Statement: Roosevelt Institute Fellow Responds to Resignation in US Department of Education

October 24, 2019

New York, NY—Tuition is rising, and student loan debt stands at more than $1.6 trillion. Meanwhile, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s policies continue to trap Americans in more debt.

Today, however, news is breaking that Education Department appointee, A. Wayne Johnson is not only resigning but also calling for massive cancellation of student debt. Johnson is the chief strategy and transformation officer for the Office of Federal Student Aid, leading a revamp of how the agency deals with borrowers and the companies that service the debt, and he previously served as the chief operating officer. His position draws a striking contrast to comments from Mrs. DeVos, who last week criticized the Democrats’ higher-education proposals.

Responding to the news, Roosevelt Fellow Julie Margetta Morgan is hopeful for a bipartisan shift in how view and aim to solve for the student debt crisis:

“Wayne Johnson got an inside look at how student loans are hurting borrowers, and he could not deny the evidence: America’s student loan program is a massive failed experiment that is hurting borrowers and our economy. And he’s not alone: Nearly two-thirds of registered voters said that they would support a plan to make public colleges tuition-free and to cancel most existing student loans. The evidence is out there, and people on both sides of the aisle are beginning to listen. It’s time to stop industry insiders from reaping billions in profits at the expense of not just students but also our nation’s collective economic future.”

To learn more about bold ideas—from student debt cancellation to debt-free college—that can help to end this crippling crisis, click here.

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