CONCORD – Today, the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH) announced its endorsement of Governor Maggie Hassan for United States Senate. AFT-NH represents over 3,600 Granite Staters, including teachers, school support staff, police, higher education faculty, and town employees.
“I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire as we work to ensure that students have a strong education at all levels. Coming from a family of educators where a commitment to students runs deep, I understand how important it is to support students, teachers, and their families,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Unfortunately, Senator Kelly Ayotte has stood with her party leaders and special interest backers like the Koch Brothers in supporting reckless policies that would cut funding for K-12 education and make college more expensive for Granite State students. Education is essential to expanding economic opportunity and ensuring that all of our young people are equipped to compete in our changing global economy, and in the United States Senate I will fight to ensure that all students have access to a high quality education.”
“Throughout her time in office, Governor Maggie Hassan has demonstrated a deep commitment to fighting for students, teachers, and their families. Time and again, Governor Hassan has shown she can bring people together to get results for Granite State students, from K-12 all the way through higher education, and that is exactly the approach that she will take in the Senate,” said AFT-NH President Doug Ley. “Governor Hassan’s strong record in supporting our students stands in sharp contrast with Senator Kelly Ayotte, who has voted for policies that would slash school funding and make college more expensive. AFT-NH is proud to stand with Maggie, because we know that she will always stand with students and teachers in the Senate.”
At the K-12 level, Governor Maggie Hassan has fought to protect funding levels for New Hampshire’s public schools, launched a Science Technology Engineering and Math Task Force to modernize STEM education, developed a new program to partner manufacturing companies with local schools and led efforts to reduce standardized testing in favor of more locally managed assessments – a model that is expanding nationally based on New Hampshire’s success. Governor Hassan has also fought to make college more affordable for students and families while building a 21st century workforce pipeline for our businesses. Under Maggie’s leadership, New Hampshire froze in-state tuition at our universities for the first time in 25 years and reduced tuition at community colleges.
In the Senate, Governor Hassan will fight to expand early childhood education, focus on STEM and encourage more participation by girls and young women, give New Hampshire schools the flexibility to put federal dollars to the best possible use and continue the Granite State’s leadership in empowering local school districts, students and teachers. Maggie will also fight to expand Pell Grants, lower interest rates on student loans, allow borrowers to refinance at today’s lower rates and work toward the goal of debt-free public college for all. She will also work to expand apprenticeship opportunities and make federal higher education grants and loans more flexible to support adult workers who are learning new skills.
Meanwhile, Senator Kelly Ayotte has put her party leaders and special interests backers ahead of Granite State students. Senator Ayotte has said she would eliminate or drastically cut the Department of Education, and has sided with the Koch Brothers in supporting reckless budgets that included steep cuts to K-12 education and slashed funding for Pell Grants. Ayotte is also pushing a student loan bill that has been called a “sweetheart deal” for Wall Street.