Biden offers new student debt relief plan, lashes out at GOP after Supreme Court ruling
President Joe Biden vowed Friday to push ahead with a new plan providing student loan relief for millions of borrowers while blaming Republican “hypocrisy” for triggering the day’s Supreme Court decision that wiped out his original effort.
Takeaways: Abortion backlash in Kansas, Greitens' collapse
In one of the biggest days of this year's primary campaign season, red-state Kansas rejected a measure that would have made it easier to restrict abortion, and voters in Missouri repudiated a scandal-tarred former governor seeking a Senate seat.
Jan. 6 panel deepens probe to Trump Cabinet, awaits Thomas
The House Jan. 6 committee plans to interview more former Cabinet secretaries and is prepared to subpoena conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, who’s married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as part of its investigation of the Capitol riot and Donald Trump’s role.
Elizabeth Holmes' jury unsuccessfully tries to study at home
The high-profile trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes boils down to a single question: Did she cover up defects in her startup’s blood-testing technology to rip off investors while potentially endangering the lives of unwitting patients.
GOP’s DeVos says she will not seek Michigan governorship
Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she will not run for Michigan governor in 2022, putting an end to speculation about the onetime Trump administration Cabinet member and partner in one of the state’s most influential Republican couples.
Students who got partial loan relief to see full discharge
WASHINGTON – Thousands of students defrauded by for-profit schools will have their federal loans fully erased, the Biden administration announced Thursday, reversing a Trump administration policy that had given them only partial relief. The change could lead to $1 billion in loans being canceled for 72,000 borrowers, all of whom attended for-profit schools, the Education Department said. The borrower defense to repayment program allows students to have their federal loans canceled if they were defrauded by their schools. The Education Department said a total of 343,331 applications for relief under borrower defense had been received as of Feb. 28. Sen. Patty Murray, who heads the Senate committee overseeing education, said DeVos used “faulty math” to deny student full relief.
Biden order could change how colleges handle sex misconduct
Biden also signed a second executive order formally establishing the White House Gender Policy Council, which his transition team had announced before he took office. Any effort to rewrite DeVos’ rules would have to go through a federal rulemaking process that can take years to complete. AdRepublicans slammed Biden’s move and defended DeVos’ rules. The scope of cases that colleges must address is also likely to be expanded again under the Biden administration, he said. Biden is starting the process even as DeVos' policy faces ongoing legal challenges.
Senate confirms Cardona as Biden's education secretary
FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate has confirmed him as Education Secretary on March 1. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)The Senate voted Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as education secretary, clearing his way to lead President Joe Biden’s effort to reopen the nation’s schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. AdCardona, who gained attention for his efforts to reopen schools in Connecticut, has vowed to make it his top priority to reopen schools. In an increasingly fractionalized world of education, Cardona has vowed to be a unifier.
Once the mainstream model, Michigan GOP embraces right wing
While the state has swung back to Democrats since Trump's narrow 2016 win, choosing President Joe Biden by more than 150,000 votes, Michigan's Republican Party has taken a hard right turn. Ad“All these things were a catalyst,” said Ken Sikkema, a former Michigan GOP Senate leader whose Grand Rapids district lost 5,000 jobs with three plant closures just before the 2008 crash. “Forces of nature take over at that point, and those forces were definitely tilting right, extreme far-right," said Venable, who was state Republican Party chief of staff in 2010. AdNodding to the emerging right wing, Michigan GOP fundraiser Ron Weiser invited Maddock to share the ticket for his bid to become state party chair. All the while, Michigan's GOP leadership has for the first time in memory bestowed legitimacy on its state's militia, long relegated to the shadows.
CDC: Strong evidence in-person schooling can be done safely
Officials said there is strong evidence now that schools can reopen, especially at lower grade levels. Most still have outdated ventilation systems, she said, and few have the type of virus testing programs suggested by the CDC. CDC officials emphasized that in-person learning has not been identified as a substantial driver of coronavirus spread in U.S. communities, and that transmission among students is now considered relatively rare. Government officials estimate that about 60% of K-12 schools right now have some form of in-person learning going on, though in many cases it may be part-time. AdSchools also can tighten up restrictions for the in-person learning that is going on.
Trial highlights: 'We were invited' and a quick defense
They bolstered their case with accounts from the rioters themselves, some of whom said they were acting on Trump's orders. The former president's defense team insists Trump's speech near the White House was protected under the First Amendment. And they argue he shouldn't be on trial in the Senate because he is no longer in office — an argument Democrats reject. To underscore their point, Democrats showed videos using rioters own words. Trump senior adviser Jason Miller said he expects the defense will wrap up in less than a day.
Education nominee pledges new guidance, more virus testing
Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. On school choice, Cardona said it’s important that families have education options, but that a quality public school must be one of them. Public schools are “the bedrock of our country,” he said, adding that most students attend public schools. AdHis deep roots in public education helped him stand out as a contender to lead the Education Department. During his presidential campaign, Biden had promised to nominate someone with experience in public education.
Michigan asks to waive standardized testing for 2020-2021 school year
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan requested on Monday that standardized testing be waived for the 2020-2021 school year, after a school year marked with instruction inconsistency and difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last March, as virus cases grew and schools moved online, then-U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos allowed Michigan to waive standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. Near the end of her tenure, as waivers were being requested again, she told chief state school officers in a letter that standardized testing is expected for the 2020-2021 school year. The Michigan Education Association, which represents about 120,000 teachers and other education professionals, supports waiving standardized testing. “Amidst this pandemic, we simply cannot waste valuable learning time on high-stakes standardized testing," Herbart said.
School choice lawsuit surge pushes possible high court fight
If the lawsuit succeeds, officials at the nonprofit say they will file legal challenges in other states with similar school choice programs. A similar lawsuit challenging Maine’s exclusion of religious schools from a high school tuition voucher program was denied by the 1st U.S. Maine and New Hampshire have similar programs for students who live in communities without schools to attend public or non-religious private schools of their choice. The school treats him “as a welcomed member of the school community rather than as an imposition,” the lawsuit said. But he is now in 9th grade and the district has a high school so tuition money is not provided to attend another school.
Dems' momentum builds to impeach Trump, Pelosi hits rioters
Pelosi, addressing her hometown San Francisco constituents during an online video conference, shed no fresh light on Democrats' plans. Trump has not publicly made such threats, but officials warn of grave danger if the president is left unchecked. A person on the call said Pelosi also discussed other ways Trump might be forced to resign. ”Democratic leaders have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office. The House impeached Trump in 2019, but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him in early 2020.
Morning Briefing Jan. 8, 2021: Top federal prosecutor in Michigan seeks tips on Capitol mob, Trump finally concedes, DeVos resigns
FILE - In this June 14, 2018, file photo, the FBI seal is seen before a news conference at FBI headquarters in Washington. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, whose jurisdiction covers a 34-county area including metropolitan Detroit, said investigators will review video footage and other evidence. “A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Trump said in the video. In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 512,751 as of Thursday, including 13,094 deaths, state officials report.
DeVos resigns after pro-Trump riot: ‘There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation’
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix. In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos’ resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Related: Trump’s Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigns after Capitol riot
Trump to skip Biden swearing-in — Biden's fine with that
Biden said he was just fine with that, calling it “one of the few things we have ever agreed on." “Donald Trump doesn’t want to be in Washington as the second-fiddle loser standing on stage with Joe Biden,” he said. “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” Trump said in a tweet. White House counsel Pat Cipollone has repeatedly warned Trump that he could be deemed responsible for inciting Wednesday’s violence. On Capitol Hill, Democrats laid plans to impeach Trump a second time, with articles of impeachment expected to be introduced on Monday.
Stay or go? After Trump-fueled riot, aides debate early exit
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Thursday became the highest-ranking administration officials to resign over the pro-Trump insurrection. Neither impeachment nor ouster under the 25th Amendment was considered probable with less than two weeks left in Trump's presidency. Yet many White House aides, both senior officials and lower-level staff, were struggling with whether or when to exit, according to two people familiar with internal deliberations at the White House. “They’re all going to have their historic revisionism, they’re all going to have their own imaginary heroism,” Wilson said.
The Latest: Capitol Police says officer dies after riots
The U.S. Capitol Police says an officer who was injured after responding to riots at the Capitol has died. Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday as Congress was tallying the Electoral College votes to confirm Democrat Joe Biden won the election. ___7:20 p.m.President Donald Trump is conceding to President-elect Joe Biden and condemning the violent supporters of his who stormed the nation’s Capitol. He was a web developer and founder of Trumparoo, a social media site for supporters of President Donald Trump. ___2:35 p.m.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s seeking the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
The Latest: Capitol Police says officer dies after ‘riots’
The U.S. Capitol Police says an officer who was injured after responding to riots at the Capitol has died. ___7:20 p.m.President Donald Trump is conceding to President-elect Joe Biden and condemning the violent supporters of his who stormed the nation’s Capitol. He was a web developer and founder of Trumparoo, a social media site for supporters of President Donald Trump. ___2:35 p.m.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s seeking the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol. ___2:30 p.m.Canadian-based e-commerce company Shopify Inc. has removed online stores affiliated with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying his actions have violated the company’s policies.
In farewell, DeVos urges Congress to reject Biden's policies
In a farewell letter to Congress on Monday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged lawmakers to reject President-elect Joe Biden's education agenda, while imploring them to shield Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate. DeVos offered an unemotional farewell to a Congress that had a chilly relationship with her from the start. More broadly, DeVos urged Congress to direct federal education funding directly to families rather than to schools. The letters says federal education funding has already tripled since 1960 but has failed to translate to better outcomes on standardized tests. In her appeal to Congress, DeVos says her regulation “restores fairness on campuses by upholding all students’ rights."
After pardon, Blackwater guard defiant: ‘I acted correctly’
In this Dec. 31, 2020, file photo pardoned Blackwater contractor Evan Liberty poses for a photo in Washington. The Blackwater contractors meet none of that criteria. They were convicted in the killings of unarmed Iraqi women and children and have long been defiant in their assertions of innocence. “I feel like I acted correctly,” he said of his conduct in 2007. He says he's grateful to his supporters and to Trump for what he calls a “second chance at life."
One Good Thing: Special Olympian spreads message of love
(Gary Schottle via AP)Gary Schottle arrived in time to see the other kids in line hitting and jumping on his young son. Special Olympics changed everything. Special Olympics has since branched out to more than 170 countries, empowering more than 5 million athletes who had often been cast aside. In 20 years of Special Olympics competition, Tank's confidence has soared, his leadership spreading across playing fields, the Houston area and beyond. Once one of the bullied, he has become a living embodiment of the Special Olympics message.
Pardons in killings of Iraqi civilians stir angry response
FILE - This combination made from file photo shows Blackwater guards, from left, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough. “The infamous Blackwater company killed Iraqi citizens at Nisoor Square. The 2007 killings in the Baghdad traffic circle were among many attacks, large and small, hitting civilians that served to turn even some initial Iraqi supporters of Saddam Hussein's overthrow against Americans. The case against the Blackwater guards ping-ponged across courts in Washington, with a federal appeals court at one point overturning the first-degree murder conviction of one defendant, Nicholas Slatten, and sharply reducing the prison sentences of the three others. In Iraq, said Ford, the former diplomat, the pardons will “necessarily give some ammunition to those who say get the Americans out now."
Biden: Cardona right pick to lead education through pandemic
FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2017, photo, flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden has chosen the education commissioner for Connecticut and a former public school teacher to serve as education secretary. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)President-elect Joe Biden introduced Miguel Cardona as his pick for education secretary on Wednesday, saying Connecticut's education chief and life-long champion of public schools is the right pick to lead the department as the nation struggles to educate students safely during the pandemic. But despite their occasional conflict with him, a coalition of Connecticut education unions supported his candidacy as Biden's education secretary. Beyond the pandemic, Biden's education secretary will also be tasked with reversing an array of policies enacted by DeVos.
Biden picks Connecticut schools chief as education secretary
FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2017, photo, flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden has chosen the education commissioner for Connecticut and a former public school teacher to serve as education secretary. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Miguel Cardona, Connecticut's education chief and a lifelong champion of public schools, to serve as education secretary. The selection delivers on Biden’s promise to nominate someone with experience working in public education and would fulfill his goal of installing an education chief who stands in sharp contrast to Secretary Betsy DeVos. Despite their occasional conflict with him, a coalition of Connecticut education unions supported his candidacy as Biden's education secretary.
Spending bill to restore federal college grants for inmates
The massive, catchall bill combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion spending bill. A 1994 bill blocked prisoners from the program, but momentum has been growing to reverse the decision. For Republicans, the bill secures a longtime goal to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the form that students fill out to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid. It would provide $23 billion to colleges and universities, the first federal virus aid since a virus package Congress approved in March. For K-12 schools, the bill provides $54.3 billion, with an additional $4.1 billion that governors can use on education.
Trump eases rules for religious social service providers
It also removes a rule telling religious groups to give clients written notice about their rights, including that they can’t be forced to participate in religious activities. Trump also vowed to protect prayer in public schools and bolster the rights of religious groups on college campuses. Civil rights group blasted the new changes, saying the previous rules were meant to protect LGBTQ people, religious minorities and others who may face discrimination from religious groups. American Atheists, a civil rights group, said the previous rules were created with support from religious and civil rights groups alike. Religious groups applauded the changes, while civil rights groups said they opened the door for discrimination.
Former teachers union chief vying for education secretary
Lily Eskelsen García, who was president of the National Education Association until September, has been calling members of Congress to build support for her candidacy. The caucus drew attention to Biden's proposals to confront racial disparities in education, saying Eskelsen García has been pursuing that work for decades. Andrade called her a “bona fide, proven educator” with a compelling personal story and a firm commitment to public education. “You will not find a bigger contrast in people than between DeVos and Eskelsen García,” Andrade said. Supporters of Eskelsen García say her nomination would fulfill Biden’s promise to install an education chief with experience working in public education.
DeVos suspends federal student loan payments through January 2021
The Trump administration on Friday suspended all federal student loan payments through the end of January and kept interest rates at 0%, extending a moratorium that started early in the pandemic but was set to expire at the end of this month. By extending payments by one month, the administration is effectively leaving it to the Biden administration or Congress to decide whether to provide longer-term relief to millions of student borrowers. In announcing the extension, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rebuked Congress for failing to act. DeVos won praise for using her authority to pause federal student loan payments in March. A federal lawsuit filed against DeVos in April alleged that thousands of overdue borrowers were still getting pay withheld despite the mortarium.
DeVos says free college amounts to a 'socialist takeover'
In a veiled swing at President-elect Joe Biden's education plans, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday blasted the push for free college as a “socialist takeover of higher education” that could damage the nation's economy. But she railed against “politicians” who have issued “shrill calls” to cancel federal student debt or make college free. “Make no mistake: It is a socialist takeover of higher education,” DeVos said. DeVos argued that free college would place an unfair burden on taxpayers, requiring Americans who do not pursue college to “pay the bills” for those who do. When Sanders asked DeVos about free college during her 2017 Senate confirmation, DeVos argued that “nothing is truly free," an idea that she repeated in her speech Tuesday.
Trump books will continue after Trump leaves office
NEW YORK – One of publishing's most thriving genres of the past four years, books about President Donald Trump, is not going to end when he leaves office. In 2021 and beyond, look for waves of releases about the Trump administration and about the president's loss to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. “But there are tens of millions of Americans who look to the Trump presidency as an important time and are fans of his administration. Center Street, a Hachette Book Group imprint, has published Donald Trump Jr., Newt Gingrich and Judge Jeanine Pirro among others. Any publisher signing with Trump or a top administration official might face the anger not just of Trump critics among the general public, but from within the industry.
Biden shores up fragile 'blue wall' in industrial north
“It’s a mistake to ever have thought Wisconsin was a safely blue state,” said state Democratic Chairman Ben Wikler. To reverse Clinton's losses in the “blue wall” states, Biden benefited from both strong suburban turnout and in the urban centers of Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee. Even in losing Republican-heavy Waukesha County, Wisconsin, Biden's suburban gains were part of his winning Wisconsin formula. Trump also lost Saginaw County, Michigan, a struggling former General Motors supply manufacturing county Obama carried before the president flipped. But we're still a manufacturing economy and nearly stagnant in our growth,” Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Wertz said.
Trump tests limits as Cabinet members fan out to key states
(AP Photo/John Flesher)WASHINGTON – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos planned a “Moms for Trump” rally in her home state of Michigan. It's long been one of the benefits of incumbency that a president can enlist his Cabinet to promote administration accomplishments. “The Trump administration has completely obliterated that line," said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, which describes itself as a nonpartisan watchdog organization. "The White House is now the seat of government, where the president lives, and one of his chief campaign props. “The Trump administration takes the Hatch Act seriously and all events are conducted in compliance with the law,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.
Russell Wilson, Ciara fund charter school in Seattle area
Wilson and his Grammy-winning wife, pop singer Ciara, are putting their money and celebrity behind rebranding a charter school, which advocates hope will boost the troubled Washington state charter school sector that has suffered from enrollment problems after years of legal challenges. Washington’s charter law allows for up to 40 publicly funded, privately run charter schools to set up by 2021. Then there were two major lawsuits challenging the law before the Supreme Court ruled in support of charter schools, settling the matter in 2018. While Democrats and Republicans have supported charter schools in the past, the issue of school choice has become immensely polarizing politically. Wilson, joining a long line of celebrities that have launched schools, said the couple's charter school financing is not a political statement.
Judge slams DeVos for rejecting 94% of loan relief claims
In a biting decision issued Monday in California, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said the department has been denying claims using template letters that are “alarmingly curt." Spokesperson Angela Morabito said many claims were submitted by borrowers who attended ineligible programs or who failed to make a valid claim for loan forgiveness. “Just because a claim was filed does not make it valid and eligible for taxpayer-funded relief,” she said in a statement. The claims were filed through a program known as borrower defense, which forgives federal student loans for borrowers who are cheated by their colleges. In a proposed settlement in April, the Education Department agreed to process the backlog of claims within 18 months.
Feds say US colleges 'massively' underreport foreign funding
Since coming under federal scrutiny, the 12 schools disclosed a combined $6.5 billion in foreign funding that was previously unreported, the department said. Yale said it failed to submit foreign funding reports for the years 2014 to 2017 but later corrected the omission. It's not unusual for U.S. colleges to accept foreign funding for research projects or exchange programs, but federal reporting requirements have long been treated as an honor system. That began to change last year, however, after a bipartisan report in Congress raised alarms about colleges’ ties with China. In response to that finding, DeVos began ordering broader investigations into universities' foreign funding.
Trump vs. Biden: Where they stand on health, economy, more
First and foremost, Biden argues that the economy cannot fully recover until COVID-19 is contained. Biden wants schools to get more federal aid for pandemic-related costs through the same federal law used after national disasters like hurricanes and wildfires. Beyond COVID, Biden wants the federal government to partner with states to make public higher education tuition-free for any student in a household earning up to $125,000 annually. That positions Biden between Trump, who wants to scrap the 2010 law, and progressives, who want a single-payer system to replace private insurance altogether. As a candidate and as president, Trump has consistently expressed his opposition to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide and said the issue should be decided by states.
Nonpartisan watchdog group raises questions about $40m yacht tied to DeVos family
Investigative watchdog group Checks and Balances Project has questions about a luxury yacht tied to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The nonpartisan group wants to know if the DeVos family is avoiding paying millions of dollars in taxes on the luxury yacht. The Checks and Balances Project investigates corruption and advocates good governance. The Checks and Balances Project are questioning whether the DeVos family has avoided paying nearly $17 million in taxes. When reached for a comment, a spokesperson for the DeVos family said they no longer own the yacht.
US sees 'malign influence' in China-backed school program
More than 60 U.S. universities host Confucius Institute through partnerships with an affiliate of China's Ministry of Education. The Confucius Institute U.S. Center did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. The letters do not explicitly urge schools to cut ties with the Confucius Institute but say the measure could avoid problems. Once hosted at more than 100 universities, Confucius Institute has been closed on many campuses amid a drumbeat of criticism. In August, Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, cut ties with the Confucius Institute and replaced the program with one funded by the state government.
They wanted disruption in 2016. Now they're Trump defectors
They wanted change and disruption, until they found out what that actually looked like under a President Trump. “I was super proud that day I walked out of voting,” said Jensen, who voted for Trump in the primary and general election in 2016. James Farr, a 77-year-old evangelical Christian who lives in Kissimmee, Florida, voted Republican in large part because of his opposition to abortion. While working as a Bible translator in Papua New Guinea in 2016, he voted for Trump by absentee ballot. On Nov. 8, 2016, Jensen posted on Facebook, “CNN having a meltdown,” referring to Trump’s unexpected win.
Supreme Court vacancy rattles Susan Collins' Senate race
This time it's the battle over President Donald Trumps effort to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. If the Senate's Supreme Court vote occurs before Election Day, Collins’ position will be magnified as an issue in her race. Democrats hope the nomination fight will remind liberal voters of Collins’ support for Trump's controversial last Supreme Court pick, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It might also focus progressives on how abortion rights and President Barack Obama's health care law could be threatened by a conservative-dominated Supreme Court. “Our state and our country need problem solvers,” said Michael Thibodeau, a Republican and former state Senate president.
The Latest: South Korea's daily virus total drops slightly
It’s the first time for South Korea’s daily jump to fall to double digits since Aug. 13. But even before Sunday, South Korea’s daily virus tally had been staying in the 100s for more than two weeks, after it once surpassed 400 in late August. Like other countries in Europe, the number of virus cases has spiked in recent days in Romania. ___TEL AVIV, Israel — Dozens of Israelis held a beach demonstration against a new lockdown prompted by a surge in coronavirus cases. ___NEW DELHI —India has maintained its surge in coronavirus cases, adding 93,337 new confirmed infections in the past 24 hours.
Infection rates soar in college towns as students return
Masked students walk through the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. College towns across the U.S. have emerged as coronavirus hot spots in recent weeks as schools struggle to contain the virus. Out of nearly 600 students tested for the virus at Ball State, more than half have returned been found positive, according to data reported by the school. Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Infection rates soar in college towns as students return
Masked students walk through the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. – Just two weeks after students started returning to Ball State University last month, the surrounding county had become Indiana’s coronavirus epicenter. Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. On average, infection rates in those 20 counties have been more than three times higher than their states’ overall rates.
Trump, DeVos raise school choice in appeal to vexed parents
DeVos and President Donald Trump have repeatedly invoked school choice as the solution to parents’ woes. And in fact, we are.”In nearly every public appearance she has made during the pandemic, DeVos has used the spotlight to draw attention to school choice. Her focus on school choice has drawn sharp opposition from Democrats and public school leaders. And supporters of school choice say DeVos is right to press for the issue now. “I’m focused on students, not on school buildings, school systems or any word that comes before school,” DeVos said.
Few parents, coaches still fighting charges in college scam
Just 15 of the nearly 60 people charged in the sordid scheme that rocked the U.S. educational system are still fighting the charges. ___WHO'S LEFTOnly three coaches and 11 parents are still fighting the charges. Six coaches and nearly 30 parents have already agreed to admit to the charges. McGlashan has fiercely denied the charges and says he told Singer he didn't want to participate in the so-called side door scheme. Authorities say their investigation into the wide-ranging scheme is ongoing and charges against new parents keep trickling in.
Miami-Dade school district cuts ties with online platform
MIAMI Florida's largest school district is severing ties with an online platform many blame for failures as the county tries to get kids back to school. Following a 13-hour meeting, the Miami-Dade County School Board unanimously voted early Thursday to stop using My School Online. Some 400 teachers and parents submitted comments, most of them negative, about the online platform. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth largest school district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students and over 40,000 employees. The district chose the My School Online platform through K12 because it wanted a one-stop shop for all students and teachers.
DeVos softens position on schools reopening in Georgia visit
Trump at one point threatened to withhold federal funding for schools that do not bring their students back in the fall. The Forsyth district, serving Georgias most affluent county, has reported 45 coronavirus infections so far among students and staff. On Tuesday, at 2,600-student Forsyth Central High School, DeVos heard from administrators, teachers and parents who support reopening. Superintendent Jeff Bearden told DeVos that in-person instruction is especially important for special education students, students learning English, or students from less affluent families. The ninth- and 10th-grade students are enrolled in a high school that teaches specialized career courses that aren't available online.
Federal judge refuses to block campus sexual assault rules
WASHINGTON A federal judge on Wednesday allowed the Education Department to move forward with new rules governing how schools and universities respond to complaints of sexual assault. The rules, which take effect Friday, expand the rights of the accused, narrow the definition of sexual harassment and reduce the scope of cases that schools are required to investigate, among other changes. In a suit challenging the rules, attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia argued that the policy would block schools from investigating certain sexual abuse complaints and would discourage students from reporting assaults. Plaintiffs are free to investigate and punish as violations of their codes of conduct or of state law behavior that does not meet the new definition of sexual harassment under the Final Rule, Nichols wrote. Victims advocates say the 2017 rules forced colleges to confront sexual abuse after ignoring it for years.
Mobile billboard spotted in Detroit slams Betsy DeVos over school reopening plans
DETROIT – The message on a truck scheduled to travel around Michigan this week directly attacks US Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos. The billboard features three LED screens and is making its way to cities across the country including Detroit. “She said she’s been doing puzzles and riding her bike this summer, well that doesn’t help our kids when schools don’t have what they need, schools don’t get what they should,” Offen said. The billboard tour follows comments from Devos last month claiming kids don’t contract coronavirus. The billboard has already left Detroit and is on its way to Lansing.
Schools mull outdoor classes amid virus, ventilation worries
Poor ventilation in school buildings across the U.S. will limit the ability of in-person instruction to resume safely. As a new school year approaches amid the coronavirus pandemic, she and her colleagues are threatening not to return unless it's repaired. Nationwide, an estimated 41% of school districts need to update or replace their heating, ventilation and cooling systems in at least half their schools, according to a federal report issued in June. Stephen Murley, the school superintendent in Green Bay, Wisconsin, said most of his district's 42 campuses have older air systems. Brian Toth, superintendent of the Saint Marys Area School District in northern Pennsylvania, said his districts five schools air systems have no exit vents to circulate fresh air in and the virus out.
Trump vs. Biden: Where they stand on health, economy, more
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)WASHINGTON President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, both promise sweeping progress over the next four years - via starkly different paths. Biden wants the federal government to partner with states to make public higher education tuition-free for any student in a household earning up to $125,000 annually. That positions Biden between Trump, who wants to scrap the 2010 law, and progressives who want a single-payer system to replace private insurance altogether. Trump believes that a key to economic recovery from the virus is fully reopening schools - though Americans are wary. Biden draws some of his sharpest contrasts with Trump on the pandemic, arguing that the presidency and federal government exist for such crises.
Pence says schools reopenings 'best thing for our kids'
Pence told a small audience at Marian University in Indianapolis that having children back in classrooms was a necessary step to seeing more parents returning to jobs. The remarks came even as President Donald Trump on Thursday acknowledged that some schools in virus hot spots may need to delay their reopening this fall. Opening up our schools again is the best thing for our kids, Pence said. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus coordinator, joined Pence at the event. Pence spoke at the university event after attending a fundraiser for Republican state attorney general candidate Todd Rokita at the suburban Indianapolis home of a supporter.
AP-NORC poll: Very few Americans back full school reopening
Fairfax County Public School buses parked at a middle school in Falls Church, Va., Monday, July 20, 2020. Very few Americans believe schools should return to normal operations this fall, a new poll says, even as President Donald Trump insists thats what parents and students want. The poll, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finds that only about 1 in 10 say daycare centers, preschools and K-12 schools should start the school year like any other. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP-NORC poll: Very few Americans back full school reopening
The poll finds only 8% of Americans say K-12 schools should open for normal in-person instruction. The poll also shows Americans feel the same about colleges and universities reopening this fall. She isn't as worried about her own health but fears that reopening schools could spread the virus to others. The poll finds a majority of Americans, 56%, say they are very or extremely concerned that reopening schools will lead to additional infections in their communities; another 24% are somewhat concerned. In his campaign to reopen schools, Trump has threatened to cut federal funding for schools that fail to reopen fully.
Pence defends outbreak response, pushes against shutdowns
They participated in a round-table with officials including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma. The discussion came as reported positive case numbers in the state continue to rise, and South Carolina reported 56 coronavirus-related deaths, a near-record. State health officials tallied 1,203 new positive cases, for a total of 73,101 since the pandemic began. Were going to stay with you every step of the way until we put this virus in the past, Pence said to McMaster and other governors. How schools reopen is best left to local leaders, DeVos said, noting that plans would necessarily look different in various places.
23 AGs sue DeVos over student loan forgiveness policy
Democratic attorneys general in more than 20 states sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday, seeking to repeal her overhaul of a student loan forgiveness program. Congress voted to strike down her policy, which makes it more difficult to get federal student loans erased, but President Donald Trump saved it through a veto. Led by California and Massachusetts, a coalition of 22 states and the District of Columbia are challenging DeVos' policy in a federal suit filed in San Francisco. The suit seeks to have DeVos' policy repealed and replaced by an earlier rule created under former President Barack Obama. Congress voted to repeal DeVos' policy through a bipartisan bill approved in March, but Trump vetoed it.
Trump team eyes school funds boost in next virus aid bill
Vice President Mike Pence assured governors Monday that talks are underway for education funds from Congress. Pence told governors on a conference call Monday that the administration was seeking more federal funding to help the states safely reopen schools. "The key is we want to safely reopen schools," the vice president said. But the White House has yet to show the ability to quickly mount a massive and effective mobilization during the pandemic. The mixed messages from the White House only complicate the path ahead.
Virus spread, not politics should guide schools, doctors say
Des Moines Public Schools custodian Cynthia Adams cleans a desk in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Online education was hard for many with limited internet access, and Wattier knows in-person classes can help even the playing field. ‘’Middle school students ... are lovely and I love them, but they touch, they get close, they roughhouse. In France, public schools reopened briefly before a summer break, with no sign of widespread virus transmission. It was updated on July 13, 2020, to correct the name of the member of the American Academy of Pediatrics school health council.
Trump team eyes school funds boost in next virus aid bill
We cant have a normal country unless kids are back in school, McConnell said during a hospital visit in Kentucky. At the time, Trump threatened to cut funds to schools that don't fully reopen. Democrats already approved $100 billion for education in the Heroes Act, which is stalled in the Senate. But the White House has yet to show the ability to quickly mount a massive and effective mobilization during the pandemic. The mixed messages from the White House only complicate the path ahead.
Trump threatens to pull tax exemption for schools, colleges
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)In his push to get schools and colleges to reopen this fall, President Donald Trump is again taking aim at their finances, this time threatening their tax-exempt status. Twice this week Trump threatened to cut federal funding for schools that don't reopen, including in an earlier tweet on Friday. Its always deeply troubling to have the president single out schools, colleges or universities in a tweet, Hartle said. His interest in colleges' finances appears to have been renewed as several schools sue the Trump administration over new restrictions on international students. Under the rules, international students must transfer schools or leave the country if their colleges plan to hold instruction entirely online.
Trump lags Biden on people of color in top campaign ranks
Twenty-five percent of the Republican president's senior staff are nonwhite, compared to 36% of Bidens senior staff. Along with adding more people of color to his campaign, Biden has promised an administration that looks like America if he is elected on Nov. 3. His campaign declined to discuss minority representation on the campaign staff. The Biden campaign said LGBTQ staff and staff of color hold such positions as senior advisers, deputy campaign managers, national coalitions director, chief financial officer, chief operating officer and national press secretary, among others. Trumps campaign defined its senior staff as senior leaders who meet regularly to make decisions.
Medical group cited by Trump denounces school funding threat
A medical association that the White House has cited in its press to reopen schools is pushing back against President Donald Trump's repeated threats to cut federal funding if schools don't open this fall. The statement comes at a time when schools across the nation are weighing decisions for the fall as Trump pushes them to reopen. Trump, however, repeated his threat on Friday, saying on Twitter that virtual learning has been terrible compared with in-person classes. May cut off funding if not open!Trump has not said what funding he would withhold or under what authority. McEnany said Trump wants to substantially bump up money for education in the next relief package, but only for schools that reopen.
Schools or bars? Opening classrooms may mean hard choices
Des Moines Public Schools custodian Tracy Harris cleans chairs in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. Getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed. That's the latest thinking from some public health experts. But getting children back to school safely could mean keeping high-risk spots like bars and gyms closed. Public health experts hope the conversation can stay focused on the mechanics of opening schools.
Trump pushes state, local leaders to reopen schools in fall
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)President Donald Trump launched an all-out effort pressing state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, arguing that some are keeping schools closed not because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic but for political reasons. They think its going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed," Trump said Tuesday at a White House discussion on school plans for the fall. We want to reopen the schools, Trump said. At the White House event, Trump repeated his claim that Democrats want to keep schools closed for political reasons and not health reasons. Students' mental and emotional health along with their parents' was repeatedly raised in the argument to reopen schools.
Michigan, 4 other states sue US department, DeVos over virus relief funds for schools
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Department of Education is attempting to take pandemic relief funds away from K-12 public schools and divert the money to private schools, Michigan and four other Democratic-led states argued in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Trump administration. Thats how funding is shared with private schools under other federal rules that Congress referenced in the legislation creating the relief aid. It could put some of $1.6 billion allocated for California public schools at risk, he said. Becerra said it is not that private schools are ineligible for relief funds, but he said Congress called for those funds to be distributed on the basis of need. Some of those private schools have already been able to access hundreds of billions of dollars from the CARES ACT Paycheck Protection Program unlike California public schools that cant, he said.
DeVos rejects part-time reopening for schools amid pandemic
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be fully operational even amid the coronavirus pandemic. DeVos made the comments during a call with governors as the Trump administration launched an all-out effort to get schools and colleges to reopen. Ultimately, its not a matter of if schools need to open, its a matter of how. Trump scheduled a White House event for later Tuesday to press his case for reopening schools. In the call with governors, DeVos slammed districts that plan to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week.
Democrats fail to override Trump veto on student loan policy
House Democrats on Friday failed to override President Donald Trumps veto of a measure that would have reversed the Education Department's tough policy on loan forgiveness for students misled by for-profit colleges. In calling for the override, Democrats said DeVos' rule made it nearly impossible for cheated students to get loans canceled. But Republicans said DeVos' rule is an improvement over the Obama-era policy, which they say granted loan cancellations too easily. Massive loan forgiveness has long been a Democrat objective and the Obama rule was a giant leap toward that goal. DeVos has faced sharp criticism from Democrats over her handling of the policy and a backlog of loan cancellation claims.
DeVos issues rule steering more virus aid to private schools
That's how funding is shared with private schools under other federal rules that Congress referenced in the legislation creating the relief aid. In Louisiana, for example, private schools are estimated to get at least 267% more under DeVos' formula. DeVos said urgent action was needed after dozens of private schools permanently closed as a result of the pandemic. Any private school can request support from their local district, but the new rule urges wealthier schools to reject it. DeVos has been accused of bending the formula to benefit the private schools she has long championed.
Trump rails against mail voting. His aides have embraced it
The aides include Betsy DeVos, the education secretary who has permanent absentee voting status in her home state of Michigan. Two other senior Trump campaign officials chief operating officer Michael Glassner and deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien have repeatedly voted by mail in New Jersey. Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's communications director, defended the Trump aides who have voted by mail. Yet its unclear if he traveled to San Antonio, where his presence would have disqualified him from voting absentee. Glassner and Stepien have both voted repeatedly by mail in New Jersey, where Glassner has voted absentee four times since 2016.
States sue to block DeVos' campus sexual assault overhaul
Democratic attorneys general in more than a dozen states filed a federal lawsuit Thursday attempting to block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' new policy guiding schools and colleges in the handling of sexual assault cases. The lawsuit alleges that DeVos' policy undercuts existing mandates in Title IX, the 1972 law barring discrimination based on sex in education. It also challenges DeVos' order to implement the rules by Aug. 14, saying the deadline is impracticable during a pandemic. DeVos' new policy bolsters the rights of the accused, narrows the definition of sexual harassment and allows students to question one another at live hearings, among other changes. It says the policy forbids schools from addressing isolated cases of abuse because the new definition of sexual harassment is limited to pervasive cases.
Trump vetoes bipartisan measure against DeVos' loan rules
President Donald Trump on Friday vetoed a measure that would have overturned a policy that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued in 2019 making it harder for students to get their loans erased after being misled by for-profit colleges. The Senate gave final approval to the bipartisan measure in March, dealing a rare rebuke of DeVos from the Republican-led chamber. But Trump on Friday said DeVos' rules are better than an Obama-era policy that would have been restored if the measure succeeded. Her changes were opposed by borrower advocates but embraced by for-profit colleges, who said their industry had unfairly been targeted by the Obama administration. Congress' effort to reverse the rules were supported by advocates for military veterans, who make up a major share of students at for-profit colleges.