DC Shuttle: Report Links Poverty to Lack of College—No Surprise There

New data linking poverty and less pursuit of higher education. A report released by the National Student Clearinghouse provides new data showing that students from high schools serving large concentrations of low-income families are less likely to enroll or persist in college than their peers from schools with a more affluent population.

CFPB report on student loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the annual report of the CFPB student loan ombudsman 2013. The report analyzed complaints the agency has received from borrowers with private student loans and was accompanied by a blog post with advice for repaying loans.

Nontraditional teacher programs continue to be considered “highly qualified.” A provision included in last week’s fiscal deal would allow teachers who do not have traditional teaching certifications to continue to be considered “highly qualified” under federal law. Under the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, all teachers must be considered “highly qualified.” In most cases, this means that they must have a bachelor’s degree, be fully certified by the state and demonstrate knowledge in the subject they teach. In 2010, the law was changed to allow teachers in alternative certification programs to be considered “highly qualified.” In a six-month continuing resolution last year, Congress extended the definition through the current school year and last week’s fiscal deal extends the authority through the 2015-16 school year.

Supreme Court hears case on race consideration in college admissions. The Supreme Court began consideration of whether Michigan’s voter-approved ballot initiative, Proposal 2, violated the Constitution by forbidding race-conscious admissions plans at that state’s public universities. Approved in 2006, Proposal 2 amended the State Constitution to prohibit discrimination or preferential treatment in public education, government contracting and public employment. Groups that support affirmative action sued to block the part of the law concerning higher education and last year the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, ruled that the initiative violated the federal Constitution’s equal protection clause.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Oct. 21, 2013.

Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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