News

Republicans To Hold Their First Hearing On The Minimum Wage Since Taking The House In 2010

by Dave Jamieson

12.10.18   At long last, House Republicans have something to say about the minimum wage. Mere weeks before a Democratic takeover of the House, the GOP majority has finally scheduled a hearing to debate the idea of hiking the federal wage floor from $7.25 per hour. Congress hasn't passed a law to raise it in more than a decade. The hearing, slated for Wednesday before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, marks the first hearing or markup devoted to the policy issu… Continue Reading


More salt and less whole grain allowed in Trump administration’s new school lunch nutrition rule

by Valerie Strauss

12.08.18   The Trump administration says it is planning to permanently ease nutrition rules on school lunches, allowing children to eat food with more salt and less whole grain. The U.S. Agriculture Department said it was taking the step to make meal planning easier for schools and to entice more children to eat healthful food. The number of students eating meals at school peaked in 2010 and has dropped significantly since: In 2010, 5.2 million students ate school lunch, but by 2017, it was 4.8 million. … Continue Reading


Teen Health-Worker Rule by Labor Agency Missing Crucial Survey

by Jaclyn Diaz

12.03.18   The Labor Department has yet to publish a key survey cited in its proposal to ease restrictions for teenage workers in health-care settings, despite letters and repeated requests from congressional representatives and worker advocates in recent weeks to do so. The rule would let 16- and 17-year-olds who work in nursing homes or hospitals operate machines that lift patients from beds, without supervision. This would undo a 2011 policy that required supervision by a staffer who is 18 or older. D… Continue Reading


New position of influence

by Daily Press Editorial Board

11.28.18   The Newport News congressman will have a heightened role when Democrats take over the House in January U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott walked into the Daily Press' offices less than two weeks before Election Day ready to unload a heap of frustration. The Newport News Democrat felt discussion about substantive issues was falling by the wayside, even as pre-election furor was reaching a crescendo across Virginia. His district was unusually quiet, though, because his quest for another term was… Continue Reading


Thirteen-year-old activist with autism wants to close seclusion rooms at schools

by Hannah Rappleye and Liz Brown

11.23.18   Alex Campbell was just 7 years old when, he says, his principal dragged him down the hall to the school's "crisis room." Administrators reserved the room, a converted storage closet, for children who acted out. He still remembers the black-painted walls. The small window he was too short to reach. The sound of a desk scraping across the floor, as it was pushed in front of the door to make sure he couldn't get out. Alex, who has autism spectrum disorder, says he was taken there more than a half… Continue Reading


Exclusive: House Democrats will introduce a bill to protect millions of health care workers

by Alexia Fernández Campbell

11.16.18   A group of House Democrats will introduce a bill on Friday to help protect millions of nurses and other health care workers from the high rates of violence they experience on the job. The new bill, called the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, would require hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, and jails to develop a workplace safety plan to protect their workers from violence they experience at the hands of patients - a surprisingly common phenomen… Continue Reading


House Democrats have a sweeping plan to protect millions of workers’ legal rights

by Alexia Fernández Campbell

11.14.18   The week leading up to the midterm elections was filled with political drama. It included intense fear-mongering about a migrant caravan, complaints of widespread voter suppression, and leaks about President Donald Trump's intention to fire his attorney general. Amid all of this, House Democrats introduced a major bill that would protect access to the court system to millions of US workers. On October 30, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and a group of House Democrats introduced the Restoring Justic… Continue Reading


How poverty and race affect who goes to college — in 5 charts

by Valerie Strauss

11.08.18   A recent federal analysis found the following: *More than 14 percent of the nation's high school students, or about 1.8 million teenagers, attend schools where at least three-quarters live in poverty. *Most of these 1.8 million pupils are students of color. *High schools with concentrated poverty are less likely than low-poverty schools to offer coursework that students need to get into four-year colleges and succeed. This was part of a report written and released by the U.S. Government Acco… Continue Reading


The Trump Administration is Scrapping a Child Labor Rule. Safety Advocates Say the Reasons are Flimsy.

by Suzy Khimm

11.02.18   The Trump administration is rolling back a child labor rule for thousands of teenagers working in nursing homes and hospitals, eliciting a backlash from worker safety advocates. The regulation targeted by the Labor Department, which was first implemented by the Obama administration, prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds from independently operating power-driven patient lifts, which are commonly used in nursing homes and hospitals to move patients with mobility challenges. The administration took its … Continue Reading


Google employees demand company do something about sexual harassment and pay inequality

by Casey Quinlan

11.01.18   All over the world, employees at Google are demonstrating that they won't tolerate sexual harassment, low pay, and other poor working conditions. Google workers in London, Zurich, Dublin, Berlin, Tokyo, and Singapore organized walkouts on Thursday. U.S. workers in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Mountain View, California have also walked out. Workers were responding to a New York Times article from last week that showed the tech company paid millions of dollars to male … Continue Reading


Seattle is a guinea pig for $15 minimum wage. Here's what the latest research shows

by Lydia DePillis

10.03.18   As states and cities have forged ahead in raising their minimum wages, early evaluations have found fears of widespread job loss to be mostly unfounded. It's been less clear, however, which workers have benefited more than others. A new study out of Seattle, one of the earliest jurisdictions to adopt a path toward $15 an hour, offers a look under the surface. The economic ripple effects of the wave of minimum wage increases are hard to measure precisely, making the Seattle experience an impor… Continue Reading


28,000 Public Servants Sought Student Loan Forgiveness. 96 Got It.

by Stacy Crowley

09.27.18   A program intended to wipe away the student loans of qualifying public servants has rejected more than 99 percent of those who applied, according to a government audit that found that "fragmented" management and "piecemeal" operating instructions had contributed to the failure to forgive more debt. The Education Department said last week that 28,000 borrowers had submitted applications to have their debts canceled since the public service loan forgiveness program began accepting them a year ago… Continue Reading


Teen Health-Worker Proposal Didn’t Get Risk Assessment

by Jaclyn Diaz

09.26.18   A controversial Labor Department proposal to ease restrictions for teenage workers in health-care settings will be published Sept. 27, without updated scientific research about the risks. The proposal would allow 16- and 17-year-olds who work in nursing homes or hospitals to operate, without supervision, machines that lift patients from beds. The proposal references a 2011 report on patient lifts and teen workers by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It said teens who u… Continue Reading


Few graduates working in public service have received expected break on loans

by Susan Svrluga

09.26.18   An initiative designed to help college graduates who choose low-paying public-service jobs pay off their student loans is run in a confusing and piecemeal fashion, according to a government report. As a result, many borrowers are left wondering whether their federal student loans can be forgiven. Only a small number of people have had their debt discharged under the program, according to the Government Accountability Office, despite large numbers of college graduates applying for loan forgivene… Continue Reading


Members Of Congress Are Demanding Answers From The Trump Administration On Its Coal Mine Deal

by Chris Hamby

09.24.18   Members of Congress have demanded documents related to an unprecedented settlement in which the Trump administration lifted a strong penalty for a repeat violator of coal mine safety laws. In a letter to the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, two Democratic representatives, Bobby Scott of Virginia and Mark Takano of California, said the settlement appeared to violate federal law. The letter also demanded an explanation for the initial attempts to shield the agreement "from the p… Continue Reading


Top Democrat Asks GOP for Hearing in Congress on Puerto Rico's Schools

by Andrew Ujifusa

09.20.18   In a Thursday letter, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the ranking Democrat on the House education committee, said the panel should hold a hearing with the U.S. Department of Education on the status of schools in Puerto Rico, which are still grappling with the consequences of the storm on educators, students, and communities, as well as storm-damaged schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands. "With recovery far from over, members of the Committee and the American public should have the opportunity to hear di… Continue Reading


Federal mine safety official warned the Trump administration is putting miners in danger, violating law

by Suzy Kimm

09.17.18   Two days before his term ended, a member of the independent federal commission overseeing mine safety accused the Trump administration of an "unlawful" action that he warned could endanger the "lives of the nation's miners." Robert F. Cohen, whose term expired last month on the mine safety and health panel after he served under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, alleged in a scathing dissent that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta had undertaken an illegal move cutting back on a wor… Continue Reading


As Progressives Think Big, They Should Think More About Child Care

by Jonathan Cohn

09.13.18   Medicare for all. A federal job guarantee. Free college tuition. All of these ideas are favorites among progressives and likely to figure prominently in the campaign for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. But there's another idea that might belong on that list ? one that is every bit as ambitious and, arguably, every bit as critical to society's well-being, although it hasn't gotten nearly the same attention. That idea is a dramatic expansion of child care assist… Continue Reading


If Democrats Take the House, Here's What Awaits Betsy DeVos, Civil Rights, and ESSA

by Andrew Ujifusa

09.09.18   If Democrats take control of the House of Representatives next year, expect civil rights to grab the spotlight and for congressional subpoenas in the name of education oversight to become more popular. But you may not see as much of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as some might think. The bad blood between Democrats and the Trump administration started, well, right at the start, when they clashed with Betsy DeVos in that now-famous confirmation hearing more than 18 months ago. And Democ… Continue Reading


DeVos Punts to Congress on Federally Funded Guns for Schools

by Erica Green

09.06.18   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has left it to Congress to decide whether states can use federal funds to purchase firearms for their schools, prompting congressional Democrats to begin a last-ditch effort to restrict those funds. Conservatives said Ms. DeVos's stance was consistent with her championing of local school control. But Democrats and advocates denounced her decision as a tacit endorsement of federally funded firearms in schools, and federal policy experts saw the move as an abdicati… Continue Reading

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