News

As School Districts Push for Integration, Decades-Old Federal Rule Could Thwart Them

by Patrick Wall

11.17.17   In Florida, officials plan to use federal money to shuttle students across vast Miami-Dade County to new science-themed magnet programs in a bid to desegregate several schools. In South Carolina, a tiny district west of Myrtle Beach intends to spend federal funds on free busing for families who enroll at two predominantly black schools, hoping that will draw in white and Hispanic students. And in New York, state officials want to deploy federal school-improvement money to help integrate stru… Continue Reading


How My Apprenticeship in N.J. Shaped My Future

by Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01)

11.14.17   When I was a kid, I was always the one taking apart our bicycles just to see how they worked. I loved working with my hands. Many kids and teens today are probably just like me, but instead of helping these students develop trade skills, we instead dissuade them and push them toward a "one-size-fits-all" traditional four-year college. An apprenticeship program shaped my life - taking me from construction work to Congress. Now, as a member of the House of Representatives, I'm fighting to raise w… Continue Reading


The GOP’s Tax Bill Is a War on Disabled People

by Elizabeth Picciuto

11.09.17   Under the Republicans' tax proposal, disabled people-and other vulnerable communities-are set to shoulder a significantly greater responsibility for generating federal tax revenue, even as corporations get a substantial tax break. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recommends sweeping eliminations of most itemized tax deductions and credits. Many of these deductions, taken together, serve both to ease the tax burden of people with disabilities and to improve their health and access to employment and t… Continue Reading


Don’t Let Congress Cheat Workers Out of Basic Rights

by Christine Owens

11.08.17   House Republicans on Tuesday took another step in their campaign to cheat workers out of fair pay and workplace rights. On a vote largely along party lines, the House advanced a bill to roll back longstanding "joint employer" protections for workers contracted by big companies like Apple or Alaska Airlines. For years, when two companies both control the terms and conditions of employment, they are also both considered responsible for workplace violations like wage theft, sexual harassment or sa… Continue Reading


Whistleblowing Could Leave Oil Rig Workers at Risk

by David S. Hilzenrath

11.07.17   After the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama Administration and many Members of Congress reached the same conclusion: To prevent similar disasters, workers in the offshore oil and gas industry should be given whistleblower protections. They shouldn't have to worry that, if they report safety hazards, they could lose their jobs. "A whistleblower may be the only thing standing between a safe workplace and a catastrophe," George Miller, a California Democrat w… Continue Reading


GOP tax plan offers costly table scraps for the middle class

by Editorial Board

11.03.17   Even before the House Republicans released their tax plan on Thursday, polls showed that Americans weren't happy with its primary goal - lowering the corporate tax rate. Most people just don't see that as a pressing issue or economically beneficial. Even a majority of Republicans polled by the Pew Research Center this summer supported either raising corporate taxes or keeping the rates the same. So it's no surprise that House leaders have instead touted their plan as a "middle class tax cut," a … Continue Reading


Republicans break their promise on tax reform

by Editorial Board

11.02.17   REPUBLICANS PROMISED Americans a smart, careful tax reform that would simplify the code without adding a penny to the debt. The bill that House Republicans released Thursday betrays that promise. It also betrays the nation's children, and their children, who would eventually have to pay for this big, unpaid-for tax cut that the country does not need. Republicans began their tax reform effort months ago with a plausible argument. They could lower tax rates, particularly on corporations, if they … Continue Reading


House tax plan doesn’t cut it

by The Editorial Board

11.02.17   The hungry heart of the House tax bill unveiled Thursday can be found in the title President Trump reportedly proposed: the "Cut Cut Cut Act." Republican lawmakers ultimately went with something slightly less voracious, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," for legislation that offers small tax cuts to their ordinary constituents, big cuts to their wealthy friends and supporters (and often themselves), and the greatest cut of all to the federal government's bottom line. Tax reform is a laudable goal i… Continue Reading


Betsy DeVos guts school disability rules that once “confused” her

by Noah Kulwin

10.23.17   Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos revealed over the weekend that she had recently rescinded 72 memos that give guidance about how schools that receive public funding should implement and follow laws to protect the rights of disabled students. The memos dealt with two major pieces of legislation: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act. At the time of her Senate confirmation hearing in January, however, DeVos didn't appear to know what the Disabilities … Continue Reading


Betsy DeVos Slashed 72 Rules Protecting Students With Disabilities Because They’re “Unnecessary”

by Mehreen Kasana

10.23.17   On Friday, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services shared a newsletter that sparked outrage among some observers. The newsletter announced that 72 disability memos had been rescinded by Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education secretary. These were major guidance documents meant to help and protect the rights of students with disabilities. The two main legislative acts under attack are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, otherwise known as IDEA, and the Rehabili… Continue Reading


DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for disabled students

by Moriah Balingit

10.21.17   The Education Department has rescinded 72 policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration's effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous. The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services wrote in a newsletter Friday that it had "a total of 72 guidance documents that have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective - 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and 9 from the Rehabilita… Continue Reading


Default Crisis for Black Student Borrowers

by Paul Fain

10.17.17   Two analyses of newly released federal data on student loans reveal serious default problems for African-American borrowers. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics published a report on patterns of student loan repayment for two groups of borrowers who first enrolled in college in 1995-1996 and in 2003-2004. Historically the department has not collected much data on student debt that can be broken out by the race or ethnic background of b… Continue Reading


White House tells court it is immediately stopping ACA cost-sharing subsidies

by Amy Goldstein

10.13.17   The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Friday that the government would immediately halt payments to insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage under the Affordable Care Act, formalizing a decision that could upend individual insurance markets across the country. In the filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, officials wrote that the Health and Human Services Department has stopped what's known as cost-sharing reduction payments… Continue Reading


Democrats Decry Betsy DeVos' Move to Prioritize 'Privatization'

by Alyson Klein

10.12.17   The leading Democrats on K-12 issues in Congress are not happy that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to make school choice a top priority when it comes to doling out federal grant money on a competitive basis. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., say that the move would help DeVos further "privatization" of public schools, without congressional approval. Earlier this year, lawmakers rejected Trump administration budget proposals to create a new voucher program a… Continue Reading


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

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