As student debt continues to rise dramatically in our country, more and more borrowers are getting fed up with the current system. Teachers in particular are so angry that they’re suing the federal government. Not only are they frustrated with their low pay, they also feel as if the current public service forgiveness program is broken.
The federal student loan forgiveness program was designed to give public service workers, like teachers, a leg up on paying off their student debt. Yet, as soon as the Trump administration took over, the vast majority of applicants have been turned down and offered no forgiveness.
Because of these frustrations, teachers all over the country are suing the Department of Education. One group in particular, the American Federation of Teachers, has stated that the student loan forgiveness program isn’t functioning properly and it desperately needs to be fixed. This is the second-largest teachers union in the country.
“The very agency that is supposedly the champion of our nation’s education system has failed to live up to its role in administering this Program,” asserted the lawsuit, which was filed in July.
Teachers Are Feeling the Heat
This is particularly difficult on teachers, as they are often expected to continue their education. Most have to take postgraduate degrees in order to maintain their teacher status. This combined with low pay and increasing tuition is putting teachers in a very difficult position. Many even feel embarrassed have student debt.
“Because the thing is, I went to school, I went to college, I wanted to become a teacher. I took loans. And now I’m paying $600, $700 a month right off the bat every month for my student loan… it’s a horrendous situation for them to be in,” said the teacher’s union.
On top of that, “everybody talks about it,” added Mulgrew. “You hear all the politicians talk about it. But the idea that they passed the student loan forgiveness federal program, and in reality, nobody gets to use it — that’s insane.”
Deciding to become a teacher is a very noble task. They really take a lot out of themselves to serve our community and our children with very little resources and even less pay. Nearly 65% of teachers have shared that they have student debt and it’s causing many problems in their lives.
“Teachers have a lower median income and are taking on student debt at a higher rate than the three other industries involved in our survey,” Kyle McCarthy, head of growth at Fishbowl told Yahoo Finance.
“On top of that, over 96% of teachers are spending their own personal money to provide underprivileged students with the school supplies they need, leaving teachers with even less disposable income,” he added. “It’s a good example of the growing wealth inequality in our society today.”