Teacher's Union leader endorses Warren's student loan plan

The president of the American Federation of Teachers, endorsed presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders the latest to voice support for breaking up Facebook Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order to protect US networks from Chinese tech | Huawei downplays order | Trump declines to join effort against online extremism | Facebook restricts livestreaming | FCC proposes new tool against robocalls On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won’t release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo MORE‘s student loan forgiveness plan in a Thursday op-ed. 

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“Warren’s student debt and universal free college plan would be transformational — similar to the way the GI Bill completely altered Americans’ access to higher education,” Randi Weingarten wrote in USA Today. “It is, quite simply, good policy, good for working- and middle-class Americans, and good for our economy.”

“To those who argue otherwise, I’d say spend some time talking with America’s teachers, nurses and other public service workers, and come to our student debt clinics, where we help people navigate their debt; maybe you’ll change your tune,” she added. 

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Weingarten also accused the Trump administration of sabotaging the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. 

She added that, as the leader of a teacher’s union, she hears from educators who have to leave teaching because they can’t afford to pay off their debt and more experienced teachers who can’t retire because of debt. 

She said that “countless” union members “tell me they’ll be paying off their loans until they die.”

Weingarten said that Warren’s plan would treat college like a “public good and ensures that a college degree really does offer a promise and a pathway to the middle class.”

Warren last month unveiled a plan that would cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for 95 percent of debtors and establish universal free college. Warren’s plan would also allow every American to attend a two-or four-year public college tuition-free. She added that the “entire cost” of the plans would be covered by her proposed 2 percent annual tax on families with $50 million or more, which she calls the “ultra-millionaire tax.”

“We got into this crisis because state governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system—free and accessible to all Americans—they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote in a post on Medium. “The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment.” 

Warren is among more than 20 people vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. 

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