Home New mexico tax Biden touts student debt relief at NM community college days before midterm election

Biden touts student debt relief at NM community college days before midterm election

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President Joe Biden’s appearance at Central New Mexico Community College on Thursday focused on student debt relief and gave the state’s Democratic leaders a chance to brag about new educational opportunities. to students from kindergarten to college.

“New Mexico is considered to have one of the fastest and possibly the fastest growing or two fastest growing inclusive college enrollments in the country,” Biden said.

He touted the student debt relief website, urging people earning less than $125,000 a year to apply for up to $10,000 to cover student loan debt. He said nearly 16 million Americans and more than 150,000 New Mexicans are ready to get their loans approved. Then he accused Republicans of stalling the payment process with a lawsuit.

“Republican members of Congress and Republican governors and are doing everything they can, including taking us to court for denying aid, and even their own constituents,” he said. “Their outrage is just plain wrong.”

The president stopped by the CNM before participating in a New Mexico Democratic Party rally in the South Valley.

CNM students Eva Marr and Candice Clark watched from the front row as Biden described student debt relief policies they said would reduce stress upon graduation, as they also help their families through student debt relief. investments in education created by the leaders of New Mexico.

“It (help) means the difference of getting an education or not for me, Clark said. “I wouldn’t be in school without it.”

Biden stressed that his goal when running for president was to increase support for people like Marr and Clark.

“The most important goal was to give middle-class families and working-class families a fighting chance, they had been short-sighted for a long time, in all areas,” he said. . “And that’s why I said let it be tax policy, let it be education policy, whatever it is, we’re going to build this economy from the middle, from the bottom up.”

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) spoke ahead of Biden and also celebrated the importance of CNM, a place she said she frequented for her professional development.

“I got my sewage, OSHA, and hazardous waste certifications here at (CNM). I studied welding and fire science. And I even took a course in solar engineering and electronics,” Stansbury said. “And I don’t mean to brag, but I’m wiring a nasty circuit.”

Clark and her husband are recipients of the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, a program signed into law in 2020 by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham that covers all educational expenses at CNM and 28 other New Mexico colleges. The couple have seven children and the first to graduate from high school in 2023 will also benefit from the scholarship to attend the state university.

She is thrilled that a third of her family will be able to finish college without significant debt, or even the possibility of getting $10,000 in relief to cover the costs of the Biden plan.

“I just want my kids to know, and that’s the reason I’m joining college at 39 is that they have opportunities,” Clark said. “I’m a first-generation college student, and when I was growing up it was ‘do you want to work in the factory in this town? Or do you want to work in the factory in this town? That was all for opportunities for me.

Marr has a child in kindergarten, so she expects federal and state investments to provide greater opportunities for her child. She already benefits from free childcare options that allow her daughter to attend school, another recent state initiative to subsidize or fully cover childcare costs.

A constitutional amendment is on the ballot in New Mexico that could increase funding for early childhood education by $200 million each year.

Marr and Clark were thrilled with the attention the president’s visit brought to community colleges, as it validates their experience in education.

“It shines a light on the community college and what we can do here,” Clark said.

Biden made sure to mention that First Lady Jill Biden teaches at a community college and shares the realities facing working-class students.

“Some of the students she meets are working two or three jobs while going to school, putting it on the table helping the kids with homework, staying home late,” Biden said. “I’m here today to tell you that this student loan relief plan is for them as they recover from the economic crisis, the pandemic and pay for their education.”

This article was first published by Source New Mexico, a sister publication to the Nebraska Examiner.