We are responding to state Sen. Ruth Ward’s recent letter to The Sentinel (“School reopenings: costs and choices,” Aug. 20) criticizing public school for being cautious about reopening in this time of pandemic.

With all due respect, Sen. Ward displays such ignorance and bias against public education that we were reminded why we support Jenn Alford-Teaster for the N.H. Senate. Ruth Ward refers to “government schools” — apparently forgetting that public schools are supervised by elected members of their local community — and criticizes them for seeking state guidance about when and how to reopen safely. Rather than seriously address that question, Ward goes on a digression about “school choice” and privatization plans.

Jenn Alford-Teaster understands that the vast majority of New Hampshire children are in public schools and that it’s incumbent upon us to make sure they are getting a good education and also staying safe. Our public schools are spending a lot of time trying to figure out what will work for them given their specific circumstances and asking for some guidance from the state is the right thing to do, since the state has epidemiologists and other science-based resources that can lead to safe decision-making.

Jenn Alford-Teaster, in contrast, has been a strong advocate for public education. She knows that our public schools promote the common good and a vibrant society. We support her because we believe that public schools — and a quality education for all our children — are a cornerstone of our democracy.



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