Education

Senator Smith believes that a strong public education system, from early childhood to higher education, is one of the most important investments we can make, because education has the power to change lives. A high-quality education empowers and creates opportunity, allowing people to reach their full potential, support their families with good-paying jobs, and become well informed and engaged citizens.

Education provides a strong foundation for our economy and our communities, and it starts with the littlest kids and learners. Senator Smith has worked in response to the childcare shortages in Minnesota, she’s a proud supporter of legislation to provide high-quality affordable childcare to all parents, to support childcare providers, and boost supply in Minnesota.

Sen. Smith believes that every young person has a right to a high-quality K-12 education. She’s introduced legislation to address teacher shortages, particularly in rural areas, hard to staff subject areas, and to help improve teacher workforce diversity. She’s heard again and again from teachers about the challenges their students are facing and so she has championed several measures to support student mental health needs and well-being. When it comes to higher education, Sen. Smith believes that college has become unaffordable for too many. She finds it troubling that the average debt for students graduating from a four-year college in Minnesota is $31,000. She believes we need to rethink this system because it’s not fair to students, and it’s getting so that it is even slowing down our economy.

But Senator Smith also understands that ‘higher education’ doesn’t always mean a 4-year degree. Sen. Smith strongly believes that we need to increase our investments in two-year community and technical colleges, and workforce education overall to ensure that students are well-prepared to meet workforce needs. This type of education will help students obtain the in-demand skills that will help them land good-paying jobs that employers are hiring for now, not in the distant future.

Sen. Smith is also committed to addressing the opportunity gaps that prevent too many students from reaching their full potential. She believes that means ensuring that every student, from LGBTQ youth, to those struggling with a challenging home life, mental health issues, or immigrant Minnesotans’ has the support they need to succeed.

Finally, Sen. Smith understands that outside the classroom our kids are facing many barriers and she strongly supports reforming and expanding the Child Tax Credit to invest in children and reduce child poverty in Minnesota and across the nation.

Latest Releases

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding For Projects Benefiting Moorhead and Surrounding Areas

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting Moorhead and surrounding areas. These projects will help boost entrepreneurship, mitigate flooding in the Red River, increase access to affordable child care and expand economic opportunities for veterans, servicemembers and their families.  “From support for small businesses and flood prevention infrastructure in the Red River Valley to increasing affordable child care access and providing career pathways for veterans and service members, these projects will help address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to push for this funding, and I know that these resources will make a real difference for so many communities across Moorhead and the surrounding areas,” said Klobuchar.  Fargo-Moorhead is an economic and educational hub in Minnesota and these projects are going to make a real, positive impact for the people who call this area home,” said Smith. “From supporting our littlest learners at the Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club, to connecting servicemembers and veterans to higher education and workforce opportunities, boosting community entrepreneurship, and making important flood mitigation improvements, these investments are going to be transformational for the Fargo-Moorhead community. I’m proud of the work we did to secure this funding.” Klobuchar and Smith have secured federal resources to further the following priorities: Boosting entrepreneurship: $1 million to establish a City of Moorhead Community Center for

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Federal Funding for Projects Benefiting Twin Cities and Surrounding Areas

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. These projects will bolster the region’s infrastructure, help expand health care access and upgrade health care facilities, address affordable housing needs, and improve public safety.  “From making infrastructure improvements to expanding access to health care and affordable housing, these projects will help address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to secure these funding commitments, and I know that these resources will make a real difference for so many communities across the Twin Cities and surrounding areas,” said Klobuchar.  “The best ideas come from the people living in communities across Minnesota. One of the best parts of my job is helping Minnesotan communities turn their dream projects into reality with federal support,” said Smith. “Health care, housing, education, and infrastructure all have daily impacts on the lives of Minnesotans. I’m proud of our work to secure these investments that will be transformational for people across our state.” Klobuchar and Smith have secured federal investments to further the following priorities: Bolstering infrastructure and community development: $7 million to replace the Eastbound Kellogg Boulevard Bridge in St. Paul with a new bridge system that includes multi-modal safety and access improvements; $5.04 million for Dakota County to design and reconstruct the I-35 and County Highway 50 Interchange; $5

U.S. Sens. Smith, Durbin, King, Sinema, Rep. Neguse Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Help Make College Textbooks More Affordable

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/10/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Angus King (I-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), along with U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO-02), introduced bicameral legislation designed to help students manage costs by making high quality textbooks easily accessible to students, professors, and the public for free. The legislation, known as the Affordable College Textbook Act, would authorize a competitive grant program to support the creation of and expand the use of open college textbooks—textbooks that are available under an open license, allowing professors, students, researchers, and others to freely access the materials.  Textbook costs are

U.S. Senators Tina Smith & John Thune’s Bill to Provide Financial Stability for Federally Impacted School Districts During COVID-19 Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, [1.21.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bipartisan legislation to help federally connected schools retain funding during the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law by President Biden. Smith and Thune’s Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act will allow school districts participating in the Impact Aid Program to use previously reported student headcounts on their Impact Aid applications for the 2022-2023 school year, ensuring that they do not need to recalculate federally connected students due to prolonged uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As the pandemic continues to hit many Minnesota school districts hard, it’s important

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown Press Largest Managers of Online Degree Programs to Answer for Concerning Business Practices

WASHINGTON, [1.18.22] – United States Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) wrote to the eight largest Online Program Management (OPM) companies — 2U, Academic Partnerships, Pearson, Wiley, Bisk, Kaplan, Grand Canyon, and Zovio — that administer online degree programs for many colleges and universities, raising concerns about their business practices and tuition-sharing arrangements that incentivize aggressive recruitment tactics and may be contributing to rising student debt loads.  “We continue to have concerns about the impact of OPM partnerships on rising student debt loads. The responses to our previous letters confirmed that OPMs often have tuition-sharing

U.S. Senators Tina Smith & John Thune’s Bill for Continued School Funding During COVID-19 Passes the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/14/21]—Yesterday, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bipartisan legislation to help schools retain federal funding during the COVID-19 pandemic passed in the Senate. Smith and Thune’s Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act will allow school districts participating in the Impact Aid Program to use previously reported student headcounts on their Impact Aid applications for the 2022-2023 school year, ensuring that they do not need to recalculate federally connected students due to prolonged uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As the pandemic continues to hit many Minnesota school districts hard, it’s important that districts receiving Impact Aid

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