Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Responds to Education Department ‘Fix’ for Loan Forgiveness

For Release: 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Contact:

Oriana Korin
202-374-6103
Oriana.Korin@aft.org

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response to the Department of Education’s announcement that it would attempt to streamline the application process for Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness by combining the application form with the application for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program:

“Public Service Loan Forgiveness is broken—broken to the tune of denying debt relief to 99 percent of the educators, nurses, first responders, veterans and other people working in public service who apply. That’s why we sued Betsy DeVos for her abject mismanagement and outright sabotage of this program. In court papers, she has said she is without the power to fix it, so it’s curiously welcome news that in an election year, she has suddenly found the power to try.”

“Frankly, this move shows just how easy it would be for the department to strengthen the program if it wanted to protect people instead of student loan servicing companies that make money off their debt. But this ‘fix’ is a Band-Aid that does little to heal a gaping wound; it’s a paperwork solution to a monumental problem that’s left tens of thousands of borrowers unable to buy homes, save for retirement, or pursue careers in their communities because they’ve been denied the loan forgiveness Congress passed over a decade ago.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.