News

The House Just Passed A Massive Child Care Rescue

by Emily Peck

07.29.20   The House on Wednesday passed a massive child care bailout in the form of two bills that would provide billions of dollars for an industry that has been long neglected. All the Democrats in the House, along with 18 Republicans, voted in favor of the Child Care Is Essential Act, which provides $50 billion in immediate funding to child care centers. (Libertarian Justin Amash and 162 Republicans voted against the bill.) These in-home and center-based programs look after infants and preschool chi… Continue Reading


DeVos aide played role in helping failing for-profit colleges, texts and emails show

by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel

07.28.20   For the past year, the Education Department has denied that a top official went out of her way to help Dream Center Education Holdings, owner of the Art Institutes, South University and Argosy University, as the company spiraled into insolvency. But a batch of text messages, emails and letters shed new light on Dream Center's relationship with Diane Auer Jones, the head of higher education policy at the department, and her efforts to help the company regain accreditation at two of its schools.… Continue Reading


Virginia adopts nation’s first coronavirus workplace safety rules after labor groups decry federal inaction

by Eli Rosenberg

07.15.20   The state of Virginia adopted the first set of coronavirus-related workplace safety mandates in the country, after a board approved the emergency regulation Wednesday - a move the state took after months of inaction from a federal agency tasked with nationwide enforcement. The state's safety and health codes board voted 9-2 to adopt what is called an "emergency temporary standard," which will require businesses to implement safety measures to protect people from being infected with the coro… Continue Reading


The federal agency that’s supposed to protect workers is toothless on Covid-19

by Nicole Narea

07.13.20   When Nevada's casino workers went back to work for the first time since March, many found that their employers weren't doing enough to protect them from the coronavirus. Casinos, including the MGM Grand and the Bellagio, didn't immediately inform employees if a new case was detected or shut down their work areas. And they didn't even require their guests to wear face masks for weeks after reopening, and until the state made it mandatory. "It's wrong that they didn't prepare for handling this,"… Continue Reading


House chairman asks CDC director to testify on reopening schools during pandemic

by Cristina Marcos

07.09.20   House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) on Thursday asked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield to testify before his panel later this month to discuss how schools can safely reopen this fall. Scott asked Redfield in a letter to testify before the panel's subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education on July 23 so that lawmakers could "engage directly with you concerning the CDC's guidance to schools on how to s… Continue Reading


DeVos issues rule steering more virus aid to private schools

by Collin Binkley

06.25.20   The Trump administration on Thursday moved forward with a policy ordering public schools across the U.S. to share coronavirus relief funding with private schools at a higher rate than federal law typically requires. Under a new rule issued by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, school districts are ordered to set aside a portion of their aid for private schools using a formula based on the total number of private school students in the district. The policy has been contested by public school offi… Continue Reading


Education Dept. Rule Limits How Schools Can Spend Vital Aid Money

by Cory Turner

06.25.20   In a new rule announced Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signaled she is standing firm on her intention to reroute millions of dollars in coronavirus aid money to K-12 private school students. The CARES Act rescue package included more than $13 billion to help public schools cover pandemic-related costs. The move comes nearly two months after the Education Department issued controversial guidance, suggesting that private schools should benefit from a representative share of the… Continue Reading


Whistleblower: Education Department Killed Website That Made Applying for Loan Forgiveness Too Easy

by Lauren Camera

06.23.20   THE TRUMP administration rejected a website that the Education Department's Federal Student Aid office designed to help students who have been defrauded by their colleges apply for loan forgiveness, arguing the tool made the process too easy, according to a whistleblower complaint. The development of the website was part of a $90 million federal contract to build one main hub for all federal student aid needs that modernized existing loan servicing portals and made them more user-friendly - i… Continue Reading


National Middle-income and rural families disproportionately grapple with child-care deserts, new analysis shows

by Amanda Becker

06.22.20   When Cathy Belair was searching for child care a couple of years ago for her two young granddaughters in Fletcher, N.C., the middle school math teacher said she found only two "quality" options that had space for the girls and also opened early enough for her to drop them off before work. So Belair, 56, and her husband, a 60-year-old school custodian, "dipped considerably" into their retirement savings to cobble together more than $1,500 a month for child care. After months on a waiting list,… Continue Reading


Why Is OSHA AWOL?

by The Editorial Board

06.21.20   As states and municipalities relax shelter-in-place orders, the nation seems to be racing to get the economy back to something resembling the pre-pandemic era. Restaurants, malls, cinemas, day care centers and retail stores are reopening sooner than most medical professionals think is wise. The risk is obvious to many businesses that stayed open as the coronavirus swept the country. Meat processing plants, for instance, have had among the highest rates of infection. Employees continued to show … Continue Reading


Schools Plan to Reopen as Federal Watchdog Finds Major Facility Problems

by Lauren Camera

06.04.20   WHEN THE PHILADELPHIA Federation of Teachers sent its 13,000 members a survey about their biggest concerns for reopening schools, it was inundated with a recurring theme: If school facilities aren't in better condition, I'm not coming back. "To use the sinks in the bathroom, one must hold the faucet on with one hand, making it impossible to thoroughly wash hands," one teacher replied, with others commenting that some faucets didn't work at all and that bathrooms almost always lacked soap. … Continue Reading


Trump Officials Defend Their Handling Of Worker Safety During Coronavirus

by Brian Mann

05.28.20   Trump administration officials defended their handling of worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic at a congressional hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C. But they acknowledged a grim new tally of deaths among doctors and nurses is "likely to be an underestimate," according to testimony from Dr. John Howard, head of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week the CDC raised dramatically its assessment of h… Continue Reading


DeVos Funnels Coronavirus Relief Funds to Favored Private and Religious Schools

by Erica Green

05.15.20   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is using the $2 trillion coronavirus stabilization law to throw a lifeline to education sectors she has long championed, directing millions of federal dollars intended primarily for public schools and colleges to private and religious schools. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, signed in late March, included $30 billion for education institutions turned upside down by the pandemic shutdowns, about $14 billion for higher education, $13.5 billi… Continue Reading


OSHA has issued no Covid-19 citations

by Rebecca Rainey

05.14.20   Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal agency that polices workplace safety has initiated inspections into only about 7 percent of the Covid-19-related complaints that it's received - and issued citations in none. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, whose Cabinet department includes that agency - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - says he stands ready to punish employers who don't protect workers sufficiently from the coronavirus. "We recognize," Scalia said May 1… Continue Reading


House Bill Backs SEP, COBRA, Cost-Free COVID Treatment

by Amy Lotven

05.13.20   House Democrats' $3 trillion coronavirus response bill unveiled Wednesday (May 12) would require HHS establish and promote an eight-week special enrollment period for healthcare.gov, would fully subsidize COBRA coverage, and would mandate that group and individual health plans provide COVID treatment cost-free to enrollees. It also would pump an additional $100 billion into the Health Care Provider Relief Fund created by the CARES Act and designate $75 billion for testing and contract tracing, … Continue Reading


K-12 school leaders warn of ‘disaster’ from huge coronavirus-related budget cuts as layoffs and furloughs begin

by Valerie Strauss

05.07.20   Just as they face unprecedented new challenges and financial costs, leaders of K-12 public school districts around the country are warning of dire consequences from sharp budget cuts from state legislatures attempting to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The alarm was sounded by school superintendents in 62 cities, who sent a letter to Congress through the nonprofit Council for the Great City Schools, asking Congress for billions of dollars in new federal education … Continue Reading


Trump orders meat plants to stay open in pandemic

by Taylor Telford, Kimberly Kindy, Jacob Bogage

04.28.20   President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday evening compelling meat processors to remain open to head off shortages in the nation's food supply chains, despite mounting reports of plant worker deaths due to covid-19. Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to classify meat plants as essential infrastructure that must remain open. Under the order, the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to a person familiar with the action who sp… Continue Reading


House chairman calls on Trump administration to appoint medical supply coordinator

by CRISTINA MARCOS

03.20.20   House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) on Friday called on the Trump administration to appoint a designated official to coordinate the efforts to distribute adequate protective gear and supplies to health workers across the United States. In a letter to Vice President Pence, the chairman of the coronavirus task force, Scott and Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) argued that having someone dedicated to addressing the nationwide shortage of medical supplies would help improve coor… Continue Reading


Senate Rejects DeVos Rule Restricting Debt Relief for Bilked Students

by Erica L. Green and Stacy Cowley

03.11.20   WASHINGTON - In a bipartisan rebuke, the Senate voted Wednesday to overturn a major Trump administration rule that would sharply limit debt relief for students misled by schools that lured them in with false claims about their graduates' career and earning prospects. In a 53-42 vote that included 11 Republicans, the Senate struck down a revised Education Department rule finalized in September by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The House passed a companion resolution in January. The legislation… Continue Reading


This regulation could protect health-care workers from the coronavirus. It hangs in limbo.

by Kimberly Kindy

03.05.20   As more than 100 hospital workers remain in self-imposed quarantine in California, a proposed regulation designed to protect them from infectious diseases such as the coronavirus languishes inside a federal agency. The draft regulation would require employers to provide protective gear for health-care workers and to create infection-control plans, which could include building isolation rooms. The Obama administration was working to adopt the regulation, but the Trump administration in 2017 … Continue Reading

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