Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord and Penn State Professor and Candidate for Congress Charles Dumas, joined by two students who have student loans and benefited from Pell Grants, launch Educators for Obama and call on Congress to pass legislation to avoid the doubling of student loan interest rates. This announcement comes the day before the 40th anniversary of the Pell Grant Program. President Obama has made education a national priority, calling on Congress to avoid an increase in student loan interest rates, and doubling our investment in Pell Grants to expand access to 3.7 million more students. In Pennsylvania alone, 313,000 students received Pell grants for college last year.
"We are eight days away from seeing college loan interest rates double if Republicans in Congress continue to do nothing. The clock is ticking for more than 7 million students who rely on subsidized federal student loans to go to college -- including 394,000 in Pennsylvania," said Treasurer Rob McCord. "This essential program is under attack by Mitt Romney and his Republican allies in Congress. Time and again, Romney has opposed and dismantled the most important investment in our nation's future: the education of our youth. President Obama has urged Congress to act. But for months, Congress has done nothing. This inaction is irresponsible, and all young Americans should tell Congress to stop playing chicken while their future hangs in the balance."
"Mitt Romney's economic philosophy is simple: Cut education funding and student aid in order to give massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. As a professor at Penn State University, I've seen firsthand the burden Romney Economics places on middle class students and their families," said Penn State Professor and Candidate for Congress Charles Dumas. "Mitt Romney would undermine our nations foundation. Mitt Romney would let hardworking students fall through the cracks, and he'd make it harder for middle class students to go to college, preventing our youth from gaining critical skills for employment, and leaving our country ill-prepared to compete with the rest of the world. Romney's policies are wrong for Pennsylvania and wrong for America."
Dumas is also the Democratic Party's candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th District of Pennsylvania which includes the Counties of: Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Venango, Warren and parts of Erie, Crawford, Clarion, Huntingdon, and Tioga. He says that effective, affordable education is essential in the modern world. People should have access to good education from preschool through college. Children are the future of our community and government has a major role in helping our families, communities, schools and universities to educate our young people and re-train our working people to prepare them to compete in today's world and tomorrow's reality.
"I am the first college graduate in my family, but thanks to the policies President Obama supports, my story is not unique. And it shouldn't be. Every hard working student should have the opportunity I had, regardless of economic background. I was determined to achieve something that had been an unaffordable luxury to my Mom and everyone else before her in our family," said recent college graduate Abu Edwards of Philadelphia. "The choice I faced was a common one for students my age: shoulder a mountain of debt to get the college degree I had strived for, or forget about my aspirations for higher education entirely. This November, I will go to the voting booth as a proud college graduate and cast my ballot for President Obama. But I won't be alone. I will be joined by millions of students in Pennsylvania and across the country who were able to realize their college dreams because of this President's policies."
"As the only-child of two immigrants, my family is very proud that I am able to attend college, but the cost of tuition has always been a major concern. While I qualified for Pell grants and Stafford loans, it still wasn't enough. My parents decided that we would have to take a second mortgage on our home in order to pay for my education," said sophomore at Mercyhurst University Zainab Javed. "My family and I have made many sacrifices for my education because we know that today you need to have a college degree in order to advance. The President understands this and has always fought for students and is taking steps to make college more affordable."
Educators for Obama is an initiative to build relationships with supporters, old and new, and grow this grassroots effort by talking about President Obama's record of improving access to a quality education--one educator at a time.