Education & Workforce Development

“Every child deserves the opportunity to receive a high-quality, public K-12 education that will help them compete in the 21st century innovation economy. We also must ensure that students can get a post-secondary education that prepares them for their future career without taking on massive debt – whether it be at a job training or apprenticeship program, a two- or four-year college, or graduate studies.” Senator Hassan 

As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan is focused on supporting access to affordable, quality early childhood education, strong K-12 public schools, and accessible and affordable career training and higher education opportunities.

New Hampshire’s low unemployment rate presents a challenge to innovation-based businesses who are struggling to hire the skilled workers that they need. To address this challenge, Senator Hassan is working to strengthen job training, expand career pathway programs, and create stronger partnerships between education and training systems and innovative businesses.

Senator Hassan recognizes that today’s students face a number of challenges that may impede their pursuit of education. She introduced the bipartisan Gateway to Careers Act to support career pathway strategies – which combine work, education, and support services – to help individuals earn the credentials that businesses look for during the hiring process. Senator Hassan is also working to secure additional federal funding to integrate high-quality career and technical education programs into high schools to better prepare students for their future careers.

Students who choose to pursue higher education too often find themselves burdened by massive amounts of student debt, which can affect the choices that they make about their future – from where to work and live, to whether to pursue an advanced degree. To help relieve this burden, Senator Hassan is working to reduce interest rates for borrowers by allowing those with outstanding student debt to refinance their student loans. She is also working to expand the reach of federal student aid dollars, including allowing Pell Grants to be used for short-term job training programs and increasing the maximum Pell Grant.

Senator Hassan has consistently fought to expand access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education and to assist more families with rising child care expenses. She is a cosponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would ensure that low- and middle-income families do not pay more than seven percent of their income for childcare. The bill would also ensure that all three and four year olds have access to high quality pre-school, including access to more supports for children who experience disabilities. Additionally, Senator Hassan has helped successfully secure increased funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant and Head Start Programs, and she will continue advocating for these vital programs.

Senator Hassan is also working to ensure that students – including veterans and service members – are not taken advantage of by predatory for-profit colleges that engage in unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent practices. To safeguard students and taxpayers from anti-student higher education practices, Senator Hassan introduced the PROTECT Students Act which would put in place common-sense consumer protections – such as providing loan forgiveness when a higher education institutions closes unexpectedly and holding job training programs accountable for job placement and earnings outcomes – to help ensure that higher education meets the needs of hard-working students.

Additionally, Senator Hassan recognizes the importance of supporting our K-12 public education system, which is essential to ensuring that every child, no matter his or her circumstances, has the chance to learn, grow, and lead. Senator Hassan has strongly opposed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s massive proposed cuts to the Department of Education and her efforts to implement a voucher system that would divert taxpayer dollars to private, religious, and for-profit schools without requirements for accountability.

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