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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Washington, DC —Last night, Rep. Ron Kind voted to support the year-end package that included a number of priorities he has worked on for Wisconsin families.
La Crosse, WI —Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced close to $2,000,000 in grants to support telehealth services and distance learning in Wisconsin. The grants, approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, were awarded to St. Vincent Hospital and the HSHS System to help purchase telehealth equipment and expand access to services and to Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 10 to upgrade schools' distance learning technology and provide resources to help overcome disparities experienced by rural school districts.
Washington, DC —Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SWWRPC) were selected to receive a highly competitive federal grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
La Crosse, WI – Today, Rep. Ron Kind held a press conference with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden and Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) President Ron “Duff” Martin to discuss available federal and state educational resources to help teachers, parents, and students.
La Crosse, WI – Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced legislation to ensure college students and adult dependents are eligible to receive federal relief funding in the form of direct payments. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, most families will receive an economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
Washington, DC—Yesterday, the Trump Administration released its proposal for the 2021 budget. The President’s budget proposes cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as well as continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act. The budget also includes the elimination of subsidized student loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Rep. Kind released the following statement:
Washington, DC— Rep. Ron Kind released the following statement after attending the President’s State of the Union address tonight:
“America is at its best when we work together, across party lines to get things done. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make prescription drugs more affordable, lower health care costs, invest in our country’s infrastructure, and increase access to affordable, high-speed internet for rural areas.
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted to overturn Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s rewritten borrower defense rule which gutted essential protections for student borrowers and taxpayers.
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation that will reauthorize a grant program to encourage careers in realtime writing and court reporting. In 2007, Rep. Kind introduced the Training for Realtime Writers Act, which was passed and signed into law as part of the Higher Education Act of 2008.
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind cosponsored the Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow students to use federal Pell Grants—needs-based grants for low-income and working students--to pay for short-term job training programs. The JOBS Act would remove the financial burden of job training programs so that students are able to afford high-quality short-term job training programs and ready to enter the job market with the skills that are in demand.