Durbin Gives Peoria High a History Lesson

Peoria Journal-Star
March 31, 2010

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin made a whirlwind visit to Peoria High School on Tuesday morning to talk to students.

Durbin, who is visiting Peoria to “tag along” with Vice President Joe Biden as he speaks at the Partners in Peace awards put on by The Center for Prevention of Abuse, headed almost immediately to the classrooms. He talked about war, the November election, new student loan legislation and asked students what they thought about legalizing marijuana.

“Right now some of your brothers and sisters and friends who are going to school end up with a mountain of debt when it’s all over — they have all these student loans they’ve got to pay back, and that’s a pain because some of you might have to take a job because you need to pay off your debt instead of taking a job you really wanted to do,” Durbin told teacher Danny Ruffin’s American history class.

Durbin said the new legislation will help students “make your life’s right decision” by increasing the number and amount of Pell grants students receive, ridding banks as serving as the “middleman” to servicing federal student loans and making it easier for some college graduates to repay loans. It even forgives portions of loans to some students seeking to become a teacher or nurse, Durbin said.