More careers than ever require post-secondary education, yet higher education is increasingly out of reach. Students and families—not public dollars—now fund the bulk of higher education costs.
For years, NEA members advocated together in favor of canceling college debt to help fix the teacher shortage. Now, because of the Biden administration’s life-changing actions, student loans taken out by 48 million borrowers are being substantially reduced, forgiven, or even canceled outright. This has a ripple effect, impacting not only the borrowers themselves, but parents and grandparents who are helping them repay their debts and the loved ones who depend on them financially.
But our work is not over. Providing two years of tuition-free access to community college or a four-year institution would help make higher education affordable and accessible to all.
There are other crucial steps we must take to strengthen higher education. Institutions must invest in full-time, tenure-track faculty members, support academic freedom, and improve working conditions for adjunct or “contingent” faculty.
“When we approach this question of disinvestment in higher education, we do so from the perspective of social justice, from the perspective of equity, from the perspective of the quality of life for our students.”