WTVR: Rep. Spanberger hosts telephone town hall to discuss COVID-19 challenges

WTVR, TRACY SEARS

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger hosted a telephone town hall with local superintendents, higher education administrators, and government officials to discuss the challenges facing Central Virginia students, families, and teachers as a result of COVID-19.

The congressional representative says more than 4,800 people listened in on the meeting.

Holly Coy, Deputy Secretary of Education, Office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; Dr. Tomikia LeGrande, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, Virginia Commonwealth University; Dr. Paula Pando, President, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College; Dr. Mervin Daugherty, Superintendent, Chesterfield County Public Schools; and Dr. Amy Cashwell, Superintendent, Henrico County Public Schools all participated in Wednesday’s call.

“Our district’s schools have adapted to this unprecedented crisis and have worked tirelessly to ensure all students receive the education they deserve, but COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty for Central Virginia students, parents, and schools. I’ve had many conversations with parents and teachers about the stressful situations caused by this pandemic, and as a mom of three kids, I recognize the hardships that many families are facing as they balance school, work responsibilities, and health concerns,” said Spanberger.

“Last night’s telephone town hall was an opportunity to connect parents and teachers to useful information and resources that can help them through this difficult time. I’d like to thank those who participated in our event, and I’ll keep working to make sure all Central Virginia students have access to an education that will put them on a pathway to success.”

The meeting was Spanberger’s third telephone town hall since the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States. Earlier this month, she hosted a telephone town hall with representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, and the Office of the Governor of Virginia.

During the forum, Spanberger and her guests answered questions directly from Central Virginians about the immediate economic impacts of COVID-19 on Central Virginia workers and small businesses, as well as the resources currently available to them.

Spanberger is calling for robust funding for the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program in upcoming coronavirus emergency packages. She says with this investment, rural schools and libraries could extend high-speed internet access to students facing connectivity issues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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