Home Rep. Beyer introduces legislation to expand student debt relief for Fulbright teachers
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Rep. Beyer introduces legislation to expand student debt relief for Fulbright teachers

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Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia introduced the Fulbright Teacher’s Loan Forgiveness Act, legislation to expand student debt relief qualification under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

The legislation applies to participants in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange and Teaching Assistant programs. 

“Fulbright Teacher Exchange and Teaching Assistant program participants build international networks, foster collaborations that benefit both the U.S. and international communities and contribute to educational excellence – they exemplify public service in every respect,” Beyer said. “Congress should recognize this public service by expanding PSLF benefits to Fulbrighters and helping ease the burden of student loan debt. Not only have Fulbrighters earned every dime of forgiveness, but alleviating their debt is a win-win that would encourage those who want to pursue careers in public service to do so without the fear of crippling financial debt.”

According to Executive Director of the Fulbright Association John Bader, Fulbrighters are citizen ambassadors and in 162 countries, who build good will and cooperation that makes America more secure and prosperous.

“Teaching English, conducting research, and building lifetime friendships, they are public servants. And like most public servants, they struggle under the weight of educational debt. We applaud Rep. Beyer for this effort to help and encourage Fulbrighters, and we hope that all members consider his legislation positively,” Bader said. 

 The bill was developed following a constituent and Fulbright alum’s request for the programs to count toward PSLF benefits, similar to existing public service programs like the Peace Corps.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.