Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten on Biden Administration’s Student Debt Discharge

For Release:


Andrew Crook
o: 202-393-8637 | c: 607-280-6603

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after the Biden administration made key decisions on student debt:

“Today, millions of Americans can breathe easier knowing that some of the crushing burden of student loan debt has been lifted. Make no mistake—this is a transformative action that will change countless lives. The vast majority of the nation’s 46 million borrowers will see relief, and those struggling to get by will benefit the most. The extra consideration for Pell recipients is especially welcome because it focuses like a laser on people in need.

“Today’s announcement shows that debt isn’t set in stone, that pauperization is not inevitable, and that, through activism and persistence, we can remove the shackles holding borrowers, and our country, down.

“Far too many young adults who go to college lack the means to do so: That’s why student debt has exploded to $1.7 trillion. Their debt sentence means they have little or no ability to start a family, buy a car or a house, or make other major life decisions. This action, coupled with the extension of the pause on loan payments, the changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and remedies to the rip-offs at ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges, will assist those crippled by a broken system.

“This administration’s decisions have been a game-changer, but now we need to build on its progress and get the word out. Extending the pause is crucial for borrowers still struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19—and we are asking that the PSLF waiver be extended, too.

“This is a day for celebration, and tomorrow, with surer footing, we will redouble our efforts to remove this scourge that disproportionately and indiscriminately hurts the most vulnerable.”

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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.