Education at all levels is of vital importance to our country, and giving our students the tools they need to succeed has long been a mission of mine while serving in Congress. Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District is home to fourteen colleges and universities with more than 71,000 undergraduate students and over 120,000 students enrolled in K-12.
However, student loan debt is a serious problem. College grads in Wisconsin enter the job market with over $28,000 in debt, on average, and student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion nationally, which is higher than credit card debt and second only to homeowner mortgage debt. That’s why in early 2015 I introduced the College Affordability Action Plan to make sure hard working students and families have access to an affordable education. My strategy to help make college more affordable consists of five key principles:
- Making Sure Government Doesn’t Profit from Student Loans
- Allow Student Loans to Be Refinanced Like Mortgages
- Provide Tax Incentives to Address College Affordability
- Make Loan Payments Match Earnings
- Provide Pell Grants Year-Round
I believe that investing in higher education and helping more students afford college is one of the smartest decisions we can make as a nation. Every dollar we invest today will pay dividends down the road and help ensure that Wisconsin can compete in the global marketplace. For more information on my five principles, click here.
- Since kids perform better academically when they are active during the school day, I will continue to advocate for an increased focus on physical education in our schools. For more information on my work to fight childhood obesity and my FIT Kids Act specifically, click here.
- Another bill I was proud to introduce, the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act, provides incentives for states to develop action plans to connect children and families to the great outdoors. The proposal also creates a national strategy to increase outdoor activity and, through coordination with federal and local partners, further identify the health, conservation and other benefits of spending time outdoors.
- In June 2015, introduced a resolution to protect and commemorate the Wisconsin Idea as a fundamental part of the University of Wisconsin system. The Wisconsin Idea has been part of the fabric of our state for over 100 years. Generations of Wisconsinites have been guided by the values of giving back both inside and outside the classroom and fostering our students’ potential. Investing in higher education and helping foster the Wisconsin Idea is one of the smartest decisions we can make. Every dollar we invest today will pay dividends down the road and help ensure that Wisconsin can compete in the global marketplace.
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More on Education
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced the bipartisan Investing in 21st Century Schools Act, which renews a program that assists eligible Wisconsin schools with accessing funds to make needed improvements. These improvements could range from building a new curriculum to upgrading the facilities in order to give students the tools they need to get jobs.
La Crosse, WI – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind sent a letter urging the House Education Committee to pass his bill, the Pell Grant Funding Act, or include it in a comprehensive higher education bill. The bill requires the Secretary of Education to use the profits generated each year by the Federal Direct Loan Program to fund the Federal Pell Grant Program in the following year. Pell Grants are critical in helping rural students afford the education and training needed to compete for good paying jobs.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which will allow Wisconsinites with outstanding student loans to refinance their loans. Allowing refinancing of student loans was a key point in Rep. Kind’s 2017 Higher Education Action Plan.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the Promoting Education for Lifetime Learning (PELL) Grant Funding Act, which directs any profit the government makes from federal student loan programs into federal Pell Grants to ensure that the grants remain available to help Wisconsinites afford higher education.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced his Higher Education Action Plan during a meeting with students and leaders from Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Rep. Kind’s plan takes a comprehensive approach toward preparing Wisconsin students for success in their education program, ensuring they have access to affordable education, and creating the opportunity for them to get a job after they have earned their degree.
Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced the bipartisan Stop Taxing Death & Disability Act. This bill would put an end to the unfair practice of charging parents of deceased students’ taxes on any student loans that are forgiven.
Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind congratulated Cooperative Educational Service Agency 10, Workforce Connections, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Portage County, and Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Programs, Inc. on receiving federal grants to support their Foster Grandparent Program. The Foster Grandparent Program helps Wisconsin seniors stay active by volunteering to mentor local children and teens.
La Crosse, WI - Recently, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind co-sponsored the ACCESS Act to restore the year-round Pell Grant program. With many Wisconsin students choosing to take less traditional paths towards completing their education it is important to make sure they have the opportunity to access year-round Pell Grants.
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced bipartisan legislation to help Wisconsin families and students afford higher education. H.R. 529 works to expand the already existing tax-free college savings plan by adding new incentives for Wisconsinites to use them.
Village of Merrillan, WI – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind announces that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has awarded the Village of Merrillan a grant to assist in funding for Village departmental needs. The funds from the grant will be used for an enclosed mower with snow removal equipment, a new police squad vehicle, and a used fire engine.