Good news! Today Congressman George Miller's office announced a big House student aid bill.
*Pell Grant goes up by $500 a year to $5200.
*Expansion in loan forgiveness: Providing loan forgiveness for first responders, law enforcement officers, firefighters, nurses, public defenders, prosecutors, early childhood educators, librarians and others. Revising policies to allow public servants to have their loans forgiven after 10 years.
*Upfront tuition assistance to undergraduates who commit to teaching in underserved public schools (Sort of nationalizing Teach for America, way to go Wendy Kopp)
*Increased federal loan limits.
*Paying for it all, plus a $750 million spending cut, with reductions in lender subsidies.
The bill addresses most of the 4 main concerns raised in a letter sent today by the PIRGs and other student advocates. Luke Swarthout says, "We applaud Chairman Miller" etc.
What the bill leaves out? Bankruptcy protection on student loans. Fair payment assurance: tying repayment to income, so folks don't get trapped with untenable debt burdens. And amnesty for those buried under long-defaulted, "exploded" loans and dangerous levels of private loan debt.