Trump, DeVos target college loan forgiveness program


Despite all his ill-informed hyperbole, President Trump’s knowledge about the lives and concerns of everyday Americans, including young school teachers and other college graduates, is hugely deficient. I don’t think he comprehends, for example, what it means to be saddled for years with student debt.

He never had any. So he apparently doesn’t care if millions of other Americans do. If the president did care, he and Betsy DeVos, his education secretary who is equally out of touch with the needs of the middle class, wouldn’t be trying to end a college loan forgiveness program that is a lifeline for more than 600,000 teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers and other public-service employees.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, created 10 years ago, forgives large portions of college loans for graduates who take public service jobs and make loan payments on time for a required number of years.

The National Education Association story linked below cites the example of Greg Cechak, a 31-year-old teacher in Pennsylvania who is married to another teacher and owes about $80,000 for his state university education. Under the program, Cechak will see much of his debt erased after making 10 years of monthly payments on time.

According to the article, the average student loan borrower in the U.S. has more than $30,000 in student debt after graduating from college. Some graduates with advanced degrees have more than $100,000.

This is a major challenge for teachers and other public employees on modest salaries who perform jobs that are essential to our country’s future. They deserve and have earned a break on their loan repayments, and that is why the loan program was created.

If the program is axed, many of these teachers fear they will be forced for economic reasons to leave the classroom, a consequence that apparently is of no concern to Trump and his anti-public education partner.

NEA has joined a bipartisan congressional effort to save the loan forgiveness program. This story includes a link on how to take action by contacting your own members of Congress.



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