News

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


Apprenticeship Programs Need Accountability, House Dems Say

by Andrew Wallender

09.05.18   House Democrats cautioned Republicans that industry-created apprenticeships aren't a replacement for the Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship program. The remarks came at a Sept. 5 subcommittee hearing on rebuilding the workforce that looks at how the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act affected apprenticeships. "We must ensure that while encouraging industry input in apprenticeships, there is also accountability to taxpayers, apprentices, and businesses," Rep. Susan Davis… Continue Reading


Critics outraged over DeVos' decision that could help arm school personnel

by Suzy Kimm

09.04.18   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she has "no intention" of taking action against schools using federal grant money to purchase guns - a decision that leaves it up to states to decide how such funding should be used and that infuriated gun-safety advocates. DeVos disclosed her position in an Aug. 31 letter to Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., following the news that the Education Department was considering a proposal to allow school districts to use federal funds known as Student Support and Academic… Continue Reading


Betsy DeVos Won't Be "Taking Any Action" to Stop Schools from Purchasing Firearms With Federal Funding

by Lauren Rearick

09.01.18   Education secretary Betsy DeVos has announced that she will not prevent school districts from using federal funds to purchase firearms or conduct firearm trainings at their schools. In a letter sent to Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, that was tweeted on Friday, August 31, DeVos told Scott, a ranking member of the committee on education and the workforce, that she has "no intention of taking any action concerning the purchase of firearms or firearms training for school staff under the [Elementary … Continue Reading


House Democrats Push Betsy DeVos To Reject Funding For Guns In Schools

by Laura Meckler

08.28.18   House Democrats are urging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to make clear that a federal grant program cannot be used to buy firearms for schools. In a letter being sent to DeVos on Tuesday, 173 out of 193 Democrats in the House argue that DeVos has the authority to say no to such spending and that close examination of the law that governs the grants suggests she should. "Arming teachers would not only jeopardize student and staff health and safety, but also run counter to Congressional intent,… Continue Reading


Top student loan official at consumer agency quits over Trump policies

by Michael Stratford

08.27.18   The top official overseeing student loans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resigned on Monday in protest of Trump administration policies that he said were harming students and families. Seth Frotman, the student loan ombudsman at the CFPB, said in a letter to acting Director Mick Mulvaney that political leadership at the consumer bureau over the last 10 months had repeatedly undermined efforts by career employees to take action against abuses by student loan companies and for-profit… Continue Reading


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

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