U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the Intel Ocotillo Campus in Chandler, Arizona, on March 20, 2024. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that about 78,000 public service workers will have their student loans forgiven by his administration.

The workers, which include teachers, nurses, firefighters and others, have “dedicated their careers to serving their communities,” Biden said in a statement.

The debt cancellations will bring his administration’s total forgiveness to about $144 billion for nearly four million Americans, according to the White House.

“From day one of my Administration, I promised to fix broken student loan programs and make sure higher education is a ticket to the middle class, not a barrier to opportunity,” he said.

He added, “I won’t back down from using every tool at my disposal to deliver student debt relief to more Americans, and build an economy from the middle out and bottom up.”

The student loan forgiveness announced on Thursday brings the administration’s total cancellations for public service workers to 870,000, Biden said. That’s up from only about 7,000 such borrowers “ever receiving forgiveness prior to my Administration,” he added.

“And through all of our various student debt relief actions, nearly four million Americans have had their student debt cancelled under my Administration,” he said.

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