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Statement of David Rives, President of AFT-Oregon, on the Closure of ITT Technical Institute

“The news of the closure of ITT Technical Institute – including campuses in Salem and Portland – is devastating for ITT students, staff, and their families. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time. For those seeking help, a variety of resources are available through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Division. Additionally, Oregon’s Higher Education Coordination Commission is currently working with ITT and local colleges and universities to determine possible credit transfer options.

The failure of ITT reminds us, yet again, of the dangers of a for-profit higher education system. Students should be valued over profits and we should continue to invest in quality, public higher education like Oregon’s community colleges so that we can expand opportunities for those who lack access. Most importantly, we should be doing so in a way that helps reduce the crushing burden of student loan debt.

In the meantime, members of AFT-Oregon will continue to seek innovative debt relief options through programs like our Student Debt Relief Clinics. And AFT-Oregon will continue to fight for sustained investments in education by supporting Measure 97 and lobbying lawmakers in Salem for quality, stable funding for higher education.”