WYTHEVILLE, VA (WVVA) U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is making several stops in Southwest Virginia Thursday and Friday.
We caught up with him at Wytheville Community College where he and representatives from Southwest Virginia’s colleges and universities gathered to discuss the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA).
“I think there’s a lot of things that can come out of an open dialogue like this and I think the senator was very gracious to come down and provide us with an opportunity to have input,” said Dean Sprinkle, President of Wytheville Community College.
Coming into the meeting, Sen. Kaine had three major topics of concern for the HEA. They range from his bill, the JOBS Act, to how higher education institutions train K-12 teachers, to public service loan forgiveness.
After hearing input from the various institutions, Sen. Kaine added a few more to his list.
“One of the things that was a common theme around the table, and these are different kinds of institutions, but all in Southwestern Virginia, is just the number of financial hardships that they’re seeing in their students…the weight of student debt makes things really tough, students who have to work two or three jobs while they’re going through college makes it very difficult for them to graduate on time or sometimes even forces them to drop out,” said Kaine.
He is hopeful that his bill and the HEA will make it to the president’s desk this year.