Podcast: U.S. Rep. Trahan Says Congress Must Do More to Help with School Reopening Costs

Congresswoman Lori Trahan at a Haverhill Democratic City Committee event in 2018. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan is back in Washington this week on a mission to help with the reopening of schools this fall.

Trahan was a guest yesterday on WHAV’s morning program. She says she believes federal lawmakers have to do more than what they have already done. She says it shouldn’t fall exclusively on cities and towns to foot the bill for reopening the schools with COVID-19 protocols in place—she feels the costs need to be shared across all levels of government to keep students safe

“A couple of months ago we passed the Heroes Act which provided $90 billion in funding to be distributed to states so that they can stabilize their K-12 schools and their colleges. In Massachusetts we would receive an additional $1.5 billion in funding, which is really what’s needed,” said Trahan.

Trahan says lawmakers envision a mix of learning environments this fall.

“The governor’s office has mandated a minimum three-foot physical distance. It’s sound, based on the World Health Organization guidance, but it’s going to be difficult to manage and process due to the fact that many of our schools were crowded long before COVID-19. We need to make sure we help out with the funding mechanism so that schools can upgrade their facilities for students to continue their education safely and then certainly monitoring the metrics that we’ve been using for the reopening so we can determine how those classrooms look and if it’s safe for teachers, workers, and I think most importantly from what we’re doing in Washington is providing the funding so that our school districts can make those really important decisions,” she said.

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