Is It Safe to Reopen Schools?

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

House Holds Hearing on Reopening Schools. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held a hearing on the safety concerns of reopening K-12 school systems. Witnesses, including former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, called for Congress to provide $200 billion for school districts. Democrats pushed back on Republican proposals to maximize in-person teaching, the CT Mirror reports. Republicans argued that children need to be back in the classroom to receive the best education and to benefit from free and reduced-priced meals offered to low-income students. The hearing also explored the risks of infection and transmission among children, and the possible need for supplemental funding and guidance to implement protocols for students returning to schools, and those remote learning, Medpage reports.

President Signs Executive Order Further Deferring Student Loans. President Trump signed a series of executive orders, including one to extend deferment of student loans payments and interest. The action will extend the deferment originally made in March under the CARES Act, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 of this year. Trump sent a memorandum entitled “Continued Student Loan Payment Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic” to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos calling for the extension of some student loan benefits contained in the Cares Act until Dec. 31, 2020. The CARES Act paused all payments for federal student loans, set interest rates at 0%, halted collection of federal student loan debt and made provisions for public service loan forgiveness. While the order calls for the extension of cessation of payments and the waiver of all interest, the memorandum does not specifically reference student loan debt collection or public service loan forgiveness, Forbes reports.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week Congress is in session 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 Aug. 10, 2020. For more information, please visit:


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