Congressmember Karen Bass believes a strong commitment to education is the best investment for a strong economy and our future competitiveness in the global economy. Especially amid a global pandemic, she is committed to strengthening our K-12 public school system, supporting our teachers, and ensuring all children receive a first-class education. It is essential that our students are adequately prepared for college and the cost of college tuition is affordable.
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“As the public health crisis continues to worsen, a growing number of states and cities across the country are issuing stay-at-home orders and closing schools,” wrote the Members in their letter. “To ensure equal learning opportunities during the pandemic, schools are increasingly adopting distance learning strategies to bring the classroom into students’ homes. However, this can prove challenging for many high poverty urban and rural school districts that may lack the resources to connect disadvantaged students to digital devices or high-speed internet.”
"The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the Title IX overhaul on Friday, March 27, clearing the path for Secretary DeVos to release the final rule. The move is particularly baffling in light of school closures, numerous stakeholders urging the Administration not to take this action, and the White House’s instructions to all federal agencies to “prioritize all resources to slow the transmission of COVID-19.”
The law in question, Section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act, suspends federal college aid from FAFSA for any person who is convicted of a drug offense. The law has discouraged thousands from even applying for aid and has denied aid from many as well.
"I believe that it is shameful that in this day and age, students are deprived access to their dreams because of their debt," said Congressmember Bass. "At this very moment, more than 43 million U.S. student borrowers collectively owe $1.4 trillion and counting in student loans. That’s millions unable to buy their first car; millions more unable to buy their first home – millions of dreams on hold until their debt is repaid."
The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2019 addresses the student loan debt crisis head-on in three major ways:
Student Loan Resources
Glossary & Definitions
A full glossary of terms that are used in discussing student debt is available here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/glossary.
- Federal Student Loans: Repaying Your Loans: Produced by the U.S. Dept. of Education, this explains options for repayment plans on “Federal Student Loans.” (Booklet, 16 pages)
REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
“President Trump’s budget is deeply troubling and makes it abundantly clear the White House isn’t serious about addressing the needs of this country,” said Rep. Bass. “It makes drastic cuts to housing assistance, as Los Angeles goes through one of its worst housing crises in history, and student loan debt programs, as young people are strapped with more than $1 trillion in student loan debt. The budget also hurts our leadership abroad.
“Tonight, the President again came to the halls of Congress and ironically attempted to push an agenda of unity.
“He said we should reject the politics of revenge and embrace cooperation on the same day that he taunted the Senate Minority Leader on Twitter about election results.
“Within the first few minutes of his speech, the President touted getting families off of food stamps. He stood there just months after pushing an agenda to eliminate SNAP for families across America.
On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald J. Trump asked the African-American community “What do you have to lose?” in reference to voting for him. When the Rep. Bass and members of the CBC executive leadership team met with President Trump in March 2017, the caucus answered his question in the form a 130-page policy document titled, “We Have A Lot to Lose: Solutions to Advance Black Families in the 21st Century.” President Trump never responded to the document.