Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill and $3.5 trillion budget framework
Immediately after passing a $1 trillion infrastructure bill supported by all 50 Democrats and 19 Republicans, the Senate passed a $3.5 trillion budget framework in a 50-49 party-line vote. Precisely how the money will be spent still needs to be determined—a process that could take months. Vowing to treat the two measures as a package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says she won’t take up the infrastructure bill until spending decisions are made and the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion bill with all the details. That bill could include education, health care, child care, climate change, immigration reform, and other components of President Biden’s plan to Build Back Better.
As it takes shape, we need to keep repeating this message: The legislation can—and should—include NEA priorities such as modernizing school facilities, making education more affordable, providing free school meals for all students, enhancing worker and family protections, recruiting and retaining a diverse educator workforce, and fair taxation that invests in America. TAKE ACTION
Tell Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona how student loan debt has impacted you
The U.S. Department of Education has issued an official Request for Information (RFI) for personal stories about student loan debt and the Public Service Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Created in 2007, PSLF was designed to encourage college graduates to pursue careers in education, health care, firefighting, and other forms of public service. The program promised to wipe away federal student debt after 120 qualifying monthly payments—10 years’ worth of payments.
Instead, under the failed leadership of Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education rejected 98 percent of the PSLF applications filed since 2017, when the first public sector workers became eligible for relief. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg—for every qualified borrower whose application has been rejected, tens of thousands more have been knocked off course or never sought relief. Tell Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona about your personal experiences with student loan debt and urge him to fulfill the promise of PSLF. TAKE ACTION