Both candidates have a proven track record supporting students, educators and families
NEA-New Hampshire supports candidates that will vote to fund public education, defend the collective bargaining rights of working people and make certain that every child in NH receives a quality education. Both Shea-Porter and Kuster have been consistent in their support of New Hampshire students, educators and middle-class families.
First Congressional District: Carol Shea-Porter
“Knowledge is power, and education is the key to prosperity—everyone knows it,” says Shea-Porter.
She believes the recent trend of slashing school budgets is shortsighted thinking that will result in an even greater long-term problem. “Money alone won’t solve all of our problems. But to cut funding when we’re already in a very precarious state defies logic and reminds me of the old and wise saying: ‘Penny-wise, pound-foolish.’”
“In the 113th Congress, I led a bipartisan fight to restore the modest tax deduction for teachers’ classroom supplies expenses that Republican Leadership allowed to expire. But we need to do much more.”
Shea-Porter’s education platform starts with the belief that every child in New Hampshire, from a Head Start toddler to a graduating high school senior, deserves a first-class education. “Then, after high school, our kids should have the option to continue their education at a university, community college, vocational or trade school, without being burdened with insurmountable debt, which is why I favor debt-free post-secondary education.”
The student debt crisis has hit our state hard. New Hampshire students graduate with an average of $33,410 in debt—the second-worst in the nation. “I was an original cosponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would treat student loans like any other loan by allowing refinancing. Back in 2010, I helped write and pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which switched wasteful subsidized private loans over to direct loans, taking out the middleman and making loans more affordable and secure.”
She believes to keep students from having to take out huge loans in the first place, we need to control the cost of college. “I’ve always been a strong advocate for Pell Grants. The House passed my amendment that ended up increasing Pell Grant funding.”
“One of my proudest moments in public service was when our Conference Committee completed the reauthorization of Head Start,” said Shea-Porter. “I will always defend investments in education because they are investments in our children’s future, our economy’s future, and our nation’s future.”
Second Congressional District: Ann McLane Kuster
“As the mother of two college-age sons, I am acutely aware that the high cost of education is one of the biggest problems facing young people and their families,” said Kuster. “In order to address rising education costs, we must continue to maintain low interest rates for federal student loans and protect funding for Pell Grants. While Congress needs to cut spending, our nation must not reduce its budget deficit on the backs of America’s students.”
Kuster believes education and innovation are vital engines of a successful economy and every child should have the opportunity to receive high quality education. “To meet the challenges of the 21st century economy, our students must also have opportunities to learn practical skills, especially in cutting-edge fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). I am committed to finding bipartisan solutions that will strengthen U.S. leadership in science research, support career technical education, foster innovation in our workforce, and help create good, middle-class jobs through investments in education.”
Kuster is taking the following steps to better prepare our students and workers for jobs in the 21st Century economy:
Encouraging Public-Private Partnerships: To bring people together to improve workforce readiness, I introduced the Workforce Development Investment Act (H.R. 1747), a bill that would provide tax incentives to businesses that partner with community colleges and other educational institutions to improve job training for students.
Keeping Higher Education Affordable. “I am committed to protecting our students and middle-class families from the rising cost of college and student loan interest rates. To keep quality education within reach for middle-class families, I cosponsored the Student Loan Relief Act (H.R. 1595) to extend affordable interest rates for Stafford Student Loans. I also helped pass into law a permanent, bipartisan compromise to help keep college affordable.”
Investing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education. “I am committed to improving the quality of education, especially Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and early childhood education. To that end, I helped introduce the Academic Competition Resolution of 2013 (H.Res. 77), which would establish an annual academic competition in the STEM fields to be held among students nationwide.” This bipartisan bill passed the House with overwhelming support.
Ending Abusive Restraint and Seclusion in School. “I am a cosponsor of the Keeping Kids Safe Act (H.R. 1893), a bill to protect students from the abusive use of restraint and seclusion in school. This important legislation establishes a minimum standard of protections in U.S. schools, similar to those already in place in medical and community-based facilities. I also offered an amendment to add these important reforms to legislation reforming No Child Left Behind.”