Press Releases

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U.S. Senators Tina Smith & Lisa Murkowski Press Secretary DeVos for Answers About Undercounting American Indian and Alaska Native Students

U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) pressed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to stop undercounting the number of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students in America's schools. Inaccurately identifying students leads to an incomplete picture of whether or not a school is adequately meeting students' educational needs. Sens. Smith and Murkowski-both members of the Senate Indian Affairs and Education Committees-said that the Department of Education's guidance a… Continue Reading


Murkowski, Smith Introduce Bill to Protect Children from Human Trafficking

According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), every two minutes a child is being victimized for sexual exploitation. U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act of 2020, which would prevent the human trafficking and exploitation of children by providing grants critical for training students, parents, teachers, and school personnel to understand, recognize, prevent, and respond to signs of human tr… Continue Reading


House Companion of Shaheen, Murkowski Bipartisan Bill to Improve Girls’ Access to School Worldwide Clears House of Representatives

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) applauded the passage of the House companion legislation to their bipartisan bill - the Keeping Girls in School Act - which cleared the House of Representatives this afternoon. The bipartisan legislation would help address unique barriers adolescent girls in developing countries face in accessing an education. Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21) led the effort in the House of Representatives with Representatives Susan Brooks (IN-05) a… Continue Reading


Senators Work to Address Student Loans

As the cost of a college degree continues to increase, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the State-Based Education Loan Awareness Act. The legislation would eliminate disincentives and penalties that prevent universities from informing students about low-cost student loans offered by non-profit, state agency lenders whose mission is to make college affordable and accessible. Click here for more information on the State-Based Education Loan Aw… Continue Reading


Alaska Delegation Locks In Two More Years of Secure Rural Schools

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today issued the following statements after successfully including a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program in the final Appropriations measures for Fiscal Year 2020. All three delegation members are strong proponents of the program, which many Alaska communities are forced to rely on due to declining timber receipts from surrounding federal lands. "From the Kenai Peninsula to Yakutat to Wrangell, t… Continue Reading


Van Hollen, Murkowski, Foster Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Create National Fab Lab Network

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and U.S. Representative Bill Foster (D-Ill.) recently introduced the National Fab Lab Network Act, legislation to expand Fab Labs across the country. These facilities are equipped with digitally-controlled tools that enable individuals to create and innovate new products. These tools range from laser cutters, to 3D printers, to automated knives - and training is also provided. To encourage the growth and expansion of new and cu… Continue Reading


Murkowski, Schatz Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Impact of the ANSEP Program

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) have introduced the Building Indigenous STEM Professionals Act. This legislation will reauthorize and amend a grant designed to help create or expand programs that produce Native Alaskan and Native Hawaiian graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM). Inspired by the nationally-recognized Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), which grows STEM professionals from elementary school through coll… Continue Reading


Gillibrand, Murkowski Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Give More Kids Access to Healthy Meals

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today announced a bill to expand access to healthy meals for kids when school is out for the summer. During the summer months, children who rely on school meals to eat face the risk of going hungry. Gillibrand and Murkowski's legislation, the Summer Meals Act of 2019, would improve the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Summer Food Service Program, which provides low-income children who would normally receive free… Continue Reading


Murkowski Announces $10.9 Million in Secure Rural Schools Payments to Alaska

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that communities across Alaska will soon receive a total of $10,990,708 to fund schools and local budget priorities. The payments are being provided through the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, which Murkowski successfully reauthorized and funded through Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 in the FY2018 omnibus appropriations bill. "Local communities in Alaska and across the country rely on the Secure Rural Schools program to pay for essential services … Continue Reading


Brown, Collins, Baldwin and Murkowski Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Police Officers, Teachers

Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced bipartisan legislation that would ensure public sector workers and their families can receive full Social Security benefits after two previous statutes reduced them. The Senators' bill, the Social Security Fairness Act, would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) from the Social Security Act. Both of the statutes significantly r… Continue Reading


Murkowski Votes in Favor of Funding Package to Benefit Alaska

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today voted in favor of the Conference Report for H.R. 6157, a funding package which includes the Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019 and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The funding package includes the largest pay raise for troops in nearly a decade, funding for a new national firefighter cancer registry, and support for high quality educational and job training opportunities for Alaskans … Continue Reading


Senate Passes Bill to Improve Legislation for Academic Achievement of Career and Technical Education Students

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation reauthorizing the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a law crucial to helping our nation's students obtain skills to be successful in today's workplace. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, assisted in drafting the Senate's Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act in consultation with Alaskan stakeholders and tribal advocates. "Alaska is doing righ… Continue Reading


Murkowski Announces She Will Vote Against Education Secretary Nominee

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced that she will vote "no" when the Senate takes the final vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education. Senator Murkowski explained her reasoning on the Senate floor, saying: "I have serious concerns about a nominee to be Secretary of Education who has been so involved in one side of the equation - so immersed in the push for vouchers - that she may be unaware of what actually is successful in the public schools, and what i… Continue Reading


Murkowski Statement on Education Secretary Nominee

Today, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released the following statement after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to refer Mrs. DeVos' nomination for the consideration of the full Senate. "I voted to move Betsy DeVos out of the HELP Committee because I have long held the belief that a President has the right to name their Cabinet and that the full Senate should have the opportunity to vote on those nominees. I also said that when it comes to the vote o… Continue Reading


Murkowski Applauds USED’s Decision to Grant Alaska Testing Waiver

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education's decision to approve the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development's (DEED) request for a waiver from federal testing requirements this year due to technical problems that arose during last spring's testing. "I am pleased the Department of Education heeded Alaska's concerns and granted this much-needed waiver. There is simply no reason our state should be penaliz… Continue Reading


Murkowski, Heitkamp Bill Creating Native Children’s Commission Heads to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) today announced that their bipartisan bill to improve the lives of Native American children passed Congress unanimously and now heads for the president's desk for his signature. The Senators' bill, the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act, implements solutions that would address the overwhelming obstacles Native children face - including experiencing levels of post-traumatic stre… Continue Reading


Murkowski Presses Education Secretary on Important Education Issues for Alaska

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski questioned Secretary of Education Dr. John B. King, Jr. on two issues of importance for Alaska's schools, students, educators, and communities-whether he would approve Alaska's request for a waiver from federal testing requirements, and whether he would rescind or exempt Alaska from a proposed new priority for federal competitive education grants. Murkowski began her exchange with Dr. King by following up on her questions from an April hearing and her June 23rd… Continue Reading


Murkowski Secures Investments to Strengthen Alaska’s Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2017. Referred to as Labor-H, it contains a number of provisions secured by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that will strengthen Alaska's communities. As a member of the committee, Murkowski focused her efforts on funding programs that support Alaskan families, jobs, economic development, health, and safet… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Major Education Reform Bill

Today Senator Lisa Murkowski voted in support of the final version of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the long-overdue overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act, which became law in 2002. Today's legislation passed by a vote of 85-12. The House of Representatives passed the bill on December 2nd by a vote of 359-64. It now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law. ESSA Myths vs Facts Common Core Standards are CodifiedHigher Ed Alignment and Common CoreNo Improvement Over NCLB… Continue Reading


Murkowski Votes Against Education Secretary Nominee

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, voted against confirming Dr. John B. King to be the Secretary of Education. The Senate confirmed King in a vote of 49-40. "I respect that Dr. King has overcome many challenges in his life, which has led him to share my belief in the vital importance of education for all children. His leadership as Commissioner of Education for New York, however, was so marked by controversy … Continue Reading

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