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Standing Up for Missouri's Students
Increasing Access to Affordable Student Loans and Grants
Claire knows that only kids from the wealthiest families could attend college if there isn't access to affordable student loans, so she voted in favor of legislation that:
- Prevented federally-backed student loan interest rates from doubling to 6.8 percent;
- Removed Wall Street middlemen from the student loan business, so that the federal government could provide loans to a greater number of students; and,
- Helped to pass the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2007, which increased the value of Pell Grants and made them available to more low-income students
Protecting School Lunch Programs for Missouri's Students.
Students who are hungry do not learn as effectively, so Claire fought to protect funding for school meal programs. In her first term she:
- Secured additional investment in key programs that provide parents, schools, and local communities with the tools to help promote healthful eating habits among students. Her vote for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act addressed funding shortfalls in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Summer Food Service Programs, and more; and
- Eliminated a wasteful loophole in the food stamps program, so that the savings could be reinvested in programs that provide healthy food to schools.
Ensuring the Best Teachers are in the Classroom
Claire knows that students learn best when class sizes are smaler and taught by qualified teachers. As a result, she:
- Supported the Keep our Educators Working Act, which created a $10 billion deficit-neutral fund that states could use to avoid teacher layoffs; and
- Introduced the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which funded teacher development for teachers specializing in early education and provided loan forgiveness to public school teachers after 10 years of service. The bill also included provisions that improved teacher quality through mentoring and collaboration programs.
Providing Educational Opportunities for our Veterans
Claire worked with her colleagues in the Senate to pass the Post 9/11 GI Bill, modeled after the GI Bill that benefitted her father, which:
- Provided financial assistance to veterans who served in the military after September 11, 2001, to help pay for college or vocational training;
- Gave service members the opportunity to transfer their education benefit to family members; and,
- Introduced a separate bill in 2012 that would prevent veterans and their families from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous educational institutions.