Senator Shaheen is committed to improving education for New Hampshire students. As a former Dover school teacher, Shaheen understands that a high-quality public education is essential for America’s children. She believes that every child must have the education and skills necessary to compete in the global economy.
As Governor and State Senator, Shaheen made it a priority to strengthen New Hampshire’s schools. She continues that work in the United States Senate and is committed to strengthening our public education system to ensure that every child is prepared to succeed in the 21st century economy.
Innovation Education: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Senator Shaheen believes that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are central to U.S. economic competitiveness and growth. To keep our workforce competitive and our students educated, Senator Shaheen has led and supported numerous pieces of legislation that invest in STEM education, including her provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act that were signed into law. Senator Shaheen believes that by providing students opportunities for hands-on learning and by connecting them with well trained teachers and community mentors in the field, we can foster innovation and inspire young people to pursue careers in the STEM fields.
Early Childhood Education
Senator Shaheen has long made it a priority to expand opportunities for young children to receive high-quality educational opportunities. As Governor, she successfully expanded public kindergarten throughout the state. To increase awareness about the importance of early learning, she launched a comprehensive statewide campaign that brought the business community to the table for the first time and formed the Business Partners for Early Learning. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has been a champion for funding to support early education and child care in the Senate. She has led efforts in Congress to assist the child care sector, which has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. In the emergency COVID-19 relief legislation that passed Congress and was signed into law in 2020, as well as in the American Rescue Plan enacted in March 2021, Shaheen successfully included language that provided $50 billion dollars in urgently needed support for child care.
Making College Affordable
For our nation to thrive, young people must be prepared to compete in a global economy – and that means receiving a quality higher education. But with college costs soaring, it is becoming more and more difficult for middle class families to afford these opportunities. New Hampshire students consistently graduate from college with some of the highest average student debt levels in the nation. In the Senate, Senator Shaheen has led efforts to help students manage their debt and to make college more affordable, championing legislation to increase access to higher education for Granite Staters, allow indebted borrowers to refinance their student loans at lower rates and hold schools accountable for student success and ability to repay their loans. She has a bipartisan bill, the Student Protection and Success Act, which works to curb skyrocketing student debt by increasing higher education institutions’ accountability for their students’ ability to repay their loans and requiring institutions to have a vested interest in the success of their students. Shaheen successfully ushered her legislation with Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Braun (R-IN) and Fischer (R-NE) to combat student debt relief scams through Congress. It was signed into law in 2020. Shaheen also helped introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would double the Pell Grant award and make college more affordable.
Senator Shaheen is committed to fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In 2021, Shaheen joined efforts to reintroduce the IDEA Full Funding Act, bicameral legislation to finally ensure Congress' commitment to fully fund the IDEA. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she has led efforts to boost funding for IDEA grants that support special education programming.