WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the White House has approved the cancellation of nearly $6 billion in federal student debt for thousands of public service workers.

The 78,000 eligible public service workers include teachers, nurses and firefighters, according to the White House.

“These public service workers have dedicated their careers to serving their communities, but because of past administrative failures, never got the relief they were entitled to under the law,” Biden said in a statement touting the move.

“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,” Biden continued. “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.”

It’s the latest student debt cancellation move through Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs, which allow eligible borrowers to have their remaining debt forgiven if they have made a certain number of payments and are working for approved employers.

In January, the administration canceled about $5 billion in debt for 74,000 public-sector borrowers. The White House has approved nearly $144 billion in federal loan forgiveness for about 4 million borrowers in total, according to the administration.

Starting next week, the White House will also email about 380,000 borrowers to inform them that they are on track to have student debt canceled within two years.

Last year, the Supreme Court invalidated Biden’s more far-reaching student loan debt relief plan, arguing that it was unlawful because Congress did not explicitly approve the move.

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