning Mark Whitney, New Hampshire Health Care Association President and CEO Brendan Williams, Multiple Sclerosis Society Member Dennis Murphy, and other medical professionals and patients.

“It is long past time that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate come together to build on and improve the Affordable Care Act,” Senator Hassan said. “Without any public hearings, Senate Republicans will attempt this week to pass a version of Trumpcare that will lead to higher costs and rip insurance away from millions of Americans. Instead, we must work together in a bipartisan manner to lower health care costs for hard-working Granite Staters and Americans, stabilize the insurance market, and protect the markets from sabotage attempts by the Trump Administration.”

“This has been a terrifying moment for those I represent,” said New Hampshire Health Care Association President and CEO Brendan Williams. “It’s absolutely unsustainable that we should bear such cuts. This is immoral, it’s absolutely immoral to attack the residents that we care for and the caregivers that we employ, to devastate their dreams and hopes for dignity in their later years.”

“The high cost of prescription drugs is a major reason New Hampshire families are seeing their overall health care costs rise, forcing many patients to make difficult decisions about the care they can receive,” said, Dennis Murphy, a resident of Londonderry who lives with multiple sclerosis. “The price of the MS drug I take, for instance, has escalated $40,000 in the last 7 years. Something must be done to stop this trajectory. I thank Senator Hassan who has made this a top priority by co-sponsoring the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act that would bring transparency to these price increases.”

Thousands Join Women’s Group in Demanding NH Legislature Expel Rape Apologist Rep Robert Fisher

UltraViolet Says Fisher’s Promotion of Violence and Misogyny Online Puts Women at Risk, Undermines the Credibility of NH’s Government

NEW HAMPSHIRE — A new petition from UltraViolet, a leading women’s advocacy organization, is demanding that the New Hampshire State Legislature immediately move to expel state representative Robert Fisher, after a report last month from The Daily Beast discovered that the two-term Republican was the creator of an online community dedicated to promoting violence against women.

Fisher’s actions on the online forum included comments deriding women’s intelligence, and recommending ways for men to dodge rape accusations, as well as statements arguing that rape had specific benefits – especially for the rapist. Since the comments were discovered, Fisher has doubled down and publicly defended the idea that most women lie about rape and that men should put cameras in their bedrooms to protect themselves.

More than 36,000 members of UltraViolet have signed onto the petition calling on the New Hampshire State Legislature to discipline Fisher and expel him from office. With state lawmakers and New Hampshire’s Governor calling for Fisher to resign, the New Hampshire State Legislature is set to vote on Fisher’s expulsion on June 1st.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/pro-rape_nh_legislator/

“Rape apologists have no place in our government,” explained Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “Extreme anti-woman comments like Fisher’s directly contribute to our national rape culture epidemic – one where our society normalizes and excuses violence against women. Fisher’s promotion of this repulsive ideology puts women’s lives at risks and undermines trust in the New Hampshire state legislature to protect all citizens. The New Hampshire State legislature must immediately move to expel Fisher from their ranks – and demonstrate to all New Hampshire residents that this kind of dangerous anti-women ideology has no place in our society.”


UltraViolet is an online community of over 1,000,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media. Find out more at WeAreUltraViolet.org.

Two Events Talk About Building A Clean Energy Future

In run-up to Earth Day, New Hampshire
communities charting clean energy future

PORTSMOUTH, NH – As Earth Day approaches, energy experts and residents of several New Hampshire communities are coming together this week to chart a clean energy future for the region at a pair of public events.

On Wednesday, academic and industry leaders will address “New England’s Energy Future: The Opportunities and Challenges of Renewable Energy Technologies” in a public discussion at the solar-powered Alnoba center in Kensington.

ENERGY FUTURE DISCUSSION (details)
Wednesday, April 12, 5:30-7pm
Great Room at Alnoba | 24 Cottage Rd. in Kensington, NH

  • Dr. Cameron Wake, UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space & Josephine A.Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute
  • Phil Coupe, Co-Founder, ReVision Energy
  • Joe Harrison, Director of Clean Energy Finance at Community Development Finance Authority
  • Bradley Campbell, President of the Conservation Law Foundation
  • Dr. Clay Mitchell, Lecturer at UNH Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment, Community and Environmental Planning, and Environmental Conservation and Sustainability

On Thursday, citizens and community leaders will come together in Portsmouth to launch Energize 360, a firstofitskind campaign to save money and help save the planet by providing citizens a suite of new energy efficiency and clean energy options at bulk discounts.

ENERGIZE 360 – PORTSMOUTH LAUNCH (details)
Thursday, APRIL 13, 6:30-8:30pm
Redhook Brewery | 1 Redhook Way, Portsmouth

Every participant in Energize 360 in the NH Seacoast will get a free site visit, a Home Heating Index score, and a comprehensive analysis of their energy usage specific to their home. Energize 360 offers energy audits, weatherization, solar electric systems, heat pump installations, and more, as well as help qualifying for all available rebates and incentives.

Energize 360 includes tiered discounts for consumers and pledges to fund clean energy projects in each of the communities of Dover, Durham, Lee, Northwood and Portsmouth; additional communities are planning to join the program. The funds available for community projects and the discounts available to homeowners and business owners both increase as participation in the campaign increases. The program ends June 30th.

Energize 360 is a partnership between Seacoast Regional Energy Hub, Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI), ReVision Energy, and Yankee Thermal Imaging. The participating program vendors were selected by an independent committee through a competitive bidding process that took into consideration competence and cost. Energize 360 discounts cannot be combined with other discounts.

Former NEA-NH President and NH State Senator Scott McGilvray Has Passed Away

Image of Scott McGilvray, Professional Firefighters of NH President Dave Lang, and members of the Professional Firefighters of NH.

Just over a month ago, Scott McGilvray took a leave of absence from his position as President of NEA New Hampshire citing growing health concerns.

“In light of some recent health issues, I have requested and been granted leave from my duties as President of NEA-NH so that I can concentrate on getting well and serving my constituents in the State Senate. Last November, the people of District 16 entrusted me with the honor of representing them and the great responsibility of fighting for them in the State Senate. I intend to continue fulfilling my duties as Senator and keeping my commitment to my constituents while I am on leave from my job,” McGilvray stated.  

Today, we have learned that Scott McGilvray has passed away.  

At the moment we do not have any more details about his illness or his passing.   

After hearing the news, Megan Tuttle, Acting NEA-New Hampshire President, issued the following statement:

“NEA-New Hampshire is deeply saddened today by the passing of our President and friend Scott McGilvray. Scott made the lives of countless others better as a teacher, coach, mentor, friend and leader and he will be greatly missed. 

“He was a tireless advocate for students and educators across the state, dedicating his life fighting to assure every child had the opportunity to succeed. Scott McGilvray made New Hampshire a better place for children.”

AFT-NH President Douglas Ley released the following statement on the passing of labor leader and State Senator Scott McGilvray.

“AFT-NH is shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of State Senator Scott McGilvray. On behalf of AFT-NH members, we express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Scott McGilvray, and to our colleagues at NEA-NH.”

“Scott dedicated his life to advocating for New Hampshire’s children, public education, educators and working families. He was a strong labor leader and his career was marked by public service at its finest culminating with his election to the NH State Senate this past fall.”

“The passing of Senator McGilvray is a great loss to public education, the labor movement and the entire state of New Hampshire. He was taken from us far too soon, and leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.”

In 2016, Scott took the leap and decided to run for State Senator in District 16 and won.  He was a great addition to the Senate with his years of knowledge and experience as an educator and as President of NEA-NH.  Scott was well received in the Senate by members of both parties.

After receiving the news of his passing, Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) and Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Whitefield) issued the following statements:

“It is with great sorrow that we learn of our fellow colleague Senator Scott McGilvray’s passing this morning. Both my wife Susan and I would like to extend our deepest, heartfelt sympathies, warm thoughts and prayers to Senator McGilvray’s wife Patti and his two daughters, Meaghan and Molly, as well as all of his family, friends and loved ones during this immensely difficult time,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “Senator McGilvrary was well respected within in his community and has touched countless young lives through his dedication to education as well as coaching youth sports.”

“Losing a member of the Senate is always difficult and the loss of Senator McGilvrary so early in his career is especially sad. Each day in the Senate we all work hard to make our state better, and though his tenure serving Senate District 16 was far too brief, Senator McGilvray’s service to his community will certainly have a positive and memorable impact for many years to come,” said Morse.

“Scott’s time in the NH Senate, just as his life, was too brief. He devoted his life to teaching, coaching, and advocating for our children and he left an indelible impression with all he worked with. I was proud to serve with Scott in the New Hampshire Senate and saw firsthand his dedication to the people of his district and the people of New Hampshire. I join with all my Senate colleagues in expressing our deepest sympathies to his family, particularly his wife Patti and his daughters on their loss. New Hampshire has lost a great public servant and I know that Scott’s friends and family will be in all our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” said Senator Jeff Woodburn (D-Whitefield).

Raymond Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party released the following after receiving the news: 

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Senator Scott McGilvray’s passing. Senator McGilvray will be remembered for his deep dedication to education and for the young people and educators whose lives he has impacted so greatly over his 25 years as a social studies teacher and a football coach. He spent his last months serving his state and fighting for the people of New Hampshire and for that we are endlessly grateful. He will be dearly missed.”

 I am also saddened to hear of the news of Scott McGilvray’s passing today.  Over the years I have collaborated with Scott  in his capacity as President of NEA and helped push for his election to the NH Senate.  He was truly a good man, a strong labor leader, and an outspoken advocate for the children of New Hampshire.

I offer my sincere condolences to the McGilvray family.

(NOTE: at the time of publication no statement has been made by the family.  We will update this post with any new statements and information about possible donations in his honor as they come in.) 

Updated with additional statements.

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins on the passing of State Senator Scott McGilvray:

“Granite State Progress is incredibly sad to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend Scott McGilvray. Our organization worked closely with Scott from his time as a local leader with the Manchester Education Association to his election as President of NEA-New Hampshire and then as a State Senator. Scott was always a thoughtful, collaboration-oriented leader who cared deeply about his students, his members, and his community. We are honored to have been able to work with him on so many important endeavors to make New Hampshire a better place for all families. Scott truly left a positive impact on the efforts he worked on and New Hampshire is better for it.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today, and with the many people whose lives he touched as a dedicated educator, coach, and community leader.”

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen delivered the following statement after learning of the passing of New Hampshire State Senator Scott McGilvray:

“Billy and I were very saddened to learn of the passing of Scott McGilvray,” said Shaheen. “Scott’s devotion to public service grew out of his passion for students. Whether on the football field, in the classroom or in the New Hampshire Senate, Scott worked tirelessly to help New Hampshire’s children reach their full potential. Scott’s legacy will live on in the many Granite Staters whose lives he changed. I extend my deepest condolences to Scott’s wife Patti, his daughters and his family. My thoughts are with them as we all mourn his passing.”

Today, Senator Maggie Hassan released the following statement on the passing of New Hampshire State Senator Scott McGilvray:

“Countless students had a brighter future because they had Scott McGilvray in their corner as a teacher or as a football coach. Although his time in the State Senate was far too brief, Scott was already bringing the same energy and dedication to building a better future for young people across the Granite State. Scott embodied the spirit of civic engagement we are known for in New Hampshire, and the Manchester community and entire state are stronger because of his devotion to public service. I was proud to call him a friend, and Tom and I extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Patti, and his daughters, Meaghan and Molly.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today released the following statement on the passing of State Senator and New Hampshire National Education Association President Scott McGilvray:

“I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of Senator Scott McGilvray’s passing. Senator McGilvray was a leader in our community and a fierce advocate for students and teachers. His wife Patti, his daughters Meaghan and Molly, and the countless Granite Staters whose lives he touched will be in my thoughts and prayers.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the passing of Senator Scott McGilvray:

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Scott McGilvray. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with Scott. His determination and dedication to improving education in New Hampshire has left our state a better place for all of us. Scott touched the lives of countless young people in his decades as an educator and his legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. My husband Brad and I extend our deepest condolences to Scott’s wife Patti and his daughters Meaghan and Molly at this very difficult time.”

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) released the following statement:

“On behalf of the House Democratic Caucus, I express my deepest condolences to Senator McGilvray’s family during this difficult time. As an educator, labor leader, and coach, Senator McGilvray dedicated his life to public service and improving the lives of children. With the passing of Senator McGilvray, the state of New Hampshire has lost a great person, and great public servant, far too soon.”

(Event Tonight) Clean Energy Transformation Initiative, Lower Your Energy Costs And Save The Planet

On First Day of Spring, Seacoast Communities Launch New Hampshire’s First Clean Energy Transformation Initiative

LAUNCH EVENT:

Monday, March 20th, 7-9pm

Oyster River High School Cafeteria

55 Coe Drive in Durham, NH

DURHAM, NH – Energy leaders from five New Hampshire communities have joined forces to launch Energize 360, a first-of-its-kind campaign to save money and help save the planet by providing citizens a suite of new energy efficiency and clean energy options at bulk discounts.

“Spring is here and there’s no better time for homeowners and businesses to take control of their energy future by availing themselves of proven solutions that save money, lower energy use, and transition to clean renewable energy for the good of our state,” said Daniel Clapp, General Manager of ReVision Energy, the local industry leader in renewable energy solutions and lead Energize 360 vendor chosen through competitive bidding.

Every participant in Energize 360 in the NH Seacoast will get a free site visit, a Home Heating Index score, and a comprehensive analysis of their energy usage specific to their home. Energize 360 offers energy audits, weatherization, solar electric systems, heat pump installations, and more, as well as help qualifying for all available rebates and incentives. 

 “With the cost of solar panels down 75% over the last decade, anyone with a roof or lawn and a clear view to the sun has the potential to generate their own electricity,” Clapp added. “And thanks to complementary technologies offered by Energize 360, you can now use that power to heat your home, charge your vehicle, and power your daily life.”

Energize 360 includes tiered discounts for consumers and pledges to fund clean energy projects in each of the communities of Dover, Durham, Lee, Northwood and Portsmouth. The funds available for community projects and the discounts available to homeowners and business owners both increase as participation in the campaign increases. The program ends June 30th.

Energize 360 is a partnership between Seacoast Regional Energy Hub, Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative (SEAREI), ReVision Energy, and Yankee Thermal Imaging. The participating program vendors were selected by an independent committee through a competitive bidding process that took into consideration competence and cost. Energize 360 discounts cannot be combined with other discounts. 

“It’s exciting to see more and more local communities stepping forward to address high energy costs and chart a more sustainable future through Energize 360 and other innovative campaigns,” concluded Jack Ruderman, Director of Community Solar Initiatives at ReVision Energy. “Why send millions of dollars out of state or overseas for dirty fossil fuels when we can generate our own clean electricity at lower cost on our own roof or backyard?”

RSVPs are encouraged at the March 20th launch event but are not required: https://energize360.eventbrite.com.

Residents interested in participating in the program are encouraged to bring utility and heating fuel bills to launch event. A series of educational events are scheduled after the March 20th launch. For more information on future events and other program questions, please visit energize360.org or call (603) 679-1777.  

AFT-NH Mourns The Loss Of Chief Brian Costa, A Former Union Member And Leader

Last night, Keene Police Chief Brian Costa passed away suddenly.  His years of dedicated public service were highlighted as his former union, and elected leaders, offer their condolences.

“He was a great police officer, with a great love for the city, the people of Keene and his job,” said Keene Mayor Kendall Lane. “He loved being a police officer. I wish I knew more about what happened, but state police are handling everything.”

“It is with great sadness that AFT-NH has learned of the passing of Chief Brian Costa. On behalf of AFT-NH members, we express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Chief Costa and to the members of the Keene Police Department,” said AFT-NH President Douglas Ley.  “Brian came up through the ranks, starting his service as a police officer in 1996 and culminating with being appointed chief in 2015. He was a member of the Keene Police Officers Association and later, president of the Keene Police Supervisors, before becoming chief in 2015. As both union officer and as chief, Brian was dedicated to the brave men and women who served in his department. He never forgot his union roots, and he devoted his life to making his community safer and stronger. We will forever owe him a debt of gratitude for his service. ”

“Chief Brian Costa was an incredible public servant who dedicated himself to bettering his community of Keene and the entire state of New Hampshire,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster.  “I was deeply saddened to learn of his sudden passing. Chief Costa was a committed leader in addressing the opioid crisis and focused on the need for treatment and recovery services as well as interdiction efforts. I appreciated his counsel, and I was always inspired by his kindness, warm spirit, and commitment to helping others. My heart goes out to his loved ones and the entire Keene community at this difficult time.”

Chief Costa was a leader in addressing the addiction crisis and Congresswoman Kuster was proud to join him for numerous briefings, round tables, and community discussions in Keene and around the state.

“I’m very saddened to hear of Chief Brian Costa’s passing. Chief Costa served Keene for more than two decades and rose through the ranks to become a leader in the fight against the opioid epidemic. I am grateful for his service to the Keene community and to New Hampshire. My thoughts are with his family,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  

“Chief Brian Costa served his community in Keene with distinction, always seeking to help others, and I am very saddened by the news of his passing. From his leadership in combating the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis to his desire to make Keene a welcoming and friendly place for all, Chief Costa has made a difference in the lives of thousands of Granite Staters. Tom and I send our deepest condolences to Chief Costa’s family, and to everyone whose lives he touched,” said Senator Maggie Hassan. 

Senator Hassan Invites NH Medicaid Expansion Advocate To Trump’s Speech Tonight

Senator Hassan Invites Substance Abuse Treatment Advocate Ashley Hurteau as Guest of Honor for President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress Address 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan announced that substance abuse treatment advocate Ashley Hurteau of Dover will be her guest of honor for President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress Address on February 28th in Washington. Ashley is a native Granite Stater now in recovery from heroin addiction after she was able to access substance abuse treatment because of New Hampshire’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan. 

As Senator Hassan’s guest of honor, Ashley will join the Senator in the House Chamber for the Joint Session of Congress Address from President Trump. Senator Hassan and Ashley met at the Farnum Center in Manchester last month, where they joined a panel to discuss the harmful impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion on New Hampshire’s efforts to combat the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis. 

“After living with addiction for nearly a decade, Ashley’s life was saved because Medicaid expansion allowed her to access critical substance abuse treatment services,” Senator Hassan said. “Ashley is living proof of the positive impact the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion have had on tens of thousands of Granite Staters, especially those living with addiction. I have been inspired by Ashley’s courage in sharing her story of addiction and her road to recovery, and her bravery must be marked by our action. For Ashley and for the thousands of Granite Staters seeking help in the battle against addiction, I will continue to strongly fight efforts to take away Granite Staters’ health insurance coverage through repealing the Affordable Care Act.” 

“I’m honored to be Senator Hassan’s guest for the Joint Session of Congress Address and to share my story of how Medicaid expansion saved my life,” said Ashley Hurteau. “Because of my health coverage under Medicaid expansion, I am now in recovery, working at Safe Harbor Recovery Center, a program of Granite Pathways, to help others struggling with addiction. I don’t know where I would be today without this health coverage, but I know how critical it is for Granite Staters living with addiction. I am thankful to have a leader like Senator Hassan representing me in the Senate, strongly fighting against efforts to strip away critical health care coverage for those of us who need it most.”

As Governor of New Hampshire, Senator Hassan fought to pass and reauthorize Medicaid expansion, which provides critical behavioral health and substance abuse treatment coverage for tens of thousands of Granite Staters. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan is focused on supporting states’ efforts to increase treatment, prevent and recovery services. The Senator is also focused on strengthening law enforcement and drug interdiction efforts through her work on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Senator Hassan recently helped introduce the STOP Act, a bipartisan measure that will help prevent deadly fentanyl from being shipped into America from abroad.

NH Board Of Education Sends Letter Of No Confidence In Edelblut As Commissioner Of Education

Letter cites gaps in qualifications and overwhelming concern from “a broad and extensive cross-section of the public” that “virtually all have expressed concerns about the appointment”

Concord, NH – The NH State Board of Education released a letter of no confidence in Governor Sununu’s Education Commissioner nominee. The letter was sent to the Governor and Executive Council yesterday afternoon after the Governor’s late consultation with the Board; the Executive Council is scheduled to vote on the nomination this morning.

“The State Board of Education has a statutory responsibility to ensure the Department of Education is staffed with qualified individuals and that all children in our state receive an adequate education. We applaud the members for doing their due diligence on the nominee,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director ofGranite State Progress. “We strongly urge the Executive Council to vote down this nomination and urge the Governor to find a candidate better suited to the position.”

“After discussions with the public and among board members, we have to say, Governor, that we share the public’s concern about Mr. Edelblut’s qualifications for the role of New Hampshire Education Commissioner. The high level of concern parents have voiced about this nomination that is so important to them puts the State Board of Education on notice. We owe parents the Board’s full commitment to our statutory responsibility as the board of directors of New Hampshire public education.  We are prepared for that role and will exercise it with full transparency,”  stated Tom Raffio, Chairman of the State Board of Education.

Along with the letter from the Board, Raffio included 57 pages of individual messages, emails, and communications “from concerned citizens, mostly parents in opposition to this nomination.”

Full Letter here and below.

State Board of Education Consultation Letter to Governor Sununu

Senator Hassan Participates in Floor Debate in Opposition to Betsy DeVos’s Nomination

Senator Highlighted Stories of Granite Staters Concerned with Mrs. DeVos’s Nomination 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan participated in the floor debate on Betsy DeVos’s nomination, highlighting that Mrs. DeVos is completely unqualified and unprepared to serve as Secretary of Education. 

“All public officials – regardless of their party affiliation – should share a reverence for the importance of public education to our country’s success, both now and into the future. And they must show a commitment to enforcing our laws so that all students have the opportunity to succeed. I agree with my colleagues that Mrs. DeVos has not shown a commitment to, or an understanding of, these principles – and that is why I oppose her nomination,” said Senator Hassan today in comments delivered on the Senate floor.

Senator Hassan stressed Mrs. DeVos’ lack of experience with public education, as well as her support for diverting taxpayer dollars to private schools without accountability requirements, which would undermine efforts to ensure that every child has access to the education they need to be competitive and successful leaders in the 21st century economy.

“Mrs. DeVos demonstrated a complete lack of experience in, knowledge of and support for public education. She was unable to address basic issues that any New Hampshire school board member could discuss fluently,” Senator Hassan said.

Senator Hassan also highlighted the stories of the thousands of constituents who have reached out to her office expressing fear for what Mrs. DeVos’s confirmation would mean for their families, saying, “Mrs. DeVos’s unfamiliarity with IDEA, her comments on students with disabilities was something my office heard about often from Granite State parents who contacted the office with concerns about her nomination.” 

Senator Hassan spoke of a constituent from Concord who said she was feeling “vulnerable” about the future of her stepdaughter, who experiences both physical and cognitive disabilities, as a result of Mrs. DeVos’s nomination.  

“Parents across our nation deserve to know that the rights of their children will be protected – and they are rightfully concerned with Mrs. DeVos’s nomination,” Senator Hassan stated.

Shaheen Reads Letters From Granite State Parents And Educators Who Oppose Betsy DeVos’ Nomination

SHAHEEN: Because Betsy DeVos does not understand these basic truths about education in America, because she is driven by an ideological hostility to our public schools, she is the wrong person to serve as our Secretary of Education.”

Shaheen’s office has received more than 4,000 letters and emails, nearly all opposing DeVos, and 1,405 calls in opposition to her nomination

Watch Here

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor today in opposition of President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. “I value public schools as one of our nation’s bedrock civic and democratic institutions,” Shaheen said. “[Public schools] provide the best opportunity for kids from all walks of life to get a quality education. And they pass on to each new generation – including children of immigrants – America’s shared ideals and values. Regrettably, after careful study of Ms. DeVos’s record as an activist, I have concluded that she does not agree with this view of our public schools.”

“Given her past record, it makes no sense to put Ms. DeVos in charge of the Department of Education unless the aim is to devalue, defund, and perhaps eventually destroy our public schools,” Shaheen stated. “And I think that is unacceptable.”

On the Senate floor, Shaheen looked back on her own education and how she benefitted from public schools spanning grade school to higher education. She also cited her background as a public school teacher in Mississippi and New Hampshire, as well as her experience both as a parent and as New Hampshire’s governor.

 Shaheen drew attention to the heightened interest among constituents on DeVos’ nomination, saying her “office has been inundated with letters, emails, and phone calls strongly opposing the DeVos nomination.” Shaheen’s office has received more than 4,000 letters and emails from Granite Staters, and almost all of them oppose this nomination, in addition to 1,405 calls in opposition, with only three phone calls in support.

Shaheen read letters from Granite State educators, parents and concerned constituents that her office received opposing Ms. DeVos’ nomination. Megan, a social studies teacher, wrote: “Mrs. DeVos clearly lacks even a basic understanding of federal education policy, laws, and instructional practices. She has no relevant experience. There is just no way I would ever be certified to instruct students in New Hampshire if I lacked as much knowledge and experience in my field.  But she gets to be the nation’s chief educator.  How is this good for kids?” 

Referencing Ms. DeVos’ unawareness of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Shaheen read a letter from a parent in Western New Hampshire who wrote, “As the parent of a daughter with Down syndrome, I fear for the future of IDEA if DeVos is in charge.”

“What Ms. DeVos fails to understand is that quality education has nothing to do with whether a school is public or private,” concluded Shaheen. “What counts are high-quality teachers, support from parents and communities, facilities where kids can enjoy learning and be safe, rigorous academic standards, and the resources to make sure that children can get the learning that they need, including individualized assistance to kids with special needs. What counts is the political and budgetary commitment to create high-quality schools in every neighborhood, regardless of zip code.”

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