Senate Orders Smoother Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Veterans

DC Shuttle …

Amendment Approved for Veteran Loan Forgiveness. The Senate approved an amendment to allow veterans access to loan forgiveness. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) had introduced the amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill to help permanently disabled veterans more easily get student loan forgiveness. King’s amendment would require the federal Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Education to streamline the disability verification process. King introduced the amendment along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). This kind of loan forgiveness is allowed under current law, but King said a lack of coordination between federal departments is potentially causing veterans to miss out on it.

DOL Overtime Rule on Campuses.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on the effect the overtime rule will have on universities.

Report on State Funding for Colleges. While most states boosted higher education spending last year, public colleges in all but four states haven’t recovered from recession-prompted cuts, according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report. Though 38 states increased higher education allocations between fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016, two-year and four-year colleges are receiving about $8.7 billion less than they did in fiscal 2008. The gap triggered tuition hikes and service cuts, according to the report.

Mandatory Arbitration.  The Apollo Education Group announced that the University of Phoenix will no longer require students to settle disputes outside a courtroom with a third-party arbitrator. The industry could soon potentially be prohibited from making such requirements during enrollment. The Education Department has proposed prohibiting colleges from including some types of mandatory arbitration clauses in student enrollment agreements. A package of rules expected to contain language on arbitration agreements has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

Harvard Announces Early Ed Initiative. The Harvard Graduate School of Education announced a major initiative aimed at transforming early childhood education. The Saul Zaentz Early Childhood Initiative is supported by a $35.5 million gift from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation. It is the largest gift ever received by the education school. The initiative will focus on understanding which early education models work. It will also work on professional development opportunities and offer graduate fellowship support for students who wish to enter the field.

Personalized Learning Guide. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning published a guide for state policymakers on promising practices for personalized learning.

AEI Repors on Media Coverage of Charter Schools. A study of news coverage of charter schools shows “some evidence of a noticeable anti-charter tilt.” The right-leaning American Enterprise Institute coded more than 200 news and opinion articles from 2015 and found that 49% were neutral or balanced, 36% were negative, and 15% were positive.

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 May 23, 2016. For more information, please visit:


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