On Friday, Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) announced that if he were elected president, he would aim to forgive all student loan debt held by public school teachers in the U.S., CNBC reported.
O’Rourke proposed 100 percent student loan debt forgiveness for school teachers, allowing them to focus completely on their students instead of worrying about paying their debts back.
The announcement was made during a candidate forum organized by the National Education Association. Ten democratic presidential candidates answered questions from NEA members.
“Those educators struggling under these conditions, providing that kind of wraparound care for every child entrusted within their care, I want to make sure they can focus on that job, that child in front of them and not have to work a second or third job, as so many do,” O’Rourke said at the forum.
Earlier, O’Rourke promised to make the first two years at public or community colleges debt-free. On Friday, O’Rourke added that he would increase financial investments in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority education as well.
He also promised to protect the right for teachers to organize, paid family leave, affordable childcare, universal pre-K, universal health care and a minimum wage that is a living wage.
Pete Buttigieg and Julián Castro, two candidates who are also eyeing the Democratic presidential nomination, recently proposed various education policy measures to attract young voters.
Castro proposed eliminating tuition at public colleges, universities, community colleges, and technical and vocational schools, as well as investing $3 billion per year to provide financial support for low-income students at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.
Buttigieg proposed creating a federal partnership that will make public tuition affordable for all and completely free for those from lower-income households. He also called for increasing Pell Grants, which help students with basic living expenses and keep up with inflation.