The largest teachers’ union in the nation has taken credit for one aspect of Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan that includes total forgiveness of loans for teachers and public employees.
According to the Daily Wire, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) credited their lobbying efforts for Biden’s decision to include a waiver that would stop enforcing the rules for an ongoing program that forgives all student loan debt for anyone who spends 10 years or more working for either the government or a nonprofit.
This program, known as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), was first created in 2007 and had since seen the forgiveness of roughly $1 billion in student loan debt up until 2021. In the first year of the Biden Administration, however, the federal government stopped enforcing most of the program’s rules in a manner that drastically expanded the eligibility for such forgiveness, leading to over $9 billion being forgiven in 2021 alone.
In a Labor Day speech, AFT president Randi Weingarten declared that the union “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,” Weingarten continued. “This summer, we helped an AFT member in California wipe out her $450,000 student debt.”
Under the PSLF program, the average discharged by waivers was approximately $61,000, which is significantly higher than the $10,000 worth of forgiveness offered to non-government and non-nonprofit employees under Biden’s more widely-publicized plan announced last month. In addition, while the broader forgiveness plan only applies to those making less than $125,000 a year, the changes to the PSLF make forgiveness eligible to anyone regardless of income.
In another Labor Day message, the AFT took direct aim at “conservatives” and “extremist politicians” for allegedly “politicizing education,” after the last two years saw hundreds of spontaneous and grassroots protests against school boards over far-left political indoctrination being forced on the students. The union declared that such parents and activists “oppose public education and teaching children to have tolerance, empathy, and the skills, knowledge and ability to think critically that they need to achieve their dreams.”