Home Education Ohio College Democrats band together to criticize Portman’s record on education

Ohio College Democrats band together to criticize Portman’s record on education

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Presidents of College Democrats from across the state of Ohio put aside their school rivalries and acted in unison Wednesday to condemn Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) record on education with a joint statement.

“College Democrats are committed to informing students about Rob Portman’s record of making it harder and more expensive to get a college degree,” said in a statement from the Ohio College Democrats. “Whether he was voting for the largest Pell Grant cut in history, proposing the end to the Perkins Loan program or repeatedly voting against allowing students to refinance their loans, Senator Portman is looking out for the wealthy special interests he serves — and Ohio students are paying the price.”

Nearly 20 College Democrats chapters in Ohio signed the statement. According to Ohio University College Democrats President Sam Miller, the letter was a collaboration between the College Democrats of Ohio, individual chapters of the statewide organization and the campaign of former Gov. Ted Strickland, D-Ohio.  

Sixty-seven percent of college graduates in Ohio have some sort of debt after leaving college,  $29,353 is the average amount of debt. According to The Institute for College Access & Success, Ohio ranks 11th nationwide for the proportion of individuals with college debt.

“We really support Ted Strickland and his efforts to make higher education more affordable for more people, and then we were reached out to by the Strickland campaign,” Miller said. “And from there (the Strickland campaign) contacted every chapter president and said ‘This is how Ted stands for students, do you agree, do you disagree and do you want to add your name?’”

In a statement to The New Political, the Portman campaign denied that the incumbent’s policies were worse for college students than Strickland, his rival.

“Unlike Ted Strickland, Rob Portman has offered solutions to keep college affordable by increasing access to college credits for high school students, strengthening college savings accounts, lowering student loan rates, and helping low-income students get a college degree,” said Michawn Rich, a campaign spokesperson for Portman.

Rich also noted that Portman has supported programs for reducing college debt in the past, including Pell Grants and the Perkins Loan Program. The Ohio College Democrats accused him of cutting or attempting to end the latter program entirely. In December 2015, Portman supported the reauthorization of the Perkins Student Loan Program.

“This was a hard-fought victory for Ohio students struggling with the cost of college,” Portman said in a December 2015 press release. “In the Buckeye State alone, we have 67 colleges and universities who take advantage of this program and passage of this legislation is a big win for Ohio students and families.”

Portman is also a current sponsor of the Repay Act, which assists college graduates with student-loan consolidation and loan-repayment options. According to the Portsmouth Daily Times,  the options would allow graduates to pay back loans on a 10-year fixed plan, or on an income-based plan.

“Ohio families and students have no greater enemy than former Governor Ted Strickland when it comes to making college affordable or providing a better future for the next generation,” Rich said. “When Strickland was governor, not only did Ohio lose more than 350,000 jobs and rank 48th in job creation, but Strickland also cut funding for colleges and universities by $170 million, reversed his promise to freeze tuition and drove up costs for students and parents.”

The Ohio University chapter of the College Democrats said it plans to continue to support Strickland’s candidacy for U.S. Senate. First and foremost, the members have said they plan on continuing to get students registered to vote. Additionally, Miller said they also hope to convince students that Strickland is the better candidate for education.

“Ted Strickland is from Appalachia, Ohio, he struggled his way through college like all of us, and he’s always been a representative for us,” Miller said. “Rob Portman has never been with (students) and if he is reelected, he will continue to fight to decrease access to higher education.” 

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  1. Linda Waxler

    November 8, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Stautberger college Maumee Ohio I would like someone to look into the under handed teaching ethics that they have. Having tutoring session when they have labs. Won’t HELP the kids that want to learn learn yet keep changing courses during the quarters no breaks except for Christmas. They will not help my granddaughter just came over in tears we are on our way out to vote. And hope you could please look into to this.


  2. Linda Waxler

    November 8, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    HELP THESE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!


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