Sen. Susan Collins says whether to reopen schools state, local decision

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 11:40 PM EDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Sen. Susan Collins toured a southern Maine elementary school on Thursday and called for the federal government to allocate more money to help schools reopen.

Collins also distanced herself from President Donald Trump’s threat to defund schools that don’t reopen this fall.

"I am completely opposed to any withholding of federal funding to schools, for what may be very good reasons, choose not to reopen,” Collins said.

While visiting Hollis Elementary School, she was briefed by school officials and saw their preparations first-hand, whether that is a full reopening, continued remote learning or a hybrid.

"The decision on whether to not to open schools has to be made by a state-by-state, even a district-by-district, decision," Collins said.

Collins said federal coronavirus aid to Maine so far included $44 million to help K-12 schools with cleaning, construction, transportation and personnel.

"I certainly hope that as many schools in Maine as possible are able to at least partially reopen," Collins said.

Besides schools, Collins was asked about the federal boost to unemployment benefits that expire at the end of July.

She said she opposes the extra $600 per week because it has meant some people are making more money not working than going back to work.

"What employers are telling me is that some of their employees are better off and make more money receiving unemployment compensation than returning to work," Collins said.

Legislation to extend the extra $600 in unemployment benefits for six months has passed the House. The Senate will consider the bill after the July 4 recess ends.

Latest News

Latest News