Our government promised students who took out student loans and took teaching jobs and other low paying virtuous jobs would have their loans forgiven after paying for said loans continuously for ten years. Trump may be in the process of breaking that promise. Folks we can't keep our eyes on Russia only. The man is destroying us from within.
This morning I woke up to a Facebook post from my friend Cody Pogue who is both a professor and a local political activist on his free time about student loans that must set us all into action. He wrote the following post.
Ten years ago, the Bush administration made a promise to college students that if they spend ten years serving in public service as a teacher, a cop, a public defender, a social worker or any other low pay but high priority job, and they pay all of their payments on time without any exceptions, the remaining student loan debt would be wiped away after ten years of service.Students took the Bush administration and the American government at their word. They went to college and got bachelor's degrees in education, masters degrees in social work, doctoral degrees in law, and while their student loan debt was higher than they would ever be able to afford as a public defender, a school teacher, a cop, or a social worker, they did it anyway because they trusted that the government would reward their service after ten years.
Students took the Bush administration and the American government at their word. They went to college and got bachelor's degrees in education, masters degrees in social work, doctoral degrees in law, and while their student loan debt was higher than they would ever be able to afford as a public defender, a school teacher, a cop, or a social worker, they did it anyway because they trusted that the government would reward their service after ten years.
Now, about ten years after George W. .Bush signed that bill into law, public servants are about to start getting those loans forgiven as a reward for their on time payments and continued service to the American people. Unfortunately, Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy Devos have issued documents to repeal this program, leaving these public servants with the bill.
America cannot become the kind of country that makes promises and refuses to keep them. We already underpay people who dedicate their lives to public service. It is wrong to make a promise to them and then ten years later break that promise right before the rewards are given out. I hope that Donald Trump and Betsy Devos will reconsider. Keeping promises to teachers and cops should always be more important than giving tax cuts to billionaires.
So what exactly is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? According to the U.S. Department of Education,
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
If you work for a government organization at any level, a not for profit organization that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Code, or other non-profit organizations that are not unions, or partisan political groups. A qualifying loan for PSLF is any loan you received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Other loans do not apply unless you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
So what happens if Donald Trump's education budget gets approved? The Washington Post reports the following.
Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The spending proposal would maintain funding for Pell Grants for students in financial need, but it would eliminate more than $700 million in Perkins loans for disadvantaged students; nearly halve the work-study program that helps students work their way through school, cutting $490 million; take a first step toward ending subsidized loans, for which the government pays interest while the borrower is in school; and end loan forgiveness for public servants.
But this is where every citizen could lose trust in the word and promises of government. In fact, if effected one would think it is a breach of a contract and would certainly go to court with over 500,000 plaintiffs.
The loan forgiveness program, enacted in 2007, was designed to encourage college graduates to pursue careers as social workers, teachers, public defenders or doctors in rural areas. There are at least 552,931 people on track to receive the benefit, with the first wave of forgiveness set for October. It’s unclear how the proposed elimination would affect those borrowers.
While too many spent much concerned about whether Trump and his team colluded with Russia, the Trump Administration us busy destroying programs and policies that help the middle-class and the poor. It is a shame that our country, cannot find to wherewithal to provide free college education like many countries not nearly as wealthy as our own. It is time for Americans to turn the heat up on ALL of their representatives, federal and state. Join your local
Our higher education system is nothing but another conduit to transfer the wealth of the masses to the few. As our government cut taxes and create pseudo government-private partnerships (e.g., the prison industrial complex) the average Americans pay in some form or the other. It is time for Americans to turn the heat up on ALL of their representatives, federal and state. Join your local Indivisible Guide group and get engaged.
Also published on Medium.