The family foundation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her billionaire husband, Dick, gave more than $1 million to purportedly “independent” right-wing groups that have helped boost her assault on public education, according to a recent tax filing obtained by the government watchdog group Allied Progress and shared with Salon.
The Education Department has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remake the Middle East studies program run jointly by the two schools after concluding that it was offering students a biased curriculum that, among other complaints, did not present enough “positive” imagery of Judaism and Christianity in the region.
Dream Center Education Holdings, a subsidiary of a Los Angeles-based megachurch, had no experience in higher education when it petitioned the federal Education Department to let it take over a troubled chain of for-profit trade schools.But the organization’s chairman, Randall K. Barton, told the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, that the foundation wanted to “help people live better lives.”
Education, both in its symbolic and institutional forms, has a central role to play in fighting the resurgence of fascist cultures, mythic historical narratives and the emerging ideologies of white supremacy and white nationalism. Moreover, as fascists across the globe are disseminating toxic racist and ultranationalist images of the past, it is essential to reclaim education as a form of historical consciousness and moral witnessing.
The Trump administration is looking to cut the Education Department’s funding by $7.1 billion compared to what it was given last year. The budget proposal suggests eliminating 29 programs, including after-school and summer programs for students in high-poverty areas, among other things.
Elizabeth Warren wants to cancel part or all student loan debt for 95 percent of Americans and make public college free for everyone—the latest, and perhaps most ambitious, policy proposal for the 2020 Democratic contender. Warren announced the policy in a Medium post Monday morning.
During a series of recent congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had to respond to a recent report finding the U.S. Department of Education has been scammed for hundreds of millions of dollars by fraudulent or mismanaged charter schools. Her responses reveal not only her inability to counter legitimate concerns over the spread of charter schools but also the charter school industry’s resistance to honestly address a chronic problem with its schools.
In 1994, the Charter School Fund was added to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); in 1995 it began dispersing federal funds to states so that states could use the money to pilot charter schools. Since then, the CSP has handed over about $4 billion to support charter schools, and there are supposed to be some federal guidelines attached to the process. But a new report from the Network for Public Education charges that roughly $1 billion of that has been lost to fraud and waste in the charter school sector.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended budget cuts to programs including the Special Olympics on Tuesday. Appearing before a House subcommittee Tuesday to review the department’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, DeVos said, “We had to make some difficult decisions.”
The White House released Trump's 2020 budget proposal, which contains important implications for higher education and student loans. The budget includes $64.0 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Education, a $7.1 billion, or 10%, decrease compared to the 2019 funding. The budget, as it relates to student loans, is built on several stated goals, among others:
Any day now we’re going to hear the news that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration are removing guidance meant to reduce racist discipline practices that run rampant in public schools around the country.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is set to release a sweeping overhaul of how colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment, giving new rights to the accused, including the ability to cross-examine their accusers, people familiar with the matter said. The new rules would reduce liability for universities, tighten the definition of sexual harassment, and allow schools to use a higher standard in evaluating claims of sexual harassment and assault.
Secretary DeVos, this is what American teachers want you to know about their struggles. In September, the Guardian invited a team of public school teachers to serve as guest editors of our site and share their stories of teaching in America. As part of the project, our teacher-editors published a manifesto entitled “We shouldn’t be on food stamps: Teachers on how to fix America’s education system”.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sunday vetoed legislation that would have raised the minimum salary for an Illinois teacher to $40,000 within five years, putting the re-election-seeking Republican at odds with teachers unions once again. The bill approved by lawmakers in the spring would make the minimum teacher salary for next school year $32,076. The number would rise to $40,000 for the 2022-23 term and grow with the Consumer Price Index after that.
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.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally moved Friday to scrap a regulation that would have forced for-profit colleges to prove that the students they enroll are able to attain decent-paying jobs, the most dramatic in a series of moves that will free the scandal-scarred, for-profit sector from safeguards put in effect during the Obama era.
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.
Now, affirmative action is at a crossroads. The Trump administration is moving against any use of race as a measurement of diversity in education. And the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy at the end of this month will leave the court without its swing vote on affirmative action and allow President Trump to nominate a justice opposed to a policy that for decades has tried to integrate elite educational institutions.
Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees. During the final months of the Obama administration, the team had expanded to include a dozen or so lawyers and investigators who were looking into advertising, recruitment practices and job placement claims at several institutions, including DeVry Education Group.
An intensifying series of red-state battles over education funding and teacher pay threatens to loosen Republicans’ grip on some of the country’s most conservative states, as educators and parents rebel against a decade of fiscal austerity that has cut deeply into public education.
Before 2010, private lenders made most student loans. But during the financial crisis student lending seized up, and in response Congress effectively nationalized the program. Today, the federal Department of Education makes about 90 percent of all student loans (including loans to parents and graduate students). The old system included big government subsidies to private lenders. Congress and the Obama administration directed that money to income-driven repayment and Pell Grants instead.
Thousands of teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky walked off the job Monday morning, shutting down school districts as they protested cuts in pay, benefits and school funding in a movement that has spread rapidly since igniting in West Virginia earlier this year.
One of the biggest concerns is that the commission is considering rolling back Obama administration guidance on school discipline that discouraged officers from disciplining students and pushed for more positive and less punitive responses to student behavior. In other words, the federal government will undo the Obama administration’s work to keep students in school and out of the criminal justice system.
Betsy DeVos was picked to run the Education Department largely to continue the work she had embraced through her philanthropic work: advocating an expansion of charter schools. Hers was the most controversial Cabinet nomination by President Trump, requiring Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote confirming her for the position. That controversy had many causes, but a significant one was that many in the education community were concerned about turning over the department to someone who advocated transferring scarce public funding to what amounted to educational experiments.
President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a fiscal 2019 budget Monday that rehashes many of the proposals floated by the White House last year. Among them are plans to ax loan forgiveness for public servants, alter the terms of income-driven student loan repayment and stop paying the interest on low-income students’ loans while they are in school. Those three changes alone could increase the cost of higher education for borrowers by more than $200 billion over the next decade.
A company that once had financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was one of two firms selected Thursday by the Education Department to help the agency collect overdue student loans. The deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
For years, Betsy DeVos traveled the country — and opened her checkbook — as she worked as a conservative advocate to promote the expansion of voucher programs that allow parents to use taxpayer funds to send their children to private and religious schools. A detailed look at the first six months of Ms. DeVos’s tenure as the secretary of education —based on a 326-page calendar tracking her daily meetings — demonstrates that she continues to focus on those programs as well as on charter schools.
The Education Department has rescinded 72 policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration’s effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous.
The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.
On Thursday, education secretary Betsy DeVos carried on in the grand American tradition of treating rape survivors like garbage, meeting with accused rapists and organizations that publish photos of women they claim are “false victims”. Just another day in the era of Trump, where disdain for women and their rights trickles down from the “pussy-grabbing” president to all corners of his administration.
In June, the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, announced plans to dismantle a set of Obama-era policies devised to protect students and taxpayers from predatory for-profit colleges. Yet data released in the final days of the previous administration shows that the existing rules have proved more effective at shutting down bad college programs than even the most optimistic backers could have hoped.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been sending some chilling signals lately about how she plans to deal with America’s $1.3 trillion student debt burden. On at least two separate ocassions now, her department has scrapped Obama-era reforms that were designed to protect borrowers from being gouged or misled by the companies responsible for collecting their loans. All told, DeVos seems less interested in protecting former students than in protecting the predators that have fleeced them for profit.
Republican lawmakers reined in regulations — including some on testing — that they criticized as heavy-handed.With all the attention paid to President Trump’s lightning-rod secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, and her advocacy for private school vouchers, little public notice has been paid to the action on education in Congress — where lawmakers have broader power than Ms. DeVos to make changes to the nation’s school system.Now, Congress has done exactly that, voting to repeal crucial regulations associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act, one of President Barack Obama’s final legislative achievements.
President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to take on the government bureaucracy they have long railed against, by eroding job protections and grinding down benefits that federal workers have received for a generation. Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.
My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their underachieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5m to Harvard University not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school, which at the time accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes one out of 20.) I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less-than-stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.