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AFT members are taking Navient to court

A class-action suit filed in federal court sets out serious allegations that student loan servicer Navient has misled borrowers in public service professions from accessing a loan forgiveness program to boost its own profits. The landmark complaint, which seeks millions in damages and class-wide injunctive relief, details a spate of systematic misrepresentations, untruths and misdirection pedaled by Navient to stop borrowers from enrolling in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a 10-year payoff plan administered by rival servicer FedLoan.

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A Decade of Neglect

“A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession” details for the first time the devastating impact on schools, classrooms and students when states choose to pursue an austerity agenda in the false belief that tax cuts will pay for themselves. The comprehensive report offers a deep dive into the long-term austerity agendas and historic disinvestment that sparked the wave of nationwide walkouts this spring.

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Trump Education Budget Tips Scale Against "Marginalized Communities"

April 26, 2017  | Public News Service | Eric Tegethoff, Producer

SEATTLE - Teachers and education staff are watching closely this week to see what happens with the Trump administration's proposed cuts to Education Department programs, as Congress works on a budget for next year.

The proposal slashes more than 13 percent, or $9 billion, off the agency's budget. While this might change during negotiations, Karen Strickland, president of the American Federation of Teachers of Washington, said she sees a theme that is emerging from the proposal. [full story]

 

WA Lawmakers Consider "Student Loan Bill of Rights"

March 10, 2017 | Eric Tegethoff, Producer, Washington News Service

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill to hold student loan providers accountable for their services.

Passed in the House last week, the Senate is considering the Student Loan Bill of Rights.

House Bill 1440 gives students protections as consumers of loan services, and also establishes a student loan ombuds to advocate for students and resolve loan issues.

Rep. Monica Stonier, who sponsored the bill in the House, says an ombuds will be able to help students navigate the questionable practices of some loan providers. [read or hear full story]

WA Part-time College Instructors Seek Job Stability

February 8, 2016 | Washington News Service | Chris Thomas, Producer

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Almost half the college courses in Washington are taught by part-time instructors at less pay than full-timers and with no benefits. Legislation in Olympia aims to change that in the state's busy community and technical college system. House Bill 2615 outlines a plan to convert 200 teaching positions every two years from part-time to full-time. [more]

Legislature Should Let Community College Faculty Manage Their Own Affairs

Feb. 21, 2014 | Crosscut.com | Guest Opinion by Karen Strickland and Michael Boggess

If you or someone you know has taken a class at one of Washington's community and technical colleges, there is a 50-50 change that the instructor was a part-time faculty member. For decades, higher education institutions across the country have increasingly hired part-time, adjunct or contingent faculty to reach, primarily because of shrinking state funding. [full article]

"Pay it Forward" aims to change how students fund college

Feb. 21, 2014 | USA TODAY | Alex Koma, Collegiate Correspondent

The "Pay it Forward" program may change the way students pay for their college education. A bill making its way through Washington state's House of Representatives has the potential to change the way students pay for college. . . . "The program is addressing a problem we all agree exists, but the problems outweight the benefits," says Karen Strickland, president of the Washington chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, . . . ." [full article]

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