American Federation of Teachers Applauds Planned Education Department Higher Ed Actions

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said that she applauds U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s announcement that the Education Department will review multiple higher ed regulations. But she also advocated for immediate student debt forgiveness.

Randi WeingartenRandi Weingarten

“In another clear signal that elections matter, Secretary Cardona has made good on the Biden administration’s promise to help rebuild our nation’s higher education system into one that everyone can access,” she said. “Today’s announcement is the beginning of a multiyear process for the department to use its regulatory authority to make college more affordable by repairing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, revisiting and strengthening income-contingent repayment, and offering borrowers with disabilities opportunities to discharge their loans. The department has also vowed to hold for-profit colleges accountable, making sure students don’t fall victim to predatory practices in lending and recruitment.

“But far too many borrowers are struggling now, as the return of student loan payments looms in September, and many can’t wait for the multiyear rulemaking process to take effect. Forgiving $50,000 of student debt would provide immediate relief and a much-needed economic stimulus. For all of us who believe in the promise of higher education as a pathway to building a better life, we welcome that administrative action as soon as possible.”