Trump tries to weaken federal unions, but membership grows in reaction to GOP actions

by Joe Davidson

10.09.17   President Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans have been good for federal unions, even as they attempt to undermine the labor organizations and the public servants they represent. With the GOP running the White House and Congress, membership in federal unions is on the rise, fed by an administration and legislature that leaves the workforce anxious about budget cuts, layoffs and an erosion of civil service protections. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the biggest federal e… Continue Reading

Trump’s Cuts to Health Law Enrollment Efforts Are Hitting Hard

by Robert Pear

10.09.17   WASHINGTON - Michigan Consumers for Health Care, a nonprofit group, has enrolled thousands of people in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and was honored last year as one of the nation's top performers - a "super navigator" that would serve as a mentor to enrollment counselors in other states. So the group was stunned to learn from the Trump administration that its funds for assisting consumers ahead of the open enrollment period that begins Nov. 1 would be cut by 89 percent, to $1… Continue Reading

Another Michigan official to face manslaughter charge in Flint water crisis

10.09.17   A special prosecutor says he'll add a charge of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan's chief medical executive in a criminal investigation of the Flint water crisis. Dr. Eden Wells was in court Monday for a key hearing on other charges. But the hearing was postponed after the announcement by Todd Flood. Wells' lawyer couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Five other people have been charged with involuntary manslaughter tied to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area … Continue Reading

Transgender students prevail with school policy in Maryland

by Donna St. George

10.08.17   When James van Kuilenburg used the bathroom at his Maryland high school, he always worried. Would he be taunted by his classmates? Would he be shamed or beaten? Most of the time, he avoided the risk altogether. "You don't feel safe," the teenager said, five years after coming out as transgender. But van Kuilenburg and others in Frederick County hope this year marks a turning point across the Maryland system's 67 schools as a new policy takes hold that is regarded as one of the most progres… Continue Reading

Graham-Cassidy is dead. Now stop treating Obamacare like the enemy and help get Americans health coverage

by Editorial Board

09.27.17   We may never know how many Republicans in the U.S. Senate would have voted against the latest ill-conceived and disruptive proposal to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. But we know the three whose public opposition kept the measure from reaching the Senate floor this week - Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Although they disagree sharply over what to do about the ACA, they all deserve the country's thanks for stopping lawmakers from heedlessly … Continue Reading

We Found 154 Incidents Of Hate Speech And Violence At Colleges Nationwide Since Last Fall

09.27.17   White supremacist propaganda and other racist messages flooded college and university campuses in the months following the election of Donald Trump. In the first comprehensive review of hate speech at higher education institutions since the 2016 election, BuzzFeed News has confirmed 154 total incidents at more than 120 campuses across the country. More than a third of the incidents cited Trump's name or slogans; more than two-thirds promoted white supremacist groups or ideology. The spree of ha… Continue Reading

By age 3, inequality is clear: Rich kids attend school. Poor kids stay with a grandparent

by Heather Long

09.26.17   Limos and nannies drop off 3- and 4-year-olds every weekday morning at New York City's most exclusive preschools. Tuition is more than $30,000 a year. The schools boast that young kids learn French, Chinese, violin, yoga and robotics - all before kindergarten. Just a few subway stops away in the Bronx, home to one of America's poorest congressional districts, there's a very different morning drop-off routine going on. Many working parents leave their children with a relative or at the home of a… Continue Reading

If the GOP would only give up on repeal and replace it could actually make healthcare more affordable

by Editorial Board

09.12.17   Time is rapidly running out before health insurers have to commit to the policies and premiums they'll offer next year to roughly 20 million Americans not covered by an employer-sponsored health plan. Although those premiums are expected to jump 10% or more in many states, Congress can rein in that increase significantly - if it acts quickly. Doing so, however, will require Senate Republicans to stop flirting with yet another partisan proposal to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, and… Continue Reading

Give them the money! Democrats ask Trump to unfreeze Obamacare's cash for sign-up helpers

by Dan Mangan

09.12.17   A group of 31 Democratic members of Congress asked Trump administration health officials Tuesday to unfreeze millions of dollars in grants for a program that gives Obamacare customers hands-on help signing up for health insurance. The letter from the House members came four days after a news story detailed how the administration had "quietly stopped funding for the outreach" effort known as the Navigator program. And it comes less than two months before the Nov. 1 start of open enrollment … Continue Reading

Don’t Suspend Students. Empathize.

by David L. Kirp

09.02.17   To his teachers at Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Jason Okonofua was a handful. During class, his mind drifted and he would lose the thread of the lesson. He slouched at his desk and dozed off. His teachers seemed to take it personally, as a sign of disrespect. He earned detention and was suspended several times. Jason wasn't trying to rile his teachers. He wasn't paying attention in class because his thoughts were being consumed by his friends' misfortunes - one had just been arrested, anot… Continue Reading

Policy Priority: Improving Access To Healthy Foods In Schools

by Rep. Bobby Scott

08.31.17   Bobby Scott is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 3rd congressional district. Our work to reauthorize federal child nutrition programs presents a great opportunity to continue improving the way America's children eat, expand their access to nutritious meals, and end child hunger in our country. We are never going to make progress on these goals by walking away from successful public policies that benefit vulnerable students or by rolling back evidence-based healthy meal standards that we kno… Continue Reading

Congressional Democrats press DeVos, Sessions on affirmative action policies

by Michael Stratford

08.21.17   The top Democrats on the congressional education and judiciary committees say they're concerned about the Trump administration's possible efforts to target university affirmative action policies - and want more information about where the Education and Justice departments stand on the issue. The lawmakers write today in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that they have "serious outstanding concerns about the Trump Administration's intention regarding … Continue Reading

Democrats Press Trump Administration on Plans for Affirmative Action

by Alyson Klein

08.21.17   Top Democrats in Congress on education and justice issues want answers on just how the Trump administration is planning to proceed when it comes to race-based college admissions. Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and John Conyers, D-Mich., along with Senators Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sent a letter to both U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for more information on how their departments plan to approach "cases and matters involv… Continue Reading

Democrats press Justice Department on higher ed affirmative action policy

by Sean Higgins

08.21.17   Congressional Democrats pressed the Trump administration for answers Monday regarding any shift in policy on affirmative action and higher education, reacting to reports that the Justice and Education departments may expand investigations into discriminatory admissions policies at universities to include ones that harm white applicants. The letter, jointly signed by Reps. Bobby Scott of Virginia, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, John Conyers of Michigan, and Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Dia… Continue Reading

How the current minimum wage hurts kids

by Aoarna Jonnal

08.02.17   This month school resumes for many kids. I remember spending those bittersweet late summer days gathering school supplies and clothes. My family couldn't afford luxury items, but we always had what we needed. Many of my classmates fared very differently. I was regularly asked for paper, pencils and lunch money by kids for whom these essentials were luxuries. The kids from the poorer neighborhoods struggled through a myriad of obstacles that effectively guaranteed academic failure. They came to … Continue Reading

DeVos drops plan to overhaul student loan servicing

by Michael Stratford

08.01.17   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday abandoned her plan to overhaul how the federal government collects payments from the nation's more than 42 million student loan borrowers after it faced growing resistance from congressional Republicans and Democrats. The Trump administration announced that it was scrapping plans to award a massive contract to a single company to manage the monthly payments of all student loan borrowers, and said it would come up with a new proposal aimed at improving … Continue Reading

Trump could sabotage health care. What California should do to protect its residents.

by The Editorial Board

07.31.17   Now that the Obamacare repeal has crashed and burned in the U.S. Senate, this is what would happen if we had a president who knew how to govern and a Congress that could work together: There would be a bipartisan summit to come up with ways to fix and strengthen the Affordable Care Act to slow rising premiums and create more competition in California and across the country. Unfortunately for all of us, that's not what we have in Washington, D.C. Instead, President Donald Trump declared that h… Continue Reading

Trump's threat to cut Obamacare funding could cause Iowa premiums to spike even more

by Tony Leys

07.31.17   Iowans who buy their own health insurance could face even bigger premium increases next year if President Donald Trump follows through with a threat to cut off a major stream of Obamacare assistance, the state's sole remaining carrier said Monday. Iowa's health-insurance market is already teetering, with just one carrier planning to sell individual policies here next year. That carrier, Medica, has proposed raising Iowa premiums by 43 percent in order to keep up with fast-rising costs of caring… Continue Reading

‘Millennial Bill’ Could Help At-Risk Youth Secure Jobs

by Donna Owens

07.29.17   WASHINGTON - Taj Jackson dreamed of college after graduating from a Maryland high school in 2014, but didn't think his family-headed by a single mother who worked multiple jobs-could afford it. Then they both learned about a national nonprofit called `Year Up.' It provides young adults in urban communities with skills training, work experience, educational opportunities and mentoring, aimed at helping them achieve professional careers within a year. "We learned soft skills like email etiquette… Continue Reading

Senate Republicans Don't Know What Health Care Bill They're About To Vote For. That's Nuts.

by Jeffrey Young

07.24.17   The long, halting slog toward Obamacare repeal is set to reach a significant milestone Tuesday, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on ... something. No, not "something terrific," as President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail. Just ... something. The American public will find out what that something is at about the same time as the Republican senators who Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to amble down to the well of the Senate, raise their index fingers and say, "Ye… Continue Reading

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