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March 15, 2021

During South Jersey visit, Jill Biden promises safe reopening of schools

The first lady spoke in Burlington County in support of the 'American Rescue Plan'

First lady Jill Biden visited a school in Burlington County on Monday as part of the Biden administration's "Help is Here" tour aimed at promoting the president’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package which passed last week. 

Biden spoke at Samuel Smith Elementary School in Burlington City. The stop was the first on a tour promoting President Biden’s "American Rescue Act," which he signed into law on Thursday. 

"As a teacher for more than 30 years, there’s no place I feel more at home than in the classroom. I love being here at a school again," said Biden, who has a doctorate degree in education. She was born in Hammonton, New Jersey, and she had family in that area, but Biden spent most of her youth Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.

"This school, like schools across this country, can’t fully reopen without help. So today, I'm here to tell you, with the American Rescue Plan, help is here. We’re going to open schools and we’re going to do it safely," Biden said.

The first lady said the COVID-19 stimulus package's funding would help with safe reopening of schools. It has pledged to deliver more $130 billion to school districts nationwide. 

Biden said the American Rescue Plan would help ease some of the pandemic's pressures on families trying to balance their need to go to work while having children who are home doing remote learning.

"Even with our best efforts, students can't come in everyday, which means parents are still having to take time off of works or figure out childcare solutions. Like our schools, families need help too. They're hurting in ways that they've never felt before," the first lady said.

Other benefits included in the American Rescue Plan include the $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans and $350 billion in funding for state and local governments. 

New Jersey will get about $10 billion in aid from the COVID-19 relief package, of which about $3 billion will go directly to the state's municipalities.

Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, U.S. Rep Andy Kim and other politicians were in attendance for Biden's speech.

"Congressman Kim, and Senators Booker and Menendez, it's because of your hard work that we were able to rescue the country from this pandemic and begin rebuilding our communities," said FLOTUS.

Biden toured of Samuel Smith Elementary and was shown the COVID-19 mitigation measures the school is using to reopen safely, according to the Burlington County Times.

The second stop on the "Help is Here" tour will be lead by President Joe Biden, who is visiting Delaware County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

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