ANDALUSIA — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) visited Andalusia Elementary School for her 109th “Cheri-on-Shift” as a school principal. The Congresswoman was joined by Principal Mike Ruff to show support for teachers and educational leaders as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s wonderful to see students back in the classroom and interacting in-person after more than a year of remote learning. I’m thankful to Andalusia Elementary School Principal Dr. Mike Ruff for the opportunity to visit with students, teachers and staff today to learn more about the steps our local schools are taking to keep folks safe and healthy,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “I also heard a great deal about the challenges schools in our region face. From severe staffing shortages to supply chain issues impacting school lunch deliveries, we have a lot to do to ensure our children’s needs are met.”
During her visit, Congresswoman Bustos had the opportunity to discuss the issues many schools across Northwest and Central Illinois continue to face in the midst of the global pandemic, including shortages of teachers, school bus drivers and support staff.
Earlier this year, Bustos reintroduced her Retaining Educators Takes Added Investment Now (RETAIN) Act, which would create a fully refundable tax credit for teachers, paraprofessionals, mental health providers and school leaders in Title I schools and educators, program providers and program directors in Head Start, Early Head Start and Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funded early childhood education programs.