Tom Harkin - U.S. Senate Photo - Tom Harkin
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Photo - We must invest in our teachers by improving training and paying them like the professionals they are. U.S. Senator Tom Harkin understands that education is Iowa’s top priority. It is his top priority too. He believes we must invest in our teachers by improving training and paying them like the professionals they are. That is why he proposed a plan to forgive up to $17,500 in student loans for Iowans who accept the challenge of teaching.

As Chairman of the Senate subcommittee that funds education, Senator Harkin has worked to make Iowa class sizes smaller and test scores higher. Harkin has secured money for Iowa school districts to help modernize our schools and give students access to the latest educational technology called the “Harkin Grants.”

Educators for Harkin is a group of Iowa teachers, counselors, coaches, administrators, and other educators working to send Senator Harkin back to the U.S. Senate. The group campaigns for Harkin across Iowa at county fairs, parades and events, writes letters to the editor on Tom’s behalf, and encourages other Iowa educators to support Tom.

A Comparison of the Harkin and Ganske Records
ISSUE: General Education
Introduced Amendment to Increase Education Funding. In 2001, Harkin introduced the “Leave No Child Behind” amendment that would have reduced the tax cut for America’s richest one percent and increased education spending by $225 million. The amendment passed with bipartisan support 53-47. [Des Moines Register, 4/5/01] Said Federal Education Funding Hasn’t Helped Students. In 1995, according to the Des Moines Register, “U.S. Rep. Greg Ganske, also an Iowa Republican, said that while SAT scores have fallen in the past 25 years, federal per-pupil spending has doubled. Thus, he says, the federal education expenses haven’t helped students much.” [Des Moines Register, 12/10/95]
ISSUE: School Construction
Leader in Securing School Construction Funds for Iowa. In December 2001, as Chairman of the Senate subcommittee that funds education, Harkin secured $50 million in “Harkin Grants” to Iowa school districts to help modernize and upgrade Iowa schools. Over the past four years, Harkin has secured $87 million in federal funds for this first-in-the-nation initiative. Harkin started the successful school demonstration project in 1997. Opposes Federal Money for School Construction. In October 2000, Ganske said, “I oppose federal money for school construction. We would be rewarding those districts that have neglected repairs.” [Des Moines Register, 10/12/00]
ISSUE: Vouchers
Opposed to Private Vouchers. Harkin is opposed to private vouchers. In 2001 Harkin voted against a $50 million voucher demonstration program. [vote #179, 6/12/01] Supports Private Vouchers. Ganske supports vouchers and agrees, regarding vouchers, it is “good to be talking about it now.” He repeatedly voted for the DC voucher program. [OWH, 1/26/01; vote #411, 8/6/98; vote #763, 11/2/95]
ISSUE: Student Loans
Introduced Plan to Forgive Student Loans for Teachers and Nurses. In 2002, Harkin introduced a plan to forgive student loans up to $17,500 for teachers and nurses who work in shortage areas. Harkin also voted against Ganske’s efforts in 1995 to cut student loans by $10 billion. [Press Release, 3/14/02; vote #296, 6/29/95] Voted to Cut Student Loans by $10.2 Billion. In 1995, Ganske voted for the Republican Budget Reconciliation bill which, among other things, cut student loans by $10.2 billion. [vote #743, 10/26/95]
ISSUE: Pell Grants
Increased Maximum Pell Grant to $4,000. As Chairman of the committee that funds Pell Grants, Harkin increased the maximum Pell Grants to $4,000, and increased overall funding for Pell Grants by $1.5 billion over the past year. The exec. Director of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees called Harkin’s support of Pell Grants “critical.” [CRS report, 2/6/02; press release, 2/12/02] Voted Against Pell Grant “Achievement” Awards. In 1998, Ganske voted against an amendment to authorize “achievement” awards to students receiving Pell Grants who graduate at the top 10 percent of their class. It was estimated this would help 84,000 students per year. Leach and Nussle both voted for this and President Clinton signed it into law. [vote #124, 5/5/98; States News Service, 5/5/98; Buffalo News, 11/15/98]


Dodd praises his colleague Tom Harkin
Harkin says close-to-home issues will decide election
Harkin addresses teacher, nurse shortage
Rural schools receive funds for technology, training and safe drug free programs

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