A new report outlined the importance of student debt relief to workers in New York and across the country.
An American Federation of Teachers analysis found rising education costs have forced people to borrow more than $1.7 trillion to attend college.
Amid that climate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Joint Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, described how using the Congressional Review Act would disrupt student debt cancellation for public service workers.
“The student debt CRA scheme would reinstate the student loan debt of more than 260,000 public service workers nationwide,” Pierce explained. “(It would) drop a nearly $20 billion debt burden onto the backs of these hardworking teachers, nurses, first responders and service members still emerging from the pandemic.”
He pointed out the plan would roll back public workers’ progress toward having more than $170 billion in student loan debt canceled. Prior to the invocation of the Congressional Review Act, court challenges had blocked Biden’s plan before it began. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case earlier this year.
Michael Boucai, professor of law at the State University of New York-Buffalo, had $102,000 in student loan debt forgiven as part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and said although the process was somewhat arduous, it was worthwhile.
“I was able to start looking seriously into buying a house, and I was able to significantly increase the financial help that I give to my sibling,” Boucai noted. “I was also able to just carry a whole lot more of the burden of running a household, with my partner.”
Some education professionals identify the growth of the U.S. student loan program as erasing the benefits of going to college, with millions of loans going into default each year.
The Education Data Initiative finds almost 11% of student borrowers default on their education loans in the first year of repayment with another 25% defaulting in the first five years of repayment.
Edwin is a reporter and producer in North Tonawanda, New York. He’s previously reported for the Niagara Gazette and the Ithaca Times. Edwin got an early start in radio interning for WBFO-88.7FM, NPR’s Buffalo affiliate. In 2018, he graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Journalism, and in 2022, graduated from Syracuse University with an M.S. in Communications.