Sarbanes Defends Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a hearing today held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) called on the U.S. Department of Education to keep up its end of the bargain and forgive student loan debt for public servants under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
“Ten years ago, I was proud to lead the effort here in the House – and we teamed up with Senator Kennedy on the Senate side – to create the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “There’s a troubling position that the U.S. Department of Education has been taking over the last 18 months…. They’re now telling borrowers who relied on an assurance that [their employer] would qualify [for the program are] being told now that it won’t…. We need to get to the bottom of that.”
The PSLF program encourages a wide array of professionals to pursue careers in public service – which typically offer lower pay and fewer benefits than private-sector careers – and which greatly assist underserved, urban, rural and tribal communities. Under PSLF, public servants across the country who work in education, public health, the military and many other public-sector fields for at least ten years are eligible to have their student loan debt forgiven. Many of these individuals take out loans, complete their education, and enter careers in public service partially because they have been assured that their debt will be relieved.
See below for a video of the Congressman’s full remarks.