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Moran Urges Senate Leaders To Pass Federal Loan Program

Zach Gibson
Getty Images/NPR.org

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas is part of a bipartisan congressional effort trying to get legislation passed that would continue a federal student loan program.

The legislation would extend the Federal Perkins Loan Program for another two years. The program provides low-interest loans that colleges or technical schools issue to low-income students to help cover education costs.

Moran joined a bipartisan group of 58 lawmakers in calling on Senate leaders to quickly renew the program, which expired on Sept. 30.

Moran and his colleagues sent a letter to Senate leaders earlier this week.

Moran says career and technical education must remain a priority in order to close the skills gap in Kansas and throughout the country.He says the Perkins reauthorization will help align career and technical education programs to local labor market needs and increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

“In Kansas and throughout the nation, we have a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs; renewing this program will help young people turn their technical education into quality careers, create a larger talent pool for employees to hire from and ultimately help stimulate the economy,” Moran said in a social media post.

Legislation re-authorizing the Perkins program was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate last month, but has not yet come up for a vote.

Critics such as Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee want to eliminate the Perkins Loan Program to simplify and reform federal financial aid options. The White House budget released in May also proposed ending the program.

--Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Copyright 2017 KMUW | NPR for Wichita

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.