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Kaine talks education affordability in Richmond

This afternoon, former governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine met with Richmond area students and parents to discuss his strategies for the future of higher education.

During the forum at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Kaine expressed his strong commitment to increasing the accessibility and affordability of higher education and spoke about the importance of two-year college, four-year college, and career/technical training in creating the “talent economy” that is central to his approach to strengthening the economy and creating jobs.

“If we want to be stronger economically we can learn some lessons from Virginia,” said Kaine. “Once Virginia embraced talent our economy started to grow. The Virginia story teaches us that if you win the talent race you win the economic race. At the national level, we’re slipping in the global talent race. I want to work as a talent specialist in the Senate because I believe it is critical to our long-term economic success.”

Following the event, Kaine praised congressional leaders for their progress toward a resolution to prevent the doubling of  interest rates on Stafford student loans and urged swift passage of the compromise before the June 30 deadline. The doubling of Stafford student loan rates would affect more than 177,000 Virginia students.

Kaine also contrasted his record and approach to education with those of his opponent, George Allen. As a senator, Allen was a critical vote for the largest cut to student financial aid in the nation’s history and voted to preserve tax giveaways to oil companies at the expense of tax deductions for students.

“One reason that we’ve slipped to 16th in the world in higher education attainment is the affordability issue,” said Kaine. “We’ve got to promote programs that help families afford the cost of an education, but we also must find strategies to hold costs down. The Stafford student loan rate expires at month’s end and it’s critically important that we keep those rates low so that more Americans can get the skills and education they need.”

Since the beginning of the year, Kaine has hosted more than 60 economic roundtable discussions across the state to share his approach to creating jobs and hear from Virginians.