Sept - Nov Issue
September 22, 2014

Letters: Pell Grant policy unfair

Source: NYSUT United

Pell Grant policy unfair

Your story, "Crippling Student Debt" (NYSUT United, July/August) hit home in our house. Our live-in daughter owes $60,000. When she finally realized that her bachelor's degree in English (which caused all the debt) wouldn't help her get a decent-paying job, she entered the paramedic program at Hudson Valley Community College so there might be a high-paying job in her future.

She was told by the HVCC financial aid office that she was no longer eligible for a Pell Grant (she only used three semesters' worth of Pell for her English degree) because she already had a bachelor's.

Because of this narrow-minded federal policy she borrowed again and got even deeper into student debt. I suggest NYSUT work on changing this policy. I have already written to Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer regarding this problem to no avail.

It seems very unfair to force students who already have a degree into further student loan debt just because they're seeking a better job future.

Bill Alexander | Albany

No credit for retired vet

When New York state passed the law giving Korean War veteran teachers the opportunity to apply for service credit toward retirement, it was not "grandfathered," as was done for the WW II veterans. This was outrageously unfair.

I received the Combat Infantry Badge while serving in Korea during 1952-53. However, I retired from teaching the year before the law was passed, which only applied to those who retired afterward. That terrible injustice of ignoring those who served but had already retired is unbelievable and should be immediately corrected.

It is about time for NYSUT and NYSTRS to do something about this before we are all gone.

Peter W. Cuthbert | East Moriches

Story links cousins

In the May/June issue of NYSUT United, you printed an article about my travels to Butte, Mont., as an ambassador for my school district. It appeared in the Kudos section.

My cousin, whom I've not seen in 30 years, noticed my name in the paper. He's a retired teacher and lives out of state.

He noticed I work in the same district as his daughter-in-law. She and I communicated via district email.

Because of your article I am now in touch with my cousin.

Monica Klein | Bethpage

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Letters are published at the discretion of the editor, who takes space, relevancy, fairness, legal liability and accuracy into account. To submit a letter, email united@nysutmail.org or fax to 518-213-6415. Please include your name and hometown.

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