Judge Challenges DeVos on Defrauded Borrowers

DC Shuttle …

Judge Rules Against ED on Gainful Employment. A federal judge ruled against the U.S. Department of Education in a case regarding gainful employment regulations. The judge ruled that the department’s various delays of regulations governing loan forgiveness for defrauded borrowers were illegal, Forbes reports. The ruling challenges Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s efforts to overturn the policy, which was implemented under President Barack Obama. The judge ruled with consumer advocates and Democratic attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia who had challenged DeVos’s postponement of the “borrower defense to repayment” package of regulations. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led the group of state attorneys general. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) celebrated the decision on Twitter.

House and Senate Agree to Final Education Funding Legislation.

House and Senate Conferees approved final language of a spending bill to fund education programs. The package also contains spending for labor, health and defense. The bill includes a funding increase for the Education Department and a boost for education funding. The final increase is higher than what appropriators in either chamber had proposed. Under the legislation, the maximum Pell Grant would be raised to $6,195, a $100 increase from the current maximum award. The deal also includes a $70 million increase for career and technical education programs, which are now funded at $1.3 billion. The legislation would increase funding for charter schools by $40 million, bringing the overall level to $440 million. The bill would boost Title I funding for school districts that serve low-income students by $125 million, bringing the total to $15.9 billion. Special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act would also increase by $87 million. The National Institutes of Health would be rewarded with a $2 billion, or 5.4%, boost over fiscal 2018, to $39.1 billion in the final version. The Hill reports.

Bezos Launches Preschools Initiative. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, announced plans to launch a national network of “Montessori-inspired” preschools free to low-income families, the Seattle Times reports. Bezos pledged $2 billion on Twitter toward a new philanthropy called the “Day One Fund,” which will fund the preschool effort and also work to combat family homelessness.

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 Sept. 17, 2018. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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