College and trade schools must be more accessible for students, but that college shouldn’t be free and college debt shouldn’t be forgiven, U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, OK-5, said.
“Believe me, I know how it feels,” the Democrat congresswoman said. “I’m still paying off my student loans from law school.”
Horn said she introduced a bill that would limit the amount of interest student loan companies can charge. She said young people should also be given “permission” to take non-college paths, like career techs and trade schools.
“What we don’t need are extreme solutions to make all college free or wipe out everyone’s student loan debt,” Horn said. “What we need, and what is good policy, and what makes economic sense is that we give them realistic pathways to succeed.”
Horn said when it comes to getting back to in-person K-12 classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local leaders should be empowered to make those difficult decisions.
“We should trust our educators and our public health professionals to make the best decisions they can, but we've got to make sure public dollars stay in public schools,” she said.
Horn said she fought to make sure COVID-19 relief funds went to public schools. Gov. Kevin Stitt’s July plan called for funds to be shared among public and private schools.
The congresswoman said pandemic or not, public funds should only go to public schools.
“We should never take public dollars and move them to private schools. The idea that school choice doesn’t exist, if an individual wants to send their child to a private school they absolutely can,” Horn said. “There is zero evidence to show that some of the programs that have taken public dollars for private schools actually helps low income students.”
Horn said she was angry to learn about allegations against Epic Charter Schools.
“The allegations are incredibly serious, that the founders were pocketing dollars meant to go to the education of our kids, taxpayer dollars, for their own benefit,” Horn said. “I think we have to make sure they’re held accountable and it’s unequivocally unacceptable that anyone would think this is okay.”