EdAction in Congress

EdAction in Congress August 15, 2021

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

One response to “EdAction in Congress August 15, 2021

  1. Dear Mr. Cardona,
    I am a Special Education teacher who works in a low income school district and always have. I have been a successful educator for 20 years. I was excited when I first heard about the PSLF program since I would possibly qualify for some forgiveness. However, my loans did not fit the time limitations for forgiveness, and I could not afford to refinance with Direct Loans as the payment would have been way more than I could afford and did not want to risk default. I consolidated my federal loans with Goal Financial. PHEAA is the servicer through AES. They have been a nightmare. I had paid ahead on my loans as much as possible in an attempt to pay them off earlier and to save some interest but that is not allowed. I have never been late and payments are automatically deducted from my checking account. They raised my payment and will not provide an aminerization statement for my loan. The reason I have asked for that is because I do not think the interest is calculated correctly. I was required to obtain a Masters degree to keep teaching in Michigan and it was not cheap. I would like to know if there are any plans to help people who are in the same situation I am in? I do not have a problem with paying my fair share however I was responsible, graduated from a very respected legitimate university (not an overpriced one), and have qualified for forgiveness in every way except when I took out my loans.

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