Democratic presidential candidates push for affordable education, student loan forgiveness

SAN FRANCISCO — Democratic presidential contender Senator Bernie Sanders wasted no time to lay down his plans for education during a town hall event in San Francisco.

Sanders drew focus to his plan to make tuition free at four-year colleges and universities.

Sanders also wants to eliminate all student debt.

“All student debt costs $2.2 trillion. That’s a lot of money. I’ll tell you how we’re going to pay for it. We’re going to impose a modest tax on wall street speculation which will raise $2.4 trillion…more than we need to do all of this.”

Filipino American Freedom Siyam is the current principal at Balboa High School.

During the event, Sanders invited Siyam to share his story about how he took out student loans to pursue his dream of becoming an educator.

But due to defaulting on his loans and struggling to pay for his family’s medical bills — his current debt is at $115,000.

Siyam is supporting Sanders’ presidential bid because the senator’s plan will help himself and his students.

“I could maybe begin to start planning for a retirement, that would be kind of nice, or the potential of buying a home. And for my students who I work with day in day out maybe they will choose college as an option as oppose to going directly into the workforce.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates have also laid out their plans for student loan forgiveness.

Under Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan, student loan borrowers could have at least part of their debt cancelled depending on their household income.

Former Obama housing secretary Julian Castro proposes for borrowers to be able to have their loans forgiven, tax-free, after 20 years of payments.

Senator Kamala Harris wants to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for borrowers who received Pell grants if they start a business and operate it in a poor community for at least three years.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, on the other hand, will allow borrowers to refinance their loans at a 4% interest rate.

Sanders is reaching out to the Filipino community through new merchandize featuring Tagalog.

According to the latest Monmouth University Poll, Sanders, Warren, and former vice president Joe Biden share a virtual three-way tie among registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters.

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