Rachel Stevens, FISM News
Education secretary Betsy DeVos called Biden’s policy proposals, including free college for some and cancellation of student loan debt, “truly insidious” Tuesday in her annual address to the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office.
Biden’s proposal specifies eliminating the costs at community colleges and cancelling $10,000 in student debt for any borrowers. He has also pushed for an income-contingent repayment plan capped at 5% of a person’s income, and forgiveness of up to $50,000 of school debt for those seeking public service careers.
Nearly every Democrat running for office in recent history has made promises related to cancelling student debt and reducing costs of education, but it is not exactly a unifying theme amongst Democrats who seem to disagree on how this should be implemented.
Biden told reporters last week about his student loan forgiveness plan, saying, “It should be done immediately.”
If Congress remains split, it is uncertain how much leeway Biden would have in the matter of education barring an executive order, which is still called into questions of validity.
“We’ve heard shrill calls to cancel, to forgive, to make it all free. Any innocuous label out there can’t obfuscate what it really is: wrong,” said Devos. “Still more advance the truly insidious notion of government gift giving.”
Devos warned the policies would amount to a government takeover and tank the most respected higher education system in the world.
“Mark my words,” she said, “none of you would like the way it will work. American higher education is still the envy of the world because it is currently a competitive marketplace that drives innovation and produces high-quality outcomes,” she said. “If the politicians proposing free college today get their way, just watch our colleges and universities begin to resemble a failing K-12 school, with the customer service of the DMV to boot.”
She framed her remarks around fairness and cost, citing that it simply would not work for most Americans the way they want it to and will have lasting, negative impacts on the job market and economy at large. If Biden does end up taking the Presidency, it is unclear what the future of DeVos will be in education policy.