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

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Announces Support of Bill to Rebuild 
America’s Schools and Create Nearly 2 Million Jobs

Senator Says Legislation Will Help Make Infrastructure Improvements to Schools in Rural and Urban Areas, Expand Access to Broadband

U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Works to Ensure Argosy University Students in Minnesota, Nationwide Receive the Assistance They Deserve
Senate Colleagues Demand Education Department Help Students Explore Options for Continuing Studies at High-Quality Institutions, Properly Distribute Student Loans

Approximately 1,000 Minnesotans will be affected by the shuttering of Argosy University’s Eagan Campus

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Senate Democrats Urge DeVos to Listen to Students and Survivors of Sexual Assault, Start Over on Title IX Rule
Joins Letter Stating DeVos’ Rule Would Weaken Student Protections and Allow Schools to Shirk Their Responsibility To Keep Students Safe 

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 



Washington, D.C. Office

720 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