With an opponent supported by millions of dollars from a DeVos family-funded super PAC, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters says he has appreciated the support of MEA in this “election of a lifetime.”
“Everybody who cares deeply about public education has to know that all of the issues we care about and fought for over many years are on the ballot this year, and we’ve got to make sure we get out and vote and make a difference,” he told MEA members who joined a Teletown Hall on Wednesday night.
Peters acknowledged the difficult conditions that educators are facing in doing their work amid a global pandemic, and reiterated his support for the House-passed Heroes Act which would help schools avoid budget cuts at a time when needs are increasing.
“I know all of you have an incredibly tough job in normal circumstances—these are clearly extraordinary,” he said. “I know what you’re going through and what your families are going through.”
Lawmakers knew that passing the CARES Act early in the pandemic would not address all of the economic and budgetary fallout from the deadly coronavirus, he said. However, this week President Donald Trump shut down negotiations over further relief spending.
“The Republicans and (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell refuse to bring the bill up, refuse to provide the additional funds necessary to help all of you do your jobs.”
After his opening remarks, Peters answered questions on a range of topics, from the debate over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to the work of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary, Trump’s undermining of the U.S. Postal Service, and how federal funding could be used to support public education.