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Clueless: Refusing Support For Bill To Keep Stafford Loan Interest Rates From Doubling, Mandel Urges Vocational Degrees (Um, You Can Use Stafford Loans At Vocational Schools)

If Josh Mandel Is Serious About Trade School Attendance, He Would Immediately Support Sherrod’s Bill

COLUMBUS, OHIO – During a rare interview and press conference yesterday, absentee Treasurer Josh Mandel failed to clarify his position on a single legislative issue, specifically refusing to endorse Sherrod Brown’s bill that would stop Federal Stafford loan interest rates from doubling.  Mandel did manage to announce that “I believe it’s OK not to have a college degree,” and that “you can be a lot more successful and happy in life with a vocational degree.”

Moments later, clearly not realizing that  Stafford loans can be used at Ohio’s strong network of technical, trade and vocational schools, Mandel refused to support Sherrod Brown’s bill to stop the impending rate hike on federal Stafford loans.

So not only does Josh Mandel refuse to endorse Sherrod Brown’s bill to stop Stafford loan interest rates from doubling, but he has no idea what they’re even used for.

In light of the fact that Stafford loans can be used to attend trade and technical schools, does Josh Mandel have an answer for the vocational school students in Ohio who rely on Stafford loans and who would be negatively impacted if their interest rate doubled on July 1?

“There are 382,000 Ohio students – both at four-year colleges and trade schools – that rely on Stafford loans to help pay for their education and have waited too long for Josh Mandel to come clean about his position on Sherrod’s bill to stop the upcoming rate hike,” said Sadie Weiner, spokesperson for Friends of Sherrod Brown. “Josh Mandel can try to change the subject all he wants, but it won’t change the fact that he is just another politician on the wrong side of the issues that middle class families care about most.”

BACKGROUND

Mandel “Continued His Policy Of Refusing To Weigh In On Active Congressional Legislation,” And Said He Would Not “Cast Imaginary Votes.”  In May 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that at a news conference Josh Mandel “continued his policy of refusing to weigh in on active congressional legislation. A reporter asked where he stood on a bill from Brown and other Senate Democrats that would keep interest rates on federal student loans from doubling and saddling graduates — including young entrepreneurs — with more debt.  Mandel said he was glad ‘politicians in Washington’ were discussing the issue but said he was not involved in the debate and would not ‘cast imaginary votes.’”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/8/12]

It’s “Unclear” What Mandel Thinks Of Legislation To Block An Increase In Student Loan Interest Rates. In April 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “Among the matters that had people chattering in Washington this week, two of them may actually be finalized by summer. One is reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, important because it would continue funding for protection programs and domestic-violence shelters. The other is the attempt to block an increase in the interest rate for federally subsidized Stafford student loans.” The Plain Dealer continued, “What does Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer who’s running for U.S. Senate, think of the proposed bills that would deal with both these problems? Mandel has taken flak for not answering press questions on specific bills. The answer on these, it turns out, is still unclear.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer,4/28/12]

Mandel Encouraged Young People To Seek Jobs That Don’t Require An Advanced Degree.  In May 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Josh Mandel “encouraged young people to seek jobs in skilled trades that don’t require advanced degrees. He said that while a ‘knowledge-based’ economy is important, the country needs to ‘put shop classes back in high school’ and develop more workers like his grandparents.  ‘I believe it’s OK to not have a college degree,’ Mandel said.”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/8/12]

Mandel:  You Can Be “A Lot More Successful And Happy In Life” With A Vocational Degree Instead Of A 4 Year Degree From A University.  In May 2012, The Columbus Dispatch wrote “Bring back shop class.  So says Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who in his campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says it is “my mission right now to tell every school administrator they’ve got to put shop class back in high school.’  ‘I am sick and tired of young people in this country being told they need to get some four-year, liberal-arts degree in order to be successful,’ Mandel said yesterday in a wide-ranging interview with The Dispatch. ‘The reality is, you can be a lot more successful and happy in life with a vocational degree.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/12]

Stafford Loans Are Used To Help Eligible Students Cover The Cost Of Education At Trade, Career, Or Technical Schools As Well As Four Year Colleges, Universities, And Community Colleges.  According to the federal site for student aid, Direct Stafford Loans “are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) at participating schools.”  [U.S. Department of Education, Accessed 5/9/12]

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Paid for by Friends of Sherrod Brown