Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal has teamed up with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to introduce a bill that would make four-year public college free for families making less than $125,000, and make community college free for all.
The $600 billion cost would be funded by a tax on Wall Street speculation.
The College for All Act would also reduce student-loan debt by cutting all student- loan interest rates for new borrowers in half; enable existing borrowers to refinance loans based on the interest rates available to new borrowers; and prevent the federal government from profiting off the student-loan program.
Its sponsors say the bill would reduce student debt by allowing existing federal aid to cover other college costs, including books, housing and transportation. It would require states and tribes participating in the program to cover the full cost of college for their poorest students. It would also increase the size of work-study programs.
The bill’s co-sponsors, all Democrats, include Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. It’s been endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the American Association of University Professors, among others.
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