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Shaheen, Hassan Meet with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to Discuss COVID Relief for NH Families & Funding to Safely Reopen Schools

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) met with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at the White House ahead of the First Lady’s visit to the Christa McAuliffe elementary school in New Hampshire later this afternoon. They discussed how the American Rescue Plan will help families recover from the economic and public health crisis, and how the education funding in the package will help New Hampshire schools more fully and safely reopen.

“I was honored to meet with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden ahead of her visit to New Hampshire to discuss the top issues facing Granite State families amid the pandemic. I’m excited for Dr. Biden to visit the Christa McAuliffe elementary school, and appreciated the opportunity to share with her what Christa means to Granite Staters and how we’ve worked to carry on her legacy. In fact, today is the first day that commemorative coins in her honor will be shipped out, of which the proceeds will be invested in STEM education. Dr. Biden’s visit today is a fitting tribute to Christa, whose presence and mission lives on in New Hampshire students and teachers,” said Shaheen. “As a former teacher, I especially appreciated Dr. Biden’s shared perspective around how the American Rescue Plan will help communities safely reopen schools and invest in broadband for virtual learning, so our kids don’t fall further behind. We also discussed the robust federal relief heading to New Hampshire’s families, small businesses, hospitals and organizations on the frontlines of this crisis – from stimulus checks and nutritional assistance to funding for the vaccine rollout. I appreciate Dr. Biden’s collaboration on the range of issues facing Granite Staters as we confront the worst economic and public health crisis of our lifetime, and I’ll keep working with the White House to ensure New Hampshire has the resources needed to recover and rebuild.”

“I appreciated discussing the American Rescue Plan with the First Lady and what it means for Granite State families and small businesses,” said Hassan. “Ahead of the First Lady’s visit to Christa McAuliffe School, we talked about Christa McAuliffe’s remarkable legacy and our efforts to invest in STEM education through the commemorative coin that honors her. We also spoke about how the resources that are headed to New Hampshire will help schools fully reopen, as well as address learning loss and social and emotional challenges associated with the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan provides the resources to help schools get students back to in-person learning full time as quickly and safely as possible, which will help our students, parents, and economy begin to recover from this pandemic.”

Shaheen led the bipartisan legislation that is now law with Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Hassan to create the commemorative coin in honor of Christa McAuliffe, the Concord teacher who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. The commemorative coin is available for pre-order, and proceeds will promote American commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Shaheen has also reintroduced her legislation, the Emergency Support for STEM Act, to provide $200 million to respond to the extreme challenges that COVID-19 has created for STEM education.

The American Rescue Plan includes significant funding to New Hampshire to help schools safely reopen and support students. It also includes Senator Hassan’s amendment to require schools receiving these funds to develop and make public reopening plans, as well as dedicated funding that Senator Hassan helped secure for students who experience disabilities.