News

Betsy DeVos Eyes Federal Education Grants to Put Guns in Schools

by Erica Green

08.23.18   WASHINGTON - The Education Department is considering whether to allow states to access federal funding set aside for academic enrichment and student services to purchase guns for educators, according to multiple people with knowledge of the plan. Such a move would reverse a longstanding position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weapons. And it would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding on guns. As recently as Marc… Continue Reading


A Loophole That Could Let States Buy Teachers Guns With Federal Funds

by Adam Harris

08.23.18   During a listening session on live television in February, President Donald Trump, surrounded by students and parents directly affected by school shootings, offered a bold suggestion. He highlighted a coach who had died protecting students just one week prior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. "If he had a firearm, he wouldn't have had to run, he would've shot, and that would've been the end of it," he said. "If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well e… Continue Reading


Betsy DeVos is considering allowing schools to use federal money to buy guns, report says

by Emma Ockerman

08.23.18   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering allowing states to spend federal dollars to buy firearms for educators as a protective measure against a rash of school shootings, multiple people with knowledge of the plan told the New York Times. Congress already passed a bill in March that allocated $50 million to local school districts for safety purposes each year, although that program prohibited the purchasing of firearms. If the U.S. Department of Education wanted to allow schools to acce… Continue Reading


Trump’s Education Department moves to rescind rule aimed at for-profit schools

by Nick Anderson

08.10.18   The Trump administration set in motion Friday the repeal of an Obama-era regulation that sought to ensure students attending career programs mainly at for-profit colleges do not pile up debt they can't repay. The 2014 "gainful employment" rule caps the debt former students amass in those programs in relation to their income after leaving school. Programs that breach the limits over multiple years could be shut out of federal student aid funding, putting schools in financial peril. When the rul… Continue Reading


Students’ math scores drop for years after using a private school voucher in country’s largest program

by Matt Barnum

08.09.18   Low-income students who use a voucher to attend private school in Indiana see their math scores drop for several years as a result, according to a new study. The findings are a blow to the argument that poor students benefit from the choice to attend a private school, a policy championed by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. "Our results do not provide robust support that the [voucher program] has been successful to date at improving student achievement for low-income students who us… Continue Reading


Democrats: Show Us the Science Behind Child Labor Rule

by Ben Penn

08.01.18   The Trump administration might be moving to let teenagers work in health-care jobs that involve "hazardous" machine-operated patient lifts, without relying on updated scientific research about the risks, dozens of House Democrats say. "We are unaware of any formal review by" the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on this proposed rule, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and 46 other Democrats said in an Aug. 1 letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Office of Management and Budg… Continue Reading


GAO Seeks Better Promotion of Loan Program for Black Colleges

by Melissa Korn

07.26.18   Nearly 30% of payments toward a loan program for historically black colleges and universities were delinquent last year, and three of the 46 schools have outright defaulted, according to a government watchdog report being released Thursday. Still, the Government Accountability Office says the U.S. Department of Education should more aggressively encourage HBCUs to participate in the program. The HBCU Capital Financing Program, created in 1992 to provide low-cost loans to the cash-strapped … Continue Reading


DeVos Proposes to Curtail Debt Relief for Defrauded Students

by Erica Green

07.25.18   WASHINGTON - Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed on Wednesday to curtail Obama administration loan forgiveness rules for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, requiring that student borrowers show they have fallen into hopeless financial straits or prove that their colleges knowingly deceived them. The DeVos proposal, set to go in force a year from now, would replace Obama-era policies that sought to ease access to loan forgiveness for students who were left saddled with debt after tw… Continue Reading


The Democratic Alternative

by Andrew Kreighbaum

07.25.18   Just in time for midterm election season, Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday released details of a comprehensive higher education bill they say will ensure every student has the chance to get a postsecondary education without debt. The bill has no chance of passage with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House. But Democrats plan to contrast the proposals in the bill with GOP legislation to overhaul the Higher Education Act. And the bill signals where Democrats m… Continue Reading


DeVos Proposes to Curtail Debt Relief for Defrauded Students

by Erica Green

07.25.18   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed on Wednesday to curtail Obama administration loan forgiveness rules for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, requiring that student borrowers show they have fallen into hopeless financial straits or prove that their colleges knowingly deceived them. The DeVos proposal, set to go in force a year from now, would replace Obama-era policies that sought to ease access to loan forgiveness for students who were left saddled with debt after two for-profit … Continue Reading


The Democratic Alternative

by Andrew Kreighbaum

07.25.18   Just in time for midterm election season, Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday released details of a comprehensive higher education bill they say will ensure every student has the chance to get a postsecondary education without debt. The bill has no chance of passage with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House. But Democrats plan to contrast the proposals in the bill with GOP legislation to overhaul the Higher Education Act. And the bill signals where Democrats m… Continue Reading


Debt-Free College? House Democrats Introduce Higher Education Bill

by Susan Svrluga

07.24.18   House Democrats this week are expected to unveil a sweeping plan to make college more affordable by reducing debt and simplifying financial aid. The Democrats' plan would also endeavor to boost graduation rates. The proposal counters a Republican bill that aims to overhaul the law that dictates the federal government's role in higher education. The Higher Education Act, originally passed in 1965, is supposed to be renewed every five years but was last reauthorized a decade ago. The debate has b… Continue Reading


Dems, Staffers Concerned Labor Board Buyouts Could Undermine Agency

by Hassan Kanu

07.24.18   Staffers inside the federal labor board and some Democrats on Capitol Hill are concerned that President Donald Trump's appointees are working to slim down the agency to a level that would significantly hinder its ability to perform its mission. The concern isn't new. But worker advocates and National Labor Relations Board employee representatives say they suspect the labor board's top prosecutor shifted away from earlier reorganization proposals, possibly in response to a barrage of criticism f… Continue Reading


Debt-free college? House Democrats introduce higher education bill

by Susan Svrluga

07.24.18   House Democrats this week are expected to unveil a sweeping plan to make college more affordable by reducing debt and simplifying financial aid. The Democrats' plan would also endeavor to boost graduation rates. The proposal counters a Republican bill that aims to overhaul the law that dictates the federal government's role in higher education. The Higher Education Act, originally passed in 1965, is supposed to be renewed every five years but was last reauthorized a decade ago. The debate has b… Continue Reading


Do You Have a Social Security Card? Then Take This Executive Order Personally.

by Marilyn Zahm

07.18.18   Marilyn Zahm, an administrative law judge who hears Social Security cases in Buffalo, is the president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, which represents the administrative law judges employed at the Social Security Administration. Do you have a Social Security card? If you do, you should be concerned about how a recent executive order signed by President Trump could affect you. On July 10, the White House released an executive order ending a merit-based system for selecting fed… Continue Reading


Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments

by Peter Sullivan

07.16.18   Top congressional Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to reverse its decision to suspend key ObamaCare payments to insurers, warning the suspension will cause premiums to rise. "The Administration's decision to suspend these collections and payments, which are required under federal law, appears to be yet another attempt by the Trump Administration to sabotage the nation's health care system for partisan gain," the Democrats wrote in a letter to the Department of Health and Human … Continue Reading


Rollback of Affirmative Action Guidelines Could Reshape K-12 School Districts

by Michelle Hackman

07.14.18   WASHINGTON-The Trump administration's recent decision to roll back affirmative action guidelines sent a ripple through the nation's colleges and universities, but it will also likely have a far-reaching impact on K-12 schools. Public school districts across the country have long wrestled with how to desegregate their schools in ways supported by the law, which forbids districts from using the race of individual students to determine their placement. During the Obama administration, their effor… Continue Reading


Trump order risks ‘politicization’ of administrative, mostly Social Security, judiciary

by Joe Davidson

07.13.18   President Trump's latest action upsetting the established order of the federal workforce has spawned a bevy of accusations that his move could politicize the administrative judiciary. A Trump executive order says administrative law judges, who primarily work for the Social Security Administration, will no longer be hired by the competitive civil service process that is a mainstay of an impartial bureaucracy. Instead, they will be selected by agency heads who could pick lawyers who do not need t… Continue Reading


Trump Officials Slash Grants That Help Consumers Get Obamacare

by Robert Pear

07.11.18   WASHINGTON - The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it was slashing grants to nonprofit organizations that help people obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the latest step in an escalating attack on the law that threatens to destabilize its insurance markets. The cuts are the second round in two years. The government will provide $10 million this fall, down from $36 million last autumn and $63 million in late 2016 - a total reduction of more than 80 percent. Trump… Continue Reading


Democrats, Advocacy Groups Pan Order Moving Administrative Judges Out of Competitive Service

by Erich Wagner

07.11.18   This story has been updated to include comments from lawmakers. President Trump's executive order giving broader latitude to agency heads in hiring administrative law judges drew swift opposition from advocacy groups and Democrats in Congress on Wednesday. The order, signed Tuesday, pulls ALJs out of the competitive service, where candidates are vetted by the Office of Personnel Management, and moves them into the excepted service, where agency heads are able to set their own criteria for hiri… Continue Reading

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