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My Turn: Brown owes us answers on education reform bill

An imperative part of many students’ success, including my own, is knowing that when we ask a teacher a question, he or she will give us an answer. Their honesty and informative approach shape the way students think and approach learning. Imagine a classroom full of students with a teacher who refuses to give honest answers and instead dodges even simple questions from their students.

Well, that is exactly what we have with former Massachusetts senator and current New Hampshire candidate Scott Brown. Last week, the Concord Monitor reported that while releasing his education plan, Brown refused to take a position on an education reform bill that received bipartisan support in the U.S Senate this month.

The legislation, co-sponsored by our own Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, would have allowed graduates to refinance their loan rates to reflect current interest rates, which are lower than before. His refusal to give a simple yes or no on whether he supported the Shaheen and Warren bill leaves students in the dark about how he can help us.

Homeowners can refinance their mortgages and car loans, so why doesn’t Brown want to give a yes or no answer on how he would have voted to let students refinance their student debt?

Just as we expect honest answers from our teachers, we deserve them from the people who want to represent us in government. If Brown isn’t giving New Hampshire simple yes or no answers now, what do you think he will do after the election?

College graduates in New Hampshire leave school with an average of $33,000 in debt, which is the second highest rate in the country on a per-state basis. This is a real and growing problem for parents and students alike. Part of the issue is the cost of higher education has grown at four times the rate of inflation. This drowns students and families in debt when they are simply trying to better themselves, as education is one of the best investments for the improvement of a community.

Student debt is dragging down the entire economy. Graduating with massive monthly loan payments makes it harder to buy a home and start a family. Banks are less likely to rent to people already struggling with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, even if it was to pay for an education.

The Shaheen and Warren bill was a good step forward to fight increasing student loan rates. Fifty-eight Democrats and Republicans voted for it, and only the dysfunction in Washington that requires every piece of legislation to have 60 votes defeated it. The question for Scott Brown is: Are you not giving us a straight answer because you don’t want us to know you are opposed to the legislation? Or are you not answering because you don’t want to be caught agreeing with the two women you have run against for U.S. Senate.

Neither explanation is satisfactory, and both raise questions about how New Hampshire students could trust Scott Brown.

(Callan Maynard lives in Concord. She graduated from the UNH School of Law in May.)

Legacy Comments8

Obama already has an answer; community colleges. Off subject but what is it with Brown's ads? What has his wife and him walking on a beach to do with NH? And his sister talking about childhood abuse? If a dysfunctional childhood qualifies someone for office, I think many people would be senators.

Yikes, just saw Havensten's (sp?) ad. It is even worse. He is going to make NH the best place to live and raise a family. I have news for him, those of us who REALY live here think it already is the best place.

ok everyone before you lose it, I meant "really".

Such hatred,

Such hatred

More talk of how to give more money to help repay the high college cost, why never any talk of how to CUT the cost of colleges...... Aside the real problem, if it is cheaper to take a new loan on the "open" market why don't the people do it. Could it be those BMW payments, the big house loan payments or the charges they have already racked up on the credit card disqualifies them. They borrowed the money, they spent it, they got the degree so pay the loan back. Funny how they can afford the other things but can't afford to pay back the loan that got the other things.

HEADLINE: "Obama´s Balloon: Federal Student Loan Debt Up 517% in 5 Years" Education and more over federal student debt should not be a federal issue - It is a States and individual responsibility - The authors letter is a red herring - democrats created the problem they wish to fix with more of your hard earned taxes. The USA economy shrank 2.9% and the liberal wing wants to see how much more of your money they can fleece off you as they always think they know how to spend it better that you do - Liberals ....sheeeesh !

I still say have the college co sign the loan

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