Biden calls on Congress to pass his Build Back Better bill to lower drug costs

by Brian Naylor

12.06.21   President Biden, citing the "outrageously expensive" cost of insulin and other prescription drugs in the U.S., called on Congress Monday to pass his Build Back Better bill, which contains provisions to lower drug prices. In brief remarks at the White House, the president pointed to the cost of insulin needed to treat Type 1 diabetes, which Biden says affects some 1.5 million Americans, who pay anywhere from $375 to $1,000 per month for the drug. The House-passed measure would cap insulin prices… Continue Reading

Weekly jobless claims plunge to 199,000, the lowest level in more than 50 years

by Eli Rosenberg, Taylor Telford and Aaron Gregg

11.24.21   The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims tumbled to 199,000 — the lowest level since November 1969 — the Labor Department reported Wednesday, part of a spate of positive economic news that signaled that many of the wrinkles of the nation’s recovery continue to be smoothing out. It was just the latest bit of good news for the labor market, which remains about 4 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels but has staged a strong recovery, adding about 5… Continue Reading

Here’s How Schools Can Use Federal COVID Aid to Solve Bus Driver and Other Transportation Woes

by Andrew Ujifusa

11.15.21   Schools can use federal COVID-19 relief money on bonuses to retain school bus drivers, reimbursements for costs parents incur in sending their kids to and from school, and other strategies to alleviate transportation problems they may be facing, the U.S. Department of Education says in new guidance. While COVID aid used in this way would have to go to transportation expenses specifically linked to the pandemic, that could cover helping students participate in high-dosage tutoring, extended lear… Continue Reading

The Infrastructure Bill Includes Billions for Broadband. What It Would Mean for Students

by Alyson Klein

11.09.21   Students and teachers who struggle to access the internet at home may get some relief from a sweeping, more than $1 trillion federal investment in infrastructure. The package-which was approved by Congress Nov. 5 and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden-includes nearly $65 billion to improve access to broadband and help the country respond to cyberattacks. The funding is a good step forward in helping to close the so-called "homework gap," or the difficulty millions of stud… Continue Reading

Biden vaccine mandates face first test with federal workers

by Colleen Long and Michael R. Sisak

11.07.21   President Joe Biden is pushing forward with a massive plan to require millions of private sector employees to get vaccinated by early next year. But first, he has to make sure workers in his own federal government get the shot. About 4 million federal workers are to be vaccinated by Nov. 22 under the president's executive order. Some employees, like those at the White House, are nearly all vaccinated. But the rates are lower at other federal agencies, particularly those related to law enforceme… Continue Reading

US employers shrugged off virus and stepped up hiring

by Christopher Rugabear

11.05.21   America's employers stepped up their hiring last month, adding a solid 531,000 jobs, the most since July and a sign that the recovery from the pandemic recession is overcoming a virus-induced slowdown. Friday's report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% last month from 4.8% in September. That is a comparatively low level though still well above the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5%. And the report showed that the job gains in August and September weren'… Continue Reading

Bridging the Gap Between Low-Income Students and Top Colleges

by Suzanne Smalley

11.02.21   After several years prosecuting federal civil rights cases as an assistant United States attorney in New York City, Leslie Cornfeld turned her attention to fighting for what she saw as the most fundamental civil right of all: equity in education. Two years ago, Cornfeld launched the National Education Equity Lab to help more low-income and first-generation high school students make the jump to selective colleges. "Admissions offices fly around the country in search of the most talented athlete… Continue Reading

Dems see progress in adding drug cost curbs to budget bill

by Alan Fram and Lisa Mascaro

10.31.21   Democrats have made significant progress toward adding compromise provisions curbing prescription drug prices to their massive social and environment package, two congressional aides said Sunday. Talks were continuing and no final agreement had been reached. But the movement raised hopes that the party's 10-year, $1.75 trillion measure would address the longtime Democratic campaign promise to lower pharmaceutical costs, though more modestly than some wanted. With talks on that and other issues… Continue Reading

Most Americans want Congress to support child care and elder care, our research finds — even many Republicans

by Jennifer Merolla, Rachel VanSickle-Ward, Ivy A.M. Cargile, Jill S. Greenlee and Sarah Hayes

10.29.21   President Biden on Thursday announced the latest compromise package agreed on with members of Congress for the domestic policy investments bill, commonly called "Build Back Better." Despite cuts, the bill could still include a historic investment in family caregivers - individuals who regularly care for others. Our research finds that Americans broadly support investment in care infrastructure, despite the current U.S. climate of high partisan polarization - putting Republican lawmakers' opposit… Continue Reading

HBCU uses federal COVID-19 relief funds to cancel student debt

by Adam Barnes

10.25.21   A historically Black college in Missouri is using federal COVID-19 relief funding to eliminate debt for its students from the 2020 academic year. Harris-Stowe University in St. Louis, one of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the state, used the funding to cancel more than $330,000 in debt, KCUR reported. "Many of our students were saying they couldn't work - because of COVID-19, they lost their jobs," said LaTonia Collins Smith, Harris-Stowe's interim president, noting… Continue Reading

Men Are Caregivers, Too, in Democrats’ Plan

by Claire Cain Miller

10.22.21   Pete Buttigieg faced criticism from certain conservatives for taking paternity leave with his newborn twins. But his decision to do so showed something distinct about American family policy: It may be flimsy compared with that of many other nations, but it has tended to recognize caregiving as something everyone does, not just mothers. The Democrats' safety net spending plan would expand and cement this idea. Its family policy proposals - for paid family leave, elder care, child care, public pr… Continue Reading

House passes biz-backed bill adding protections for nursing moms

by Daniel Wiessner

10.22.21   The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill supported by the White House and major business groups that would extend workplace protections for nursing mothers to millions of workers. The House voted 276-149, with 59 Republicans joining every Democrat in the chamber, to advance the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections to Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act to the Senate. If the bill clears the Democrat-led Senate, where it also has Republican support, it would require employers with 25 or… Continue Reading

US unemployment claims fall to new pandemic low of 290,000

by Christopher Rugabear

10.21.21   The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted, evidence that layoffs are declining as companies hold onto workers. Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified. Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily… Continue Reading

Biden Gets Tough With States That Haven’t Adopted COVID-19 Safety Rules

by Dave Johnson

10.19.21   Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are threatening to assert jurisdiction over workplace safety in three states that haven't adopted President Joe Biden's emergency regulation for health care facilities. South Carolina, Arizona and Utah all have what are known as OSHA state plans. Federal OSHA oversees workplace safety around the country, but states are allowed to handle it on their own as long as they meet minimum federal requirements. OSHA officials said Tuesday… Continue Reading

Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help

by Sarah D. Sparks

10.18.21   Bright, low-income students increasingly may be losing out on the chance to go to college over uncertainty and confusion about how to pay for it. A little more than 53 percent of the Class of 2021 applied for college financial aid before the start of term this fall, a 5 percent drop compared to the share who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in the Class of 2020-which itself was a significant drop from the pre-pandemic graduating class of 2019. The nonprofit National Colleg… Continue Reading

Higher education initiatives that are delivering for students with learning differences

by Sam Farmer

10.18.21   In 2017, the idea of attending college made Alayna Edwards, a high school senior living in Nashville, TN, feel somewhat apprehensive. Having been diagnosed as autistic, she wondered how successful she would be taking classes on a university campus. Then one afternoon that spring, her mother told her about the Full Spectrum Learning (FSL) program at Austin Peay State University. FSL, which is housed in APSU's Eriksson College of Education, was designed to promote retention and successful complet… Continue Reading

Settlement Backs Up Overhaul of Loan Forgiveness Program

by Alexis Gravely

10.14.21   The Department of Education has settled a lawsuit filed in 2019 over its failure to properly manage its promise of student loan forgiveness for public employees. The agreement, which the plaintiffs are calling "historic," further bolsters major reforms coming to the widely ineffective program that were announced last week. The settlement comes after Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and eight individual AFT members sued former secretary of education Betsy DeVos… Continue Reading

Borrowers denied student loan relief will get a second look

by Collin Binkley

10.13.21   Thousands of public servants who were rejected from a student loan forgiveness program will get their cases reviewed by the Education Department as part of a new settlement in a lawsuit brought by one of the nation's largest teachers unions. The settlement announced Wednesday aims to resolve a 2019 suit accusing the department of mismanaging its Public Service Loan Forgiveness program - a troubled initiative that the agency is separately working to expand through an overhaul announced last week… Continue Reading

Nursing schools see applications rise, despite COVID burnout

by Pat Eaton-Robb

10.13.21   Nurses around the U.S. are getting burned out by the COVID-19 crisis and quitting, yet applications to nursing schools are rising, driven by what educators say are young people who see the global emergency as an opportunity and a challenge. Among them is University of Connecticut sophomore Brianna Monte, a 19-year-old from Mahopac, New York, who had been considering majoring in education but decided on nursing after watching nurses care for her 84-year-grandmother, who was diagnosed last year w… Continue Reading

Thousands of Teachers Who Were Denied Loan Forgiveness Will Get a Second Chance

by Madeline Will

10.13.21   Teachers who had their applications for loan forgiveness denied are getting a second look under the terms of a new settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and the American Federation of Teachers. The department has agreed to reconsider upon request the application of any borrower who pursued the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and was denied, and to automatically review all applications from borrowers that have made payments on a direct loan for at least a … Continue Reading

Showing page   of 42