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President Biden Vetoes Effort to Shut Down $20,000 in Student Loan Forgiveness

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Last week, President Biden vetoed a Republican-led piece of legislation that would have canceled his plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for millions of Americans. While Republicans led the bill, a handful of moderate Democrats joined their colleagues across the aisle to nullify the Biden-Harris Administration’s student debt relief program — citing the plan as too costly for tax payers and unfair to Americans who did not attend college.

In a video message released on Wednesday, President Biden said:

“I’m not going to back down on my efforts to help tens of millions of working- and middle-class families… That’s why I’m going to veto this bill … I remain committed to continuing to make college affordable and providing this critical relief to borrowers as they work to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic.”

That said, even with President Biden vetoing the bill, the future of the plan remains to be seen. The Supreme Court is preparing to rule in the coming weeks whether to allow the Biden Administration to proceed with the program. 

New Resources from the Department of Education 

  • Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) and its Safe and Supportive Schools’ technical assistance centers released a series of fact sheets on how school leaders and communities may support students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic well-being and success — through student and teacher support teamseducators and school-based staffschool and school district leaders, and enhanced relationships with families

  • The technical assistance centers will host webinars on the resource and fact sheets:
    • Introduction to the Department’s “Guiding Principles for Creating Safe, Inclusive, Supportive, and Fair School Climates” (August 9, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time)
    • Strategies for School and District Leaders (August 23, 3:00 p.m. ET)
    • Strategies for Schools to Enhance Relationships with Families (September 20, 3:00 p.m. ET)
    • Strategies for Educators and School-Based Staff (October 4, 3:00 p.m. ET)
    • Strategies for Student and Teacher Support Teams (October 18, 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • The Department of Education announced new Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grants for four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) disrupted by bomb threats last year. Project SERV awards short-term funding for school districts and postsecondary institutions that have experienced a violent or traumatic incident to assist in restoring a safe environment for learning. Eight other HBCUs were previously awarded grants.