Teacher student loan forgiveness…, now you see it…, now you don’t!

In an attempt to lure people into public service, Congress designed the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) program in 2007 to reduce the student debt burden for borrowers with a decade of service in government or nonprofit jobs.

That seems like a pretty decent deal.

You go to college, get your degree, get a job as a teacher, or some other job that serves the public, work at that job for at least 20 years, faithfully make at least 120 monthly payments on your student loans, and then get the remainder of your loans forgiven.

The only problem is Congresses’ program is a sham.

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This would seem to be a clear case of what we call “adding insult to injury.”

99% of the people applying for this loan forgiveness, even though they qualify, are denied loan forgiveness.

Oh…, and I forgot the part about going through the painful process of documenting and submitting everything to the Department of Education before being unceremoniously denied.

Then, according to Aarthi Swaminathan and Reggie Wade for Yahoo! News, “Responding to this extreme denial rate of the program in 2018, Congress approved funding to expand the number of borrowers in an initiative called the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF).”

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So Congress, performing at a level of ineptness only it could achieve, doubled down on its ineffectiveness.

We stupidly went through the painful process of documenting and submitting everything…, again…, to the Department of Education (DOE) before being unceremoniously rejected…, again!

“As of May this year, the DOE had received 54,000 requests for TEPSLF and only approved 1% of these requests.”

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‘“We recognize that the many restrictive eligibility requirements of PSLF and TEPSLF make the program difficult for borrowers to understand and navigate,’ Jeff Appel [an administrator for] Federal Student Aid [via] the U.S. Department of Education wrote in his testimony. ‘We are absolutely committed to helping borrowers navigate this complexity.’”

Yes, Mr. Appel, we are all thoroughly impressed by your commitment.

The question is, why does it have to be so complex?

The whole process seems like it should be pretty clear cut.

Like I said earlier, “You go to college, get your degree, get a job as a teacher, or some other job that serves the public, work at that job for at least 20 years, faithfully make at least 120 monthly payments on your student loans, and then get the remainder of your loans forgiven.”

If you can document that you meet all of these requirements, they should hold up their end of the bargain.

Am I right?

Illegal immigrants don’t seem to have any problem “navigating” their way through getting all of their freebies and federal benefits, which they so richly deserve!

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“One of 99% was Kelly Finlaw, a public school teacher in New York who recently testified about her experience with FedLoan Servicing.”

‘“I was misled. Not just by FedLoan, but by other servicers. I was lied to,’ Finlaw testified to Congress last week.”

‘“I did what I was asked to do. I called, I made my payments on time. I paid every month,’ Finlaw said, later adding: ‘After 10 years of making student loan payments, October 2017 was my month — my light at the end of the tunnel. I remember standing in my living room when the light at the tunnel went dark.’”

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“This summer, Finlaw joined the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second-largest teachers union in the U.S., in a lawsuit that calls on the U.S. government to fix the PSLF program.”

‘“Large numbers of borrowers have pursued careers in public service, sometimes at lower pay than in the private sector, with the hope of one day achieving loan forgiveness through the PSLF program,’ Melissa Emrey-Arras, the Government Accounting Office’s (GAO’s) director of education workforce and income security issues, wrote in her testimony. ‘Education needs to take action to better serve these borrowers and help smooth their long road towards loan forgiveness.’”

This sounds good Ms. Emrey-Arras, but we all know these are just more empty words.

Just another example of how much we value our educators.

I’ll keep you posted on when…, if ever, this situation gets resolved.

I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you.

 

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As far as support for educating our children goes…, actions (and money) speak louder than words.

No one would deny that educating our children properly and effectively should be one our society’s highest priorities.

Right?

I mean, every election cycle, isn’t “education” always a hot topic?

Isn’t the education of the country’s children a priority?

Many of us talk a good “education” game, but then when it comes to putting money where our mouths are, we drop the ball.

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We can talk about the importance of “education” all we want…, but the numbers don’t lie.

If we value “education,” then don’t we have to value our teachers as well?

After all, what is “education” without teachers?

Effective learning and effective teaching go hand in hand.

But the numbers don’t lie…, and apparently, we don’t value our teachers very much at all.

If we look at the top 25 paying jobs in America, per the Glassdoor website, we won’t find any teaching jobs here.

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But they must be fairly close to making the top 25 list, right?

I mean in order to even be hired as a teacher, a bachelor’s degree in “Education” is required, along with a “teachable” minor degree. State competency tests must be passed, and a background check must be passed as well, before someone can then be “certified” as a “teacher.”

On-going professional training and college level courses must then be completed prior to being re-certified every five years.

Note: Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies. Glassdoor also allows users to anonymously submit and view salaries as well as search and apply for jobs on its platform.

So where do teachers come in?

Well, according to the United States Department of Labor, with data as of 2018, the highest ranking teaching position would be a college law professor.  Ranking at number 37, with an average annual salary of $130,710.

Next on their list would be a college medical professor.  Ranking at number 46, and averaging $122,320 annually.

We continue to see more college level positions scattered throughout the next 64 positions…, which then brings us to Elementary and Secondary Education Administrators, ranked at 110, earning $98,750 annually.

But that’s the “Administrators.”

So our regular old “school teachers” should be coming up soon, right?

As we continue through the list, I don’t see them as we go all the way down to number 200.

I then continue down the list, and I still don’t see teachers listed in the top 300!

Then finally…, there…, all the way down at position 370 are our elementary and secondary teachers, with an average yearly salary of $62,200.

Yes folks…, we value our children’s education so much that we are willing to pay their teachers an average of $62K per year.

We value our children’s education so much that their teacher’s salary ranks 370th on the list of highest paying jobs in our country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

370th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s hard to believe isn’t it?

But the numbers don’t lie.

But 370th?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That means that there are 369 jobs out there that are apparently more valuable than being a teacher.

Off the top of your head…, could you list 10-15 jobs more important, or more difficult than being a teacher?

How about 15-25 jobs more important, or more difficult than being a teacher?

How about 100 jobs?!

200 jobs?!

300 jobs?!

369 jobs?!

Well, I think you get my point.

Teachers being ranked at number 370 on this list is absolutely ridiculous and a slap in the face to all of our teachers out there.

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I have to admit that I have personally been an elementary teacher and a high school teacher in my life, so I do carry some bias here…,

But number 370?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously?!

Believe me, it’s not easy managing the behavior of a classroom full of kids, while managing to instruct them across a curriculum with multiple subjects, not to mention all of the life lessons teachers impart regarding communicating, getting along with others, manners, etc.

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And many, many teachers have to pay for many of their own classroom supplies and snacks on top of it!

And yet, some individuals will still say that teachers are overpaid!!!!

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Yes…, some say that Teachers’ salaries are driving up their taxes…, and that they only work 9 or 10 months a year on top of it!

Some people feel that Teachers are just glorified babysitters and that they should be paid as such.

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Okay…, well, let’s look at this scenario and see how much money we’d all save!

We can get a “babysitter” for way less than minimum wage, right?

That’s right!  Let’s give these “teachers” $3.00 an hour, which isn’t bad at all for your average babysitter…, and only for the hours they actually are in class; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school on grading papers, attending special programs, parent conferences, or running clubs or coaching sports.

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That would come to $19.50 a day (7:45 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., with 45 min. off for lunch and planning.  That equals 6 1/2 hours).  Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.

Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30?  So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!!

Aha!!!

We’re not going to pay these teachers for any vacation days!

So, let’s see…, that’s $585 X 180 then, or…, $105,300 per year?

Wait…, what?!  That can’t be right!  That’s way more than their making now!

How could that be?!

(That would move teachers all the way up the list to number 83!  That’s much better, but still quite low in comparison.)

But wait!

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees?

Well, we could be extra generous and pay them minimum wage ($7.75), you know…, like if they worked at Taco Bell or McDonald’s, and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8.00 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year!

I think we just lost a few of our complaining taxpayers!

I also think it’s time for us as a nation to get serious about our children’s education.

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NOTE:  If you’re not already “following” me and you liked my blog(s) today, please “click” on the comment icon just to the right of the date at the bottom of this article.  From there you can let me know you “like” my blog, leave a comment or click the “Follow” button which will keep you up to date on all of my latest posts.

Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

 

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