News

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


How Do Hungry Kids Get Food After School's Out? Summer Program Fills Gap in Richmond

by Justin Mattingly

07.10.18   Shortly after noon on Tuesday, the utility room of the Bellmeade Community Center in Richmond's South Side turned into a de facto lunch room. Four rows of folding tables filled the middle of the space, with dozens of elementary school-age children lining their sides. Just like during the school year, the children laughed and played with one another. They also got lunch - a sandwich with fruits and vegetables, and milk to wash it down - for no charge. The community center borders Oak Grove-Bell… Continue Reading


Child Immigrants in Federal Custody Are Entitled to Education. Here's How It Works.

by Mark Keierleber

07.06.18   In a letter to Trump Administration officials, Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce are demanding answers about the education services provided to unaccompanied minors housed in shelters. That includes about 2,000 migrant children who were separated from their parents at the border and remain in federal custody. In the Thursday letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other cabinet secretaries, the lawmakers note a federal court settlement requires the governmen… Continue Reading


Trump Didn't Gut Affirmative Action, But Its Future Is Far From Secure

by The Editorial Board

07.04.18   The Trump administration's decision to withdraw an Obama-era "guidance document" encouraging colleges to take race into account in their decisions about admissions is disappointing though not surprising. This is an administration that lacks a commitment to meaningful racial diversity in education or to the kind of affirmative action policies that encourage it. Fortunately, Tuesday's actions by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions don't alter the law. The Supreme Court decisions the Obama administration rel… Continue Reading


Top House Dems request broad investigations into Trump immigration policy

by Nathaniel Weixel

06.29.18   Top House Democrats are asking federal agency watchdogs to conduct broad investigations into the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, including the separation of children from their parents and the president's recent executive order designed to halt the practice. "We have grave concerns about how the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Health and Human Services considered, prepared for, and executed these policies," the Democratic law… Continue Reading


'Fundamental Shift' Needed To Protect Miners From Deadly Black Lung

by Howard Berkes

06.28.18   New and tougher rules designed to protect coal miners from the coal and silica dust that causes the fatal disease black lung may not be enough to stem an "epidemic" of the worst stages of the disease or the highest rates of disease in central Appalachia in 25 years. That's the conclusion of a review of the federal government's latest efforts to keep coal miners from being exposed to excessive and toxic amounts of the dust they create as they cut into coal seams. The review, released Thursday f… Continue Reading


Democrats deem Supreme Court 'an arm of the Republican Party' after recent decisions

by Annie Geng

06.27.18   Congressional Democrats responded to three major 5-4 Supreme Court decisions this week that went against them with vehement criticism, including one lawmaker who deemed the court "an arm of the Republican Party." The Janus v. AFSCME ruling handed down Wednesday, which could fundamentally change how public sector unions operate, is the third this week to be decided by the court's conservative majority. Those decisions have led to Democrats in Congress bemoaning the court's political swing, even … Continue Reading

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