Student debt task force reveals members and first meeting date.

Staffed by a total of 29 officials from government, educational and financial backgrounds, the task force will meet for the first time on Wednesday. Graphic: Sam Buisman

Author: Sam Buisman

The Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt is revving its engines, as it announced its staffers and first meeting date of May 13 on Monday.

According to a press release from Governor Tony Evers, Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld will chair the task force aimed to address Wisconsin’s student debt crisis, and it will include representatives from the University of Wisconsin system, state superintendent board, State Assembly and Senate, the UW student body, and Wisconsin’s tribal nations among others. Its first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday and will focus on introducing its members and goal setting.

Blumenfeld said through a press release that she was eager to chair the task force.

“I look forward to leading this task force in developing pragmatic solutions that will help not only Wisconsin borrowers, but also our economy,” said Blumenfeld.

Governor Evers created the task force in late January to address the ballooning student debt beleaguering Wisconsin students. According to the Institute for College Access and Succes, 64% of Wisconsin college students pursuing at least a four-year degree graduate with student debt, with the average debt for a graduate being almost $32,000 dollars.

“We need to address college affordability and ensure that a great education doesn’t come at the cost of decades of crippling debt,” said the Governor through a press release “I’m looking forward to hearing more about the work of our task force on what we can do at the state level to make sure we’re helping Wisconsin borrowers reduce their student debt and improve their financial capability.”

The task force’s Wednesday meeting, which will be held virtually, will feature a presentation on the scope of Wisconsin’s student debt, along with an analysis of how COVID-19 is impacting the crisis and testimonials from indebted students.