March 10, 2008

Forgive Them, Father, For They Have Learned

Last Monday, the Washington Post ran an article titled "Credit Crisis May Make College Loans More Costly." This piqued my interest on two (2) counts. First, I am in college. Second, I have loans in order to make the first one possible. After doing a little digging, though, I found a third reason to get excited, and one that now brings me to the keyboard.

In a Letter to the Editor that will run in Tuesday's edition of the Post, Representative John Sarbanes from Massachusetts says this:

The Post highlighted rising educational debt and its impact on career choices ["Credit Crisis May Make College Loans More Costly," front page March 3]. Particularly troubling is that the burden of debt has aggravated attrition within the leadership ranks of the nonprofit world.

Last fall, Congress enacted the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which makes college more affordable. Within this law is a measure that brings special relief to those who enter the nonprofit world. This provision, also known as the Education for Public Service Act, will allow graduates with direct federal loans and consolidated federal loans to obtain immediate reductions in their monthly payments as well as loan forgiveness after 10 years in public service.

Linking loan forgiveness to a decade in the nonprofit sector will not only help build careers, it will create future leaders in the field.

Well said, sir. Well said. The bold is my addition. But I'm sure Mr. Sarbanes wouldn't mind. He authored the bill, and is working to move it through the long process of getting a signature by the (Wo)Man In The Oval Office. It was introduced in June of 2007, and hasn't moved much since. You can track its progress and read the full text here.

The House Committee On Education And Labor and its subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness are responsible for the bill. This is cool because it brings a more local focus into the picture. Representative Raul Grijalva sits on the committee serving Arizona's Seventh District.

I am thinking that a letter writing campaign is in my midst. Anyone want to join? The text defines "Public Sector" as anyone working for Federal, State, local government, or a 501(c)(3) organization. Sounds like a lot of people I know...

Here is some contact information in the mean time:

Representative Ed Pastor (D-AZ) - Arizona District 4
Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) - Author of Bill
Representative George Miller (D-CA) - Committee Chair

If you don't live in the Phoenix area, find your local Representative here. Looking forward to seeing this materialize!

"The lack of money is the root of all evil."
Mark Twain

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