Sep 1, 2022 - Politics

Charlie Baker blasts Biden's student debt plan

Photo illustration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker with lines radiating from him.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Massachussetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) doesn't know if President Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans will succeed in boosting the struggling middle class, and he has other ideas for how to ease the debt crisis.

What he's saying: Baker isn't a fan of the White House's debt relief move, and he told Axios in an exclusive interview this week Biden's plan "doesn't deal with the underlying fundamental problem."

  • "We, as a country, aren't putting in place programming that makes it possible for people to afford college if they want to go," Baker said.

To Baker, that means expanding programs that save students money by letting them earn college credits while still in high school.

  • Early college programs could turn a daunting four-year tuition payment plan into a two-year plan, Baker said.
  • MassGrant offers scholarship grants to income-eligible students to attend state colleges and universities.

Biden's plan, which focuses on former college students, doesn't do enough for people who spend money on training, gear and certifications outside the traditional collegiate system, Baker said.

  • Baker suggested the federal government expand aid to workers who've incurred debt for education outside of the accounts Biden is forgiving.

The governor also sees opportunities to increase workforce training, placement and apprenticeship programs so more workers have higher paying jobs earlier in their careers and can pay off debt faster.

  • "We should be supporting all of those things instead of just saying we're going to do this one thing one time for this one group," Baker said.

The bottom line: Baker said Biden's plan will leave people who have paid off their debts, or saved enough before college to not incur them, wondering why they've been left out.

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