Congresswoman Jackie Speier

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Congresswoman Speier Urges Secretary DeVos to Honor Federal Loan Forgiveness Commitments to Public Servants

April 24, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), joined 76 of her colleagues in a letter sent today to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging DeVos to review the Department of Education’s implementation of the Pubic Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to ensure that it is consistent, transparent, and impartial for all student-loan borrowers employed in public service. The letter was led by Reps. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Susan Davis (D-CA) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ).

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.

“We urge you to review the Department’s implementation of PSLF for consistency, transparency, and fairness, in order to restore trust in the program for those who have chosen to pursue public service,” the Members wrote. “Under PSLF, public servants across the country who work in education, public health, the military and many other sectors dedicate at least ten years of their lives to helping their communities, and in return, their student loan debt is 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.”

A similar letter was sent to Secretary DeVos by 36 Senate Democrats on April 6th.

The House and Senate letters were sent in response to recent reports that the Department of Education was not honoring the commitments it made to PSLF participants and, in certain cases, revoking and retroactively denying approval letters for public service employees that were previously deemed eligible for the program.

The full text of the letter and signatures can be found here.

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