Tina Smith

United States Senator for Minnesota

Education

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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. A high-quality education system enables people of all ages and from all backgrounds to reach their full potential, support their families with good-paying jobs, and become well informed and engaged citizens. Schools help keep our economy and our communities strong.   

 

That’s why, as Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, Sen. Smith helped make all-day kindergarten accessible to every child in Minnesota and expanded early childhood programs. And as Senator, she’s committed to addressing the high cost of higher education and the burden of student debt. As a member of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Smith will work on these issues and other priorities for Minnesota’s students and their families.

 

Sen. Smith believes that every young person has a right to a high-quality K-12 education. That starts with addressing the teacher shortage, particularly in rural areas and in STEM and technical education fields, and ensuring that K-12 teachers have the support they need to be successful in the classroom.

 

When it comes to higher education, Sen. Smith believes that people should not have to take on excessive amounts of debt to further their education.  Yet, the average debt for students graduating from a four-year college in Minnesota is $31,000. That’s not fair to students, and it’s slowing down our economy. It also prevents many low-income and middle class students from even seeking degrees.

 

But not every person aspires to earn a 4-year degree—nor should they. Sen. Smith believes strongly that we need to increase our investments in Career and Technical Education and vocational training.  Not only will this help more young people gain good-paying jobs, it will also help address the “skills gap,” ensuring that employers can find employees with the right training.

 

Sen. Smith is also committed to addressing the opportunity gaps that prevent too many students from reaching their full potential. And believes that we need to do everything we can to ensure that every student—including LGBTQ youth—feels safe in the classroom.  Furthermore, as Minnesota continues to become more diverse, Sen. Smith believes we need to invest in high-quality English Language Learner programs and other initiatives that support new Minnesotans as they become members of our communities.

 

Finally, Sen. Smith understands that many barriers to education occur outside the classroom.  Things like access to childcare, transportation, or housing can impact whether a student is successful in school.  And she believes we should support schools in helping more students overcome these barriers. 

Press Releases

Senator Says Students Need to Know More Affordable, Less Risky Options

Are Often Available to Students Borrowing to Pay College Costs 

 

Her New Bill Would Help Rural Schools Attract Teachers, Fund Efforts to Recruit and Retain STEM, Special Education Educators, Diversify Nation’s Teacher Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C [06/27/18]—U.S Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn) said today that a bipartisan measure she helped push through the Senate Education Committee will help schools in Minnesota and across the country better prepare students for 21st century jobs.

The bill, which passed unanimously Tuesday, would modernize the current Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act to better provide students with technical training and workforce skills.

Higher Education Mental Health Commission Act Would Study How Best to Meaningfully Help College Students in Minnesota, Across Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/21/2018]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—a member of the Senate Health Committee—helped introduce legislation in order to better address the increasing number of students with mental health concerns at colleges and universities across the country.

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/14/18]–Today, Senator Tina Smith pressed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for action for teachers who are unfairly being forced to repay thousands of dollars for funds originally promised as grants.

WWASHINGTON, D.C. [05/25/18]—U.S Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) joined 28 of her colleagues in condemning Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ dismantling of a crucial office designed to protect students against predatory practices by for-profit colleges.

Senator Urges Department of Education to Follow Through with $5 Million in Open College Textbook Grants

U.S. Senator Tina Smith is urging the Department of Education to start disbursing millions in funding she helped secure for open college textbooks—which allow professors, students, and researchers to freely access otherwise costly materials.

Senator Highlights Need to Help Parents in Minnesota and Across Nation Access Childcare, Including Student Parents Working to Attain College Degree or Workforce Training Program

U.S. Senator Tina Smith recently launched her “Childcare Access and Affordability” listening sessions across Minnesota, and back in Washington, she’s taking what she’s learning from the state to work on behalf of parents who are attending higher education but lack access to adequate child care options.

Bill Would Allow Millions of Americans to Refinance Student Loans at Lower Rates

U.S. Senator Tina Smith has thrown her support behind a proposal to help tens of millions of student loan borrowers in Minnesota and around the country lower their monthly debt burden.

Washington, D.C. Office

309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5641
 

State Offices

Moorhead Office
819 Center Avenue
Suite 2A
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: (218) 284-8721
 

Duluth Office
515 W 1st Street
Suite 104
Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 722-2390
 

State Offices

Saint Paul
60 Plato Blvd. East
Suite 220
Saint Paul, MN 55107
Phone: (651) 221-1016
 

Rochester
1202-1/2 7th Street NW
Suite 213
Rochester, MN  55901
Phone: (507) 288-2003