DUBUQUE, Iowa — Hillary Rodham Clinton called Friday for more quality child care on college campuses and additional scholarships to help students who are parents as she pitched her plan to reduce higher education costs.
Clinton outlined her latest proposal at the start of a weekend of campaigning in Iowa, home of the nation's first presidential caucus. Clinton was attending a Democratic fundraising dinner later Friday in Clear Lake, where she was being joined by Democratic rivals Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee.
The former secretary of state is trying to build a firewall in Iowa against Sanders, a liberal favorite, and she picked up the endorsement of former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who served in the Senate for three decades before retiring in 2014. Clinton is touring the state fair with Harkin on Saturday.
She also welcomed the backing of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a union of nearly 600,000 members.
One new element of the college affordability plan Clinton released Friday would increase funding for The Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program, which extends grants to campus-based child care centers, from $15 million to $250 million. Clinton's campaign said that would create 250,000 childcare spaces for student parents.
She also called for a new scholarship program, called Student Parents in America Raising Kids, awarding $1,500 a year to students who are raising children and who maintain at least a 2.5 grade-point average. States would have the flexibility to tailor the application process and set other eligibility standards.
Clinton unveiled her $350 billion plan college affordability and student debt-reduction plan — a centerpiece of her policy platform — on Monday. She followed it with two days of campaigning on the issue in New Hampshire prior to ending the week in Iowa.
While Clinton has tried to keep the focus on her college plan, her Republican rivals have seized on other news this week: Clinton's decision to turn over her private email server to the U.S. Justice Department.
Clinton agreed to hand over the server the same day that Congress got word that at least two emails that traversed the device while she was secretary of state contained information that warranted one of the government's highest levels of classification. Several government officials have told The Associated Press that neither of two emails now labeled as "top secret" contained information that would jump out to experts as particularly sensitive.
Thomas reported from Mason City, Iowa.