About 1% of the more than 73,000 borrowers who have applied for the public-loan program have received relief since the program was introduced in 2007, according to the department.
The lawsuit accuses the Ministry of Education of rejecting applicants "on arbitrary and capricious grounds" and failing to set up a procedure for reviewing erroneous decisions or ensuring that loan service companies provide borrowers with accurate guidance on their eligibility.
"Instead of helping the millions of Americans to reduce their debt under the Public Loan Program, DeVos has hurt and impoverished them instead of working with legislators to run the program for millions of teachers, firefighters, nurses and first responders to improve." "Earn, DeVos has destroyed it," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, in a statement.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education declined to comment on pending litigation.
The public loan program should encourage people with student debt to take on low-paid jobs that serve the public. Teachers, social workers, defense lawyers and doctors are among those who can qualify. You must work for a legitimate non-profit or state employer, have the right kind of federal student loan and be included in a specific type of repayment plan.
In the complaint seeking a loan, eight educators are also called forgiveness in their special cases. In addition, the department is requested to regulate the application process and initiate a complaint procedure.
Cynthia Miller, a teacher at a public school in Chicago, claims in the complaint that her forgiveness was denied because her loan payments were miscalculated.
But the new lawsuit is different and blames the Ministry of Education.
Some Democrats have suggested expanding the program. A bill tabled by Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and President Hope and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in April would cut down half of a borrower's debt after five years and forgive the remaining debt after ten years.
Several other Democratic presidential candidates supported the bill, including Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.