Tina Smith

United States Senator for Minnesota


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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 Educators Can Now Take Steps So They Will Not Be Forced

To Foot Bill for Thousands in Grants Unfairly Converted to Loans   

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/10/18]–Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement after the Education Department announced it will be instituting a process to help teachers who have been unfairly forced to repay thousands of dollars after grants they received were later, and often erroneously, converted to loans.

Senator’s Measure Would Help Communities, Families, Businesses Cope with Growing Child Care Shortages

WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/01/18]—After hearing from families, business, and community leaders across Minnesota throughout this year, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) has introduced legislation to address the growing child care shortage across the state.

Senator Urges Secretary DeVos to Abandon Plan to Strip “Gainful Employment” Rule, Which Helps Protect Students From Expensive and Low-Quality Career Training Programs  

WASHINGTON, D.C. [08/02/18]—U.S Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is pressing for new legislation to make sure students in schools across the nation are able to access the mental health services they need, where they are.

Her Provisions Will Help Prepare Students

For 21st Century Jobs, Help Address Nation’s “Skills Gap”

WASHINGTON, D.C [07/31/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s (D-Minn.) priorities to expand workforce development were signed into law by the President today.

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

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 [07/09/18]—Today, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—a member of the Senate Education Committee—introduced legislation to help schools in Minnesota and across the country fill their growing need for STEM and special education teachers, to give rural districts resources to overcome teacher shortages, and to develop a more-diverse teacher workforce in the nation’s schools.

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. 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

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