Teachers union sues DeVos over embattled loan relief program


FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2018, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during a student town hall at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. One of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions sued the U.S. Education Department on Thursday, July 11, 2019, over a federal program that promises to forgive student loans for public workers but has been beset by problems.
Matt Rourke, Associated Press

One of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions sued the U.S. Education Department on Thursday over a federal program that promises to forgive student loans for public workers but has been beset by problems.

The American Federation of Teachers filed a federal lawsuit in Washington alleging that the department has mismanaged the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, violating the Constitution by denying applicants their due process rights.

The program was created in 2007 and promises to forgive student loans for graduates who made 120 monthly payments while working as teachers, nurses, police or other public workers.

But just 1% of more than 86,000 applications had been approved for loan forgiveness as of March 31, according to Education Department data, while thousands were told they had not made enough loan payments or were missing paperwork.

The union says the Education Department routinely makes errors while processing applications and has no appeals process for those who are wronged. The suit targets the department and Secretary Betsy DeVos.

“Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a right, but Betsy DeVos has turned it into a crapshoot,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the union. She added that instead of helping borrowers, DeVos “has hurt and pauperized them.”

Department spokeswoman Liz Hill says the agency does not comment on pending litigation but added that the department is “faithfully administering the complex program Congress passed.”

Joining the lawsuit are several school teachers and other public workers who …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

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