Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is being sued for refusing to allow the student loan forgiveness program to actually forgive student loans.
Politico reported Thursday that 99 percent of applicants for the program have been rejected since DeVos took over the Department of Education. The American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten joined with eight student loan borrowers on the lawsuit in federal court alleging the decision-making process violated their constitutional right to due process.
The program dates back to 2007 when Congress passed a law creating the plan for student loan borrowers who work in public service. Thus far, very few have been able to enter the program in recent years, leaving tens of thousands of people suffering from broken promises after serving their 10 years in public service.
The Education Department says that the applicants were denied because they didn’t meet eligibility requirements, but AFT disagrees.
“Instead of helping the millions of Americans owed debt relief under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, DeVos has hurt and pauperized them,” Weingarten said in a release. “And instead of working with lawmakers to improve the program that millions of teachers, firefighters, nurses and first responders deserve, DeVos has vandalized it.”
Department spokesperson Liz Hill wouldn’t comment on any “pending litigation,” but she swore the department “is faithfully administering the complex program Congress passed.”
This isn’t the first time student loan borrowers have clashed with DeVos. In June, students sued DeVos for predatory student loan lending. The class-action lawsuit accuses DeVos and the department of “illegally stalling their decision on at least 158,000 borrower defense claims,” reported MarketWatch.
In that case, the department blamed former President Barack Obama, saying there wasn’t a process to navigate the claims. When an administration exits, the political appointees generally resign.