In the News

High Plains Public Radio
By Deborah Shaar

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.

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