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Pete Buttigieg Promises Debt Forgiveness, Investment in HBCUs

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg renewed his efforts to appeal to African-American voters by announcing a comprehensive plan aimed at their empowerment.

Last week, the mayor of South Bend proposed The Douglass Plan that, he says, would dismantle the “racist structures and systems” and invest in empowering black Americans.

The plan proposed making public college tuition free for low-income students and increasing investments in the Pell Grant program to cover living costs. It also promises to cancel the debts of borrowers in low-quality, overwhelmingly for-profit programs, starting with those that failed federal gainful employment rules.

Earlier this month, Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education would revoke the gainful employment rules entirely, effective July 1, 2020. The plan to revoke the regulations was unveiled last year, claiming that the revocation would ensure transparency in higher education data to students and lead to equitable treatment of all higher education institutions.

Buttigieg’s proposal also calls to invest $25 billion in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). A part of the funds will support, test, and scale promising practices to improve college completion at HBCUs.

For the public education system, Buttigieg said he will increase federal resources for students at Title I schools. 
He also promised to issue new regulations to diversify the teaching profession.

In May, Buttigieg promised to ensure zero tuition for middle-income families at public colleges and dedicated support to HBCUs and MSIs. He also proposed largely increasing Pell Grants that help students with basic living expenses and keep up with inflation.

Earlier this month as a part of his campaign, he also announced his “New Call to Service” policy proposal that will create a network of 1 million national service members by 2026. The proposal promised sops like student debt forgiveness, vocational training, and hiring preference for those who take part in service.

Authors Allege DeVos of Distorting Gainful Employment Research

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