City Hall

Mayor Bibb calls for support of Biden student loan debt forgiveness plan


January 13, 2023 – Cleveland – Mayor Justin M. Bibb added Cleveland to the list of 40 cities and counties from 24 states supporting President Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt in an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. The brief is another example of Cleveland’s leadership on national issues that make a real difference for our residents.  
“Student debt is crushing the economic dreams of too many Cleveland residents, and it falls particularly on Black and brown students who are trying to succeed through hard work and education,” said Mayor Bibb. “I will always support the educational aspirations of our young people.” 
In August 2022, President Biden announced his student loan debt relief program that would cancel a maximum of $20,000 in federal student loans for qualifying borrowers. Nebraska and six other states challenged the program, claiming that relieving students from the crushing burden of debt would violate the separation of powers and the Administrative Procedure Act.   
In its amicus brief, the City of Cleveland reminded the U.S. Supreme Court that:  

  • At $1.7 trillion currently, student loan debt is the largest component of personal debt in the U.S.   
  • Many of our residents are financially crushed by these burdens and forced to leave school early. Others enter career fields that do not align with their training or broader workforce needs. Many are required to rely on government programs for assistance. Others are overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.  
  • Student debt burdens significant portions of our populations, not just young professionals beginning their post-education careers. It prevents older residents, who may still be paying off their own student loans, or those of their children, from being able to retire. Student debt also stymies intergenerational wealth creation and future educational opportunities for children and grandchildren. 
  • While student debt affects broad segments of our communities, it disproportionately affects people of color—the same communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Student debt cancellation is crucial for addressing the racial wealth gap as well as related gaps in employment, homeownership, and other sources of wealth creation. 

More information about this brief and others is available from the Student Borrower Protection Center.