Press Release

AFT President Weingarten Welcomes Education Department Actions on Higher Education

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the follow statement in response to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s announcement that it will review and revise a number of higher education regulations:

“In another clear signal that elections matter, Secretary Cardona has made good on the Biden administration’s promise to help rebuild our nation’s higher education system into one that everyone can access. Today’s announcement is the beginning of a multiyear process for the department to use its regulatory authority to make college more affordable by repairing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, revisiting and strengthening income-contingent repayment, and offering borrowers with disabilities opportunities to discharge their loans. The department has also vowed to hold for-profit colleges accountable, making sure students don’t fall victim to predatory practices in lending and recruitment.

“But far too many borrowers are struggling now, as the return of student loan payments looms in September, and many can’t wait for the multiyear rulemaking process to take effect. Forgiving $50,000 of student debt would provide immediate relief and a much-needed economic stimulus. For all of us who believe in the promise of higher education as a pathway to building a better life, we welcome that administrative action as soon as possible.”

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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.