Tester, Collins Join Nationwide #PublicSchoolsWeek Celebration

Thousands Take to Social Media to Explain Why They #LovePublicEducation

(U.S. Senate) – From March 12-16, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are joining students, teachers, and administrators from across the country to celebrate #PublicSchoolsWeek, a nationwide initiative to highlight the importance of America’s public education system.

“I’m a former public school student, teacher, and school board member,”
said Tester. “My mother was a teacher, my aunt was a teacher, and my daughter is now a teacher. They all either taught or currently teach at public schools. Our public education system is – and this cannot be argued – the foundation of our democracy. So this week we are celebrating the successes of Montana’s public schools and sharing stories about the power of public education.”

“During my Senate service, I have had the pleasure of visiting more than 200 schools throughout my home State of Maine, and I have seen an inspiring commitment to excellence that is shared by dedicated educators and staff, involved family and community members, and enthusiastic students,”
said Collins. “Public schools have had a profound impact on our nation’s history and continue to shape our future, as they both inspire students and give them tools to achieve their dreams. This week we recognize the nearly 100,000 public schools across America that play a vital role in shaping the lives of our nation’s youth.”

Tester and Collins are the Senate Co-Chairs of #PublicSchoolsWeek, along with Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.). AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is leading efforts across the country to recognize Public Schools Week.

“Communities are stronger and schools are better when we work in unison to support them and the axis of that support is public education,” said Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association. “There is no better time than now to speak out about the outstanding contributions made by our public schools. With the mounting changes in the education landscape, Public Schools Week creates a platform for Americans to express their feelings toward public school systems and why their success is a key determinant when it comes to our country’s future.”

Folks from Nebraska to Alabama to Pennsylvania took to social media to celebrate #PublicSchoolsWeek, posting messages of appreciation for teachers, students, and administrators. Some folks wore red and others held special events to celebrate the week. Tester also joined in, posting an old yearbook photo with the hashtag #LovePublicEducation.

In addition to making noise on social media, Tester introduced two pieces of legislation-the NURSE Act and the IDEA Full Funding Act-and held a press conference with his fellow #PublicSchoolsWeek Co-Chairs.