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Debt Collective Day Of Action Urges Biden To Cancel Student Debt

The Debt Collective is upping the ante in their fight for full federal student debt cancellation with their Pick Up the Pen, Joe! rally and day of action today in front of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. The event comes roughly a month before the pause on loan repayments is set to expire on May 1. Some White House sources have indicated the Biden administration may move that deadline again or forgive some amount of debt, but regardless, the Debt Collective’s focus remains squarely on eliminating federal student debt in full. A broad coalition of more than 50 community organizations and labor unions from across the country are joining the Debt Collective in the nation’s capital to call on Biden to cancel all federal student debt through executive order.

Parents And Students Sit-In In Solidarity With Striking Teachers

Sacramento, California - In an incredible show of solidarity, Sacramento parents and students have organized a sit-in to support striking teachers and support staff. Parents have been camping out at district headquarters in the Serna Center, calling for the school board to meet with teachers and reach an agreement. They are watching movies and playing board games, and have vowed to continue the sit-in until the district takes action. These community-led tactics demonstrate the interconnectedness between teachers and their communities. Since March 23, 4,000 educators in Sacramento have been on strike demanding higher pay in pace with inflation, increased staffing in their schools, no cuts to health benefits, and improved support for students.

Biden Faces Rising Pressure On Student Loans With Deadline Looming

President Biden is in a difficult position on student loans ahead of the midterms, as pressure builds from borrowers and Democrats for widespread cancellation. Adding to the pressure is a key deadline: On May 1, millions of borrowers will have to pay unless a freeze on federal student loan payments put in place during the pandemic is extended. Biden has been called on to extend the freeze until the next year — beyond the midterms. But advocates for forgiveness, along with key Democrats, want more than another freeze. “We’ve been saying for years now that we need to keep payments on pause until we cancel student debt,” said Natalia Abrams, president and founder of the Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC).

Italian Students Are Rising Up Against Exploitation

On January 21, 18-year-old Italian high school student Lorenzo Parelli died after being hit by a heavy metal beam while working at a factory in Lauzacco, a small town in northern Italy. The accident happened on the last day of Lorenzo’s alternanza scuola-lavoro (“school-work alternation”) internship as part of a mandatory work-placement program for high school students. In an attempt to individualize the responsibility for this tragedy, investigators are now wasting time and resources to determine who is to blame for Lorenzo’s death. Meanwhile, they are letting the neoliberal capitalist death machine that legitimized a program that forces young students into dangerous factory work off the hook. However, for the students who have been organizing throughout the country since his death, the real culprit of this tragedy is clear: “Lorenzo did not die. He was killed by the state through the alternanza scuola-lavoro,” as Niccolò De Luca, a member of the recently formed student movement La Lupa (“The Wolf”) put it.

Students Launch Campaign For Fresher Food, More Options, Better Pay

Calling attention to the lack of fresh food in their lunches at Milwaukee Public Schools, student leaders have launched a "school lunch justice" campaign outside the district's central offices. The students are part of Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES), the multiracial youth arm of Voces de La Frontera, an advocacy organization for the rights of immigrants and workers. "Our lunches are cooked in a central location and distributed to the schools to be reheated, resulting in undercooked food and of substandard quality," said YES leader Katherine Villanueva, a senior at Milwaukee School of Languages. "This is not acceptable." Villanueva said YES surveyed more than 1,000 MPS students and found that the quality of school lunch was the "most pressing issue" with the school environment.
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