This past week LeadMN took the message of college affordability from the steps of the Minnesota capitol, to the Supreme Court hearing room, to the hallways of the White House.
The effort began with LeadMN's Advocacy Day where 100 students met with their legislators about the need to invest in our community college. We also joined with faculty and four years students to rally for legislation to make college free for students with a family income under $120,000. We went from the capitol steps to the Senate Higher Education committee where the Free College legislation passed out of the committee. Student leaders John. Karina, Henri and Tony testified in support of the legislation. The legislation now goes to the Senate Finance committee.
After Advocacy Day we joined hundreds of students outside the Supreme Court to make sure student voices were heard on the importance of President Biden's Student Debt Relief program. The legislation was being challenged by two separate lawsuits that seek to prevent 750,000 Minnesotans from receiving at least $10,000 in debt forgiveness and some could get almost $20,000 in relief. John Runnigen, Henri Mingo, and Elaina Simpson camped out in the rain and cold on the US Supreme Court steps so that they could be in the hearing room as the justices were considering the cases. They wanted to ensure that the court saw the faces of those that would be impacted by debt relief. The student leaders shared their stories with many members of the media that were covering the hearing and rally.
After the court hearing, LeadMN Executive Director Mike Dean spent the day at the White House meeting with staff in the administration about the President's efforts to support college students.