“Pick up the pen, Joe!” Cancel Student Debt! Day of Action, April 4, 2022

As April begins, there’s a rash of headlines about student debt — which has been on pause for two years due to COVID. President Biden and the Department of Education explicitly promised to use this pause to prepare to cancel at least some student debt. Instead, we’ve seen some modest reforms to issues with the system, but only at the edges of what’s called “loan forgiveness.” Meanwhile, May 1 is still the scheduled start of repayment for 45 million borrowers.

Join us in Washington, D.C. on Monday. to demand that Biden keep his promise.

An impressive list of groups (see photo) is coming together  in Washington, D.C. on April 4th to demand  “Pick Up The Pen, Joe.”  Biden has known since at least February that he has authority to make it happen with the stroke of a pen, and doesn’t need to wait for Congress. 

  •  Student debt is a labor issue. College loans eat up our take-home pay and reduce our wages. 
  • The needs of students and access to education are more important than making loan payments. The government is doing just fine without the payments.
  • Rising student debt damages the quality of instruction and disproportionately impacts our most marginalized communities. Extending the payment pause is a Band-Aid solution for a civil rights crisis. 
  • The student debt crisis is also a teacher debt crisis. Today’s average teacher carries about $58,700 in debt – as much as their annual salary. The balance  is even larger for Black educators. And such loan debt is an overlooked barrier to diversifying the U.S teaching workforce. California principal Dr. Richelle Brooks put it simply in an op-ed: “I’m not asking for forgiveness. I am demanding justice.”

Those of us who can’t make it to D.C. are organizing “Pick Up the Pen, Joe!” actions locally. Check out this social media kit and add your voice on Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok.