The American Federation of Teachers union says its lobbying is to thank for the Biden administration‘s dramatic expansion of a program that forgives an unlimited amount of student loans for public employees, and that one teacher used it to get out of $450,000 in obligations.
In a move that is separate from the widely-publicized $10,000 loan forgiveness but in many ways more radical, the Biden administration used a “waiver” to stop enforcing the rules of an existing program that allows people to have all remaining student loans forgiven after 10 years of working for the government or a nonprofit.
“When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.” Rev. 6:5
(Randi Weingarten is an American labor leader, attorney, and educator)
The lack of enforcement expanded the pool of those eligible so dramatically that it forgave $9 billion in the last year, compared to $1 billion total in the program’s previous history. The program arose from a 2007 law and is called the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
In a Labor Day message, union president Randi Weingarten said the union’s lobbying — which was also a leading cause of keeping schools closed due to coronavirus — was also responsible for the giveaway, which largely benefited the union’s members. The union played a role in helping elect Joe Biden.
“We worked directly with the Biden administration on the latest PSLF fixes and the recent game-changing announcement on student debt cancellation. Through the AFT’s advocacy around PSLF, $10 billion of student debt has been forgiven for 175,000 public service workers so far. Here’s just one example: This summer, we helped an AFT member in California wipe out her $450,000 student debt,” Weingarten said.