Green Party calls for a Student Debt Jubilee, urges student protests against skyrocketing tuition costs

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders spoke out on education at the beginning of the New Year and called for a student debt jubilee and free tuition to state colleges and universities in 2013.

Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party nominee for President: “A student debt jubilee, with forgiveness for all student loans, would be more than just a New Year’s gift for students and former students enduring crushing student loan debt while facing dim prospects in today’s job market. Freeing students from the debt trap would be comparable to the GI Bill, enacted after World War II, which sent millions of veterans to college and helped jumpstart America’s postwar period of unprecedented prosperity. Instead of buying up $40 billion a month in toxic mortgage securities, we should be buying up student loans and forgiving them. Instead of bailing out the banks, whose waste, fraud, and abuse caused the economic crisis, we should be bailing out the students who are the victims of that crisis.”

Alex Shantz, Youth Caucus delegate to the Green Party’s National Committee and co-chair for the Green Party of California: “Students in the U.S. are being cheated. Skyrocketing tuition costs have burdened today’s students with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars as interest compounds. Financial sector companies, including Sallie Mae, have turned higher education into a scheme for indentured servitude, with many students stuck in low-paying jobs. The current system is creating compliant workers for Big Business and is resegregating our schools by race and economic class. Meanwhile, students in Europe enjoy free or low-cost college tuition at state-run colleges and universities.”

Samantha Rocknowski, co-chair of the Green Party’s Youth Caucus: “I have about $43,000 in student loans, and I’m still without a full-time job a year after finishing school, for all the money I spent getting a higher education. There are millions of college graduates with debts like mine or worse (http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2012/03/grading-student-loans.html). We need a student movement against the debt trap and mounting tuition costs — a movement that’s comparable to the student protests of the 1960s. Jill Stein made the $1 trillion student debt crisis and the need for drastic change a top priority in her campaign as the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. This debt is a drag on the U.S. economy, while bipartisan austerity measures, combined with high military spending and tax cuts for the wealthy, are only creating more debt and making more students and graduates helpless. We urge students in the U.S. to stand up and protest — like the students in Quebec who demonstrated en masse against tuition hikes in 2012 and won concessions.”

See also:

“Eliminate tuition, student debt, says Stein as campus protests spread nationally”
Jill Stein for President, March 1, 2012


“Higher education in peril: Students take a stand for the Green Party”
Jill Stein for President, November 4, 2012


“Green Party recognizes and welcomes Green Youth Caucus”
Green Party press release, December 5, 2012


“Is Education a Human Right or a Privilege for the Wealthy?”
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Truthout, December 13, 2012


Youth Caucus



Ronald Hardy

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