H. R. 4152
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 9, 2007
Mr. Sarbanes introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor
To provide loan forgiveness under the Federal Perkins Loan program for Federal, State, and local fire fighters.
This Act may be cited as the
Fire Fighter Higher Education
Incentive Act of 2007.
Congress finds the following:
Fire fighters provide an immeasurable service to the Nation, putting their lives, health, and safety on the line every day to protect communities and citizens from everyday emergencies and large-scale disasters.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 78 percent of fire fighters age twenty-five to forty-four have pursued a higher education.
As modern fire fighter responsibilities have become increasingly complex and more dependent on advanced technology, achieving a highly educated fire service will enable fire fighters to carry out a safe and effective response.
According to the International City/County Management Association, the national average entrance salary for full-time fire fighters is $34,688, while the average maximum salary is $47,386.
The rising cost of college education, combined with the relatively low wages earned by fire fighters, makes it difficult for many full-time fire fighters to afford student loan debt.
Loan forgiveness for fire fighters
Section 465(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087ee(a)) is amended—
in paragraph (2)—
(H), by striking
or after the semicolon;
(I), by striking the period and inserting
; or; and
by inserting before the matter following subparagraph (I) the following:
as a full-time employee in fire protection activities, as described in section 3(y) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 203(y)), but including a full-time employee in fire protection activities of a Federal department or agency (as well as an employee of a State, municipality, county, or fire district).
3(A)(i), by striking
or (I) and inserting