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Stabenow Leads the Fight to Keep College Affordable for Michigan Families

Location: Washington, DC

Stabenow Leads the Fight to Keep College Affordable for Michigan Families

Senator invites Michigan college students to join the fight against President's proposed cuts to education, student loans

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today called on students around the state to join the fight against severe cuts to federal education programs in the President's budget. A new feature on Senator Stabenow's website will allow Michigan students to share their experiences with federal education programs being considered for elimination and will help students take action to protest these drastic cuts.

"In his State of the Union address last month, President Bush called for new investments in education and innovation," Stabenow said. "But his rhetoric does not match the reality of his budget, which includes the largest cuts to federal education funding in the entire history of the Department of Education."

"We are in a fight for our way of life in Michigan, and our colleges and universities are on the front lines," Stabenow said. "Higher education provides a path to a successful future for our children and is the fuel of our economy. Education policy is economic policy, and the President needs to start treating education funding with the sense of urgency it deserves."

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Stabenow intends to lead the effort to stop the proposed cuts in critical education funding.

President Bush's proposed budget for fiscal year 2007 would eliminate the federal Perkins loan program. Last year, Michigan students relied on $78 million in Perkins loans to help pay for college. The budget would completely eliminate 42 successful education programs, including all vocational and technical education programs currently in existence. Vital college prep programs including GEAR-UP, TRIO Talent Search and Upward Bound that help the neediest students succeed in college would be cut.

In addition to the education cuts proposed in the President's budget, over $12 billion - or nearly one-third - of the $40 billion in cuts included in the Budget Reconciliation bill passed by Congress in December came from cuts in student loan programs. Senator Stabenow joined 46 Senators from both parties to vote against this bill.

Concerned students and their families can go to Senator Stabenow's website at to share the ways these education cuts would impact their lives.

"In Michigan, there is no issue more pressing than creating and retaining good jobs," Stabenow said. "And that means strong investments in innovation and education. I urge every Michigan student to join the fight to keep America competitive."

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