Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Student debt will be the next bubble to burst. Tell Congress to forgive student debt
Student loan debt in America is the largest form of any debt, other than home mortgages. Many student loan borrowers are defaulting. If nothing is done, this could be the next bubble to burst, propelling the economy into another recession. It doesn’t help that overall earnings for young people is substantially lower than past generations. With rising cost of living, the burden of student loans, and the reality of lower wages - recent graduates are struggling for the basics. It’s only a matter of time before more student loan borrowers default on their loans. Congress could do something about it, they could forgive student loan debt by passing the Student Loan Forgiveness Act. Tell Congress to help reinvigorate the economy and simultaneously avert the next financial crisis - forgive all federal student loan debt and pass the House Student Loan Forgiveness Act. Across the U.S., student debt is holding an entire generation back from life’s major milestones; from buying a first home to starting a family. Some states are starting to take notice. Maine is one of the first U.S. states trying to help student loan borrowers. Over one-third of Maine’s population is at or near-retirement. In an effort to attract young Mainers who’ve left the state for higher paying jobs elsewhere - while also reinvigorating the state’s economy - Maine is giving student borrowers a second chance. In the state’s new program, the state will help recent grads pay off their student loan debt through a state-tax reimbursement, ranging from $3,500 to $5,000 a year over a ten-year period. States shouldn’t have to go it alone. Tell Congress to forgive federal student loan debt. Large student loan burdens have meant graduates aren’t investing in themselves or the economy like past generations of Americans. It’s easy to see why. Forty-four million Americans are carrying the burden of student loan debt, amounting to a whopping $1.5 trillion. For perspective, America’s credit card debt was $1 trillion in 2017. Only one-third of student loans are in repayment, the rest has essentially been put on hold or is in default. Across the U.S., 1 million Americans default on their student loans every year. By 2023, 40% of borrowers will default on their student loans - pushing us all into the next recession and shrinking the middle class. Whether or not you have student loan debt, student loan defaults will devastate the economy - hurling us all into the next recession. Tell Congress to prevent the next recession before it happens, forgive student loan debt.
Petition to West Virginia State House
WVU Students Against Campus Carry, House Bill 2519
House Bill 2519 would allow the concealed carry of firearms on campus and in many campus buildings, such as classrooms and residence halls. Many students feel that this bill is a threat to their public safety with the rise of many mass and school shootings around the nation. It is up to us to prevent this bill from being enacted at WVU and putting students and faculty in danger.
Petition to Tonya Pfaff
No to Indiana Bill 1408- Mandatory Kindergarten
Indiana House Bill 1408- Mandatory Kindergarten enrollment. This bill would require that beginning with the 2019-2020 school year if your child is 5 years old by August 1st they will need to be registered for Kindergarten. Indiana already has an option to send your child if they are 5, but if this bill passes it would be a requirement to send them at 5 years old. This should not be mandatory. Signing this petition will tell our legislators we do not agree with mandatory Kindergarten for 5 year olds.
Petition to Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin, Michael F. Bennet, Cory A. Booker, Benjamin L. Cardin, Robert Casey, Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth, Richard J. Durbin, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Kamala D. Harris, Margaret Wood Hassan, Martin Heinrich, Heidi Heitkamp, Mazie K. Hirono, Amy Klobuchar, Patrick J. Leahy, Joe Manchin III, Edward J. Markey, Claire McCaskill, Robert Menendez, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Gary C. Peters, Jack Reed, Jeanne Shaheen, Debbie Stabenow, Tom Udall, Chris Van Hollen, Sheldon Whitehouse, Ron Wyden, Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein, Jackie Speier, Bill Nelson, Carolyn B. Maloney, Peter Shumlin, Charles E. Schumer, Maria Cantwell, Kurt Schrader
"CAP" Private & FED Student Loan Interest
Dear Senator, In 2018 student loan debt had eclipsed 1.5 trillion dollars. With roughly about 44 million borrowers, that sets the average student loan debt at about 38K per student. Society’s taught us all at a young age, that education was the key to success. We were told “get a good education and this will assure you get a well paying job after graduating from college.” This message is embedded in our minds early in life. Unfortunately, for many this could not be further from the truth. I know this letter may come across your desk and potentially be overlooked, because I am not a constituent in your state. But within your state are many just like me (thousands maybe even millions). Many do not know what to do, so I would like to be their voice and beacon of hope. I am a private student loan borrower (Sallie Mae/Navient). I (like many) could not afford to pay for college out of my own pocket. Thankfully, I was able to fund my 4 years of college with both Federal & Private loans (mostly private). While I am grateful for the college experience and degree I earned, it’s been overshadowed by the enormous never-ending growing balance post graduation. I originally borrowed 55,532.88 for my college education from Sallie Mae/Navient. I graduated in 2005. Year-to-date I’ve made payments totaling 59,509.13. My remaining balance is still 64,143.21. Seeing these figures side-by-side on my excel spreadsheets literally sickens my stomach. However, I am proactively working on a plan to pay it back. The statistic shared earlier shows that student loan debt is a problem in this country we call the “land of opportunity.” For myself and many others, we feel the mounting pressures of the growing balance even after repayment has started. Defaults rates are well above normal and will continue to sore. This is why I’m putting this petition together to call for reform to specifically “private student loans.” Upon graduation, the original principal in some cases have doubled, tripled even quadrupled because of the “daily compounding interest.” I am calling for Government Representatives to step-in and set a “CAP limit” on the amount of interest Private loan providers can add onto original loan balances. Balances are growing on a daily basis. The payments most students are making is primarily going toward the interest that is still growing daily. How are borrowers suppose to ever make a dint in the principal balance? It’s virtually impossible. The interest rates are variable and set by the lender. Why do lenders need to collect 2, 3, or 4 times the amount borrowed? Income based repayments (which is primarily for Fed Loans) isn’t a solution; it’s a Band-Aid. This only lowers the monthly payment while the interest is still increasing, eventually increasing your overall balance. We need real reform. Reform that will truly help all student borrowers pay off their private student loans with a “reasonable” amount of interest. It feels as if private lenders purposely want to keep students in debt well into their elderly years. Which morally, simply is not the right thing to do. Education shouldn’t be a penalty. Private lenders are profiting 2, 3, and even 4 fold at an alarming rate from “interest only.” How many executives are receiving bonuses? Why do private lenders need so much interest it they are claiming to help struggling students pay for college? I can not predict the future. I do not know what happens if this student loan bubble bursts like the housing market did some years back. But students are being left with the short end of the stick and mounting balances unless Government appointed officials create and pass real laws that will bring change to this predatory system “Private Loan Providers” have taken advantage of for so many years. #CAPstudentloaninterest
Petition to The West Virginia State Legislature
Our Students First- Stop the WV Omnibus Bill
West Virginia public education employees are calling out to every WV citizen to oppose the WV "omnibus" education bill. Omnibus bills are usually run with the purpose of linking popular (such as Gov. Justice’s pay raise) and unpopular (increasing class sizes in 1-6 grades, charter schools, ESAs, eliminating seniority) proposals together to help the unpopular ones pass without having to be debated, considered, and voted upon separately. This roughly 140 page bill is being presented as "education reform" to help the children of WV, however, no WV public education employees were consulted while this massive bill was being drafted. Including multiple items in a bill and calling it comprehensive education reform is overly simplistic and erroneous. Each of these items should be presented with transparency in their own bills and pass or fail based on their own merits. In addition to signing this petition, we urge you to call and email your representatives and ask them not to pass this bill as it would be detrimental to our children of WV.
Petition to Anchorage School Board
Time to Play, Time to Eat, Time to Grow
ASD60, a coalition of parents and community members across the Anchorage School District, is advocating for one 60-minute block for recess and lunch at every elementary school. Why sacrifice academic time “just” to play? There is a lot of research that states how important recess is not just to physical health, but also to learning. Schools that have increased the time for recess have seen improvements in academic performance and decreases in behavior issues. Kids with more recess can learn the same amount of material in a shorter amount of time. Expanding recess in Anchorage elementary schools to 30 minutes each day would improve classroom behaviors, academic outcomes, and physical health. Why can’t kids just eat faster? Currently, ASD places lunch and recess together in one 45 minute block. But ASD does not guarantee enough time for either or suggest best practices in scheduling recess before lunch. Research shows that children need a minimum of 20 minutes to eat after being seated. It is a travesty that ASD’s food insecure children, for whom lunch calories may matter the most, have the least amount of time to eat. More than 13,000 ASD elementary students qualify for and receive free or reduced meals. · At some schools, every student qualifies for free and reduced lunches. · Each student eating a lunch provided by ASD must wait in a line to be served. · Not all children actually have 20 minutes to eat under current ASD guidelines. Ensuring that every elementary student has 30 minutes for lunch will enable all students to get their nutritional needs met so that they can focus on their academics. Join us: ASD60 believes that the Anchorage School District can improve student learning, more effectively reach its goals, and become a nationwide educational leader by adopting evidence-based practices that expand and protect the time dedicated to recess and lunch. Click for a detailed expanded form of this petition with supporting documentation or for a PDF version to print out for hard copy signatures. For more information about ASD60, visit our website at http://ASD60.org or find us on Facebook at ASD60.
Petition to California State Assembly, California State Senate
Full & Fair Funding: Move California's school funding into the top 10 states nationally
We are calling on the California Legislature to raise school funding to the national average by 2020 and to the average of the top 10 states by 2025. One of the wealthiest states in the country -- and one of the richest societies in the world -- should have no less than Full and Fair Funding for public education. www.fullandfairfunding.org Despite boasting the fifth-largest economy in the world and the highest gross domestic product of any state, California sits near the bottom nationally in nearly every significant measure of school funding and school staffing. Adjusted for cost of living, California ranks 41st in per-pupil funding. We're 45th in the percentage of taxable income spent on education, 45th in student-teacher ratios, and 48th in staff per student. That’s not good enough for our children, our state, or our future. California is the home of innovation and opportunity — we’ve never been content with average. To meet the needs of 6.2 million public school students and prepare them for an increasingly competitive, complex, and technological world, we simply must do more. We must secure Full and Fair Funding for public schools. Learn more at: www.fullandfairfunding.org Let's provide every California student with a high-quality education and the resources needed for success in college, career, and civic life.
Petition to Mark Perrin, Krista Huling, William Mathis, Peter Peltz, Oliver Olsen
Stop the Forced Merger of the Elmore, Morristown, and Stowe, Vermont School Districts
We, the undersigned, members of the communities of Elmore, Morristown, and Stowe, Vermont, are very proud of our high-quality public school systems. We request that the State Board of Education reverse its provisional decision to reject the Vermont Secretary of Education’s recommendation that our Act 46 Alternative Governance Structure Application (AGS, for short) be approved. Forcing this merger, upon these three towns, does not make sense, and is not in the best interest of our children and communities. Our local School Boards (EMUU and SSD) and the Lamoille South Supervisory Union (LSSU) believe, very strongly, in the educational goals of Act 46. Both Elmore-Morristown Unified Union (EMUU) and Stowe School District (SSD): Provide substantial equity in the quality and variety of educational opportunities, lead students to achieve or exceed the State’s Education Quality Standards, maximize operational efficiencies through increased flexibility to manage, share, and transfer resources, promote transparency and accountability, and deliver it as a cost that parents, voters, and taxpayers value. We do this today! These are the goals of Act 46. Make no mistake, both EMUU and Stowe meet, and even exceed, these goals, and will only continue to do so if allowed to continue operating as two Side-By-Side Pre-K-12 Operating Districts assigned to the Lamoille South Supervisory Union. There is absolutely no doubt that our proposed Alternative Structure (AGS) is the “Best Means” for meeting the goals of Act 46, and ensuring transparency and accountability for the districts and the public at large. If the merge is to go through, the towns will no longer meet at least one or two goals of Act 46. One goal of Act 46 is taxpayer value; the taxes in Elmore and Morristown will increase with the merge. We, members of the Elmore, Morristown, and Stowe communities implore you to reverse your provisional decision, and accept the recommendation of the Secretary of Education to approve the Alternative Governance Structure Application jointly submitted by the EMUU and Stowe School Districts. We urge you to sign this petition and support the recommendation of the Secretary of Education. We do not want to merge. Sincerely, Erica Loomis - Stowe, VT Amanda Guy - Morrisville, VT Facts to learn more on this process: Here is the link to the VT State Board of Education members- https://education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/edu-sbe-member-list-11_2018.pdf Here is the link to the section 9 proposal put together by EMUU and SSD (great information on why we should not merge)- https://education.vermont.gov/documents/emuu-stowe-alternative-structure-proposal?fbclid=IwAR3t8e6nYzJY1bmTDZRL5bK61N2xXj4Unrcdm4KXN1Wrau7Rw5HbS8818x8 Here is the link to the supplemental letter EMUU and SSD submitted on 11/12 to the VT SBoE; this letter was to provide further clarification and information for why the merge does not make sense for our communities- https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c9ya_xNU2h7t8v2aYhJAD79WOs-6Wpr0/view Here is the link to the Secretary of Educations Proposed Statewide Plan for School District Governance; this is where she recommends SSD and EMUU continue to operate as two separate districts. On pages 146-149 she outlines her recommendations for Elmore/Morristown/Stowe- https://education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/edu-secretary-proposal-act46-sec-10_0.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0WHAJNjZ27Lue2QRDaF8iGTa84Mni7KuNxMnCiI8oNeGeXmrhMPEomq2k Here is the link to the Draft Default Articles of Agreement for Consideration by the SBE (if the merge goes through, what our future looks like)- https://education.vermont.gov/documents/state-board-draft-default-articles-agreement