By: Keith Fitzsimmons
‘The reports of my death is an exaggeration’ wrote Mark Twain in his comment about bad follow-up of the article posted in the New York Journal on June 2, 1897.
You see it’s good follow-up that has kept Perkins alive. The strategy is to get Perkins extended to fill the gap before the PROSPER act kicks in for 2019-20 (or the more likely 2020-21). The target is the January 19th Omnibus bill. The more support, the better the chances for Perkins to be extended.
So what can you do:
1) Go to the COHEAO website, click on ‘Key Ways to Support Perkins Now’ and do some of the steps. www.coheao.com
2)Figure out how much your students will suffer if the Perkins loan is eliminated and there is no replacement program available. Remind them that the cancellation benefits keep nurses and allied health professions working in hometowns in Kansas.
3) Contact both Senator Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and ask them why that are not cosponsors of S.1808 – Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017.
4) If you live in the 4th Kansas Congressional Distract, contact Representative Estes and ask him why he is the only Representative from Kansas that is not a cosponsor of H.R.2482 – Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017. Remind his that the Perkins cancellation benefits could keep Nurses or Allied Health Professionals working at hospitals in Hutchinson or Wichita, clinics in Pratt and Arkansas City, or medical practices in Winfield, El Dorado, Kingman, Medicine Lodge, or Kinsley.
So be a part of good follow-up and be an advocate for our students. Even if your school does not have Perkins, I’ll bet some of your family, neighbors, or friends have current or future students that this will impact directly.