A recent Gallup poll found that 58 percent of registered Republicans believe college has a negative effect on our society. I do not believe this nor do I think most Idaho Republicans, independents and Democrats believe this. We believe that college education is the principal driver of social and economic growth in our country. This belief is based on all research on the subject. Coming from a farm background, my affordable education provided me and two more generations access to the middle class.
This administration and Congress have been and are waging a serious attack on college students. The latest effort, H.R.4508, is a rewrite of laws governing higher education and is now working its way through Congress. A short time ago the House Committee on Education passed legislation that would eliminate subsidies for interest payments on federal loans while students are in college. This is not a trivial change as nearly 6 million borrowers, most of whom are from middle and lower income families, would lose interest subsidies without any corresponding benefit in return.
H.R 508 also eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This program promotes new graduates to take teaching jobs in rural and underserved areas. My wife was able to become a nursing instructor with this program.
H.R. 4508 is still a work in progress. if you believe it is important for our society to enable students who are smart and poor to gain postsecondary education, then I urge you to step up and voice your opinion. Contact our Congressional Representative, Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, at his Coeur d’Alene office at 208-667-0127.