AFT Massachusetts released the following statement from AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos in response to the student debt relief plan announced by President Biden:
“President’s Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan will be life-changing for tens of thousands of Massachusetts teachers, counselors, librarians, and other workers who have dedicated their lives to public service, as well as for millions of borrowersacross the country who have been failed by a broken higher education funding system.
“Forgiving $10,000 of student debt for all low- and middle-income borrowers, and an additional $10,000 for Pell Grant recipients, will greatly reduce the burden of debt that is holding many borrowers back from buying a home, starting a family, or following their chosen career. By reducing costs for thousands of educators, this plan will aid educator retention and help combat the teacher and staff shortages our schools are facing. Through this plan, and through other executive actions such as reform of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, the Biden Administration is delivering transformative student debt relief where it is needed most.
“I want to thank AFT President Randi Weingarten, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Ayanna Pressley for their tireless advocacy in support of student loan borrowers over the last several years. Now, we must focus on fully funding a debt-free future at our public colleges and universities, in Massachusetts and across the country. Our state and our nation have the ability to make college affordable again – we just need the will to act. Today’s student debt relief announcement is a great first step, but the work is just beginning.”