Teachers Sue DeVos Over Public Service Loan Forgiveness

July 12, 2019

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten filed a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in federal court Thursday alleging "gross mismanagement" of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The AFT brought the lawsuit on behalf of eight members who are seeking to have their loan debt discharged. The department under DeVos, the organization argues, is responsible for processing errors and failures to oversee the loan servicers that handle student loan payments.

Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to allow workers in eligible public or nonprofit sector jobs to have the balance of their federal loans forgiven after 120 qualifying monthly payments. Of the roughly 76,000 applications submitted since 2017, though, about 1 percent have been approved by the Education Department, leading to complaints by Democratic lawmakers and borrower advocates.

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