The Trump administration is seeking to ax the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, according to documents from a preliminary Education Department plan.
The initiative, signed into law under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 by former President George W. Bush and amended and popularized by former President Barack Obama, allows borrowers working in public service to have the remainder of their federal education loans forgiven after 10 years of payment.
Advocates of the program have been warning students for years that lack of understanding about the initiative, low publicity and strict eligibility requirements could mean students may be disappointed when they try to access the pardon.
Now, according to a rough draft of the budget, President Donald Trump is planning to deprive federal education initiatives of $10.6 billion — and the first program to go up on the chopping block is PSLF.
And that’s not the only thing that’s of concern.
If the proposed budget is finalized, public schools’ funding for helping students suffering from mental health issues while promoting advanced coursework, will be cut off. Other potential cuts include a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents who are still in college. It would also cut short $12 million funding for Special Olympics education, foreign language and arts programs, among other things.
In fact, Trump plans to reserve about $400 million to spend on low performing charter schools and for public schools to incorporate school choice policies. This move has been wholly endorsed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who is in favor of expanding charter schools as well as private and religious schools.
Alexis Goldstein, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, a civil rights organization, has said the concept of eradicating PSLF is “horrifying,” considering the fact that 1 million borrowers defaulted on their loans in 2016 alone. She also said asking Americans to delay financial plans like buying a house until after the loans are paid off is “both ill-conceived from a policy perspective and just cruel.”
??...This could be a devastating blow to those who serve the public. Don't let this happen to you or anyone you know. https://t.co/dhwCYOS8oc— Just Josh (@therealistjosh) May 19, 2017
Trump to propose scrapping beleaguered student loan forgiveness program —Would be a HUGE MISTAKE. bad enough low paid teachers wait 10yrs.— NCBONDSMAN13 (@CCW40) May 19, 2017
@jonlovett What is the deal with ending student loan forgiveness? Why is Trump and DeVos ruining lives?— Benjamin Clemons (@CoachBeardface) May 19, 2017