1/6/2017 – Democrats Who Oppose Betsy DeVos Have Nothing To Lose

THIS WEEK: War On Public Schools … Texas School To Prison Pipeline … For-Profit College Gravy Train … College Debt Hits Seniors… Carolina Coup


Democrats Who Oppose Betsy DeVos Have Nothing To Lose

By Jeff Bryant

“The education reform agenda … has been bipartisan because it had to be. Without a popular groundswell for charters and other school privatization efforts, Republicans intent on privatizing public education have needed Democratic party insiders to help push legislation and policy through government channels at all levels. But that’s changing.”
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The War On Public Schools

The American Prospect

“Education conservatives are ecstatic about their new political opportunities … With Republicans controlling the House and Senate, a politically savvy conservative ideologue leading the federal education department, a vice president who earned notoriety in his home state for expanding vouchers, charters, and battling teacher unions, not to mention a president-elect who initially asked creationist Jerry Falwell Jr. to head up his Department of Education, the stars have aligned for market-driven education advocates … Chances aren’t great that Democratic education reformers will staunchly oppose Trump’s school reform agenda.”
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In Texas, The School-To-Prison Pipeline Is Still Going Strong

Texas Observer

“Despite the Texas Legislature’s efforts to curb the school-to-prison pipeline, law enforcement still plays a major role in disciplining students for minor infractions … The proportion of ‘disorderly conduct’ … These charges put students in adult courtrooms, facing criminal records that can follow them into adulthood … Congress could find some way to … ‘Research shows that when students are pushed out of class and into court or juvenile probation, they are more likely to be involved with the justice system when they get older.’”
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Nearly 200 For-Profit Colleges Get Over 90% Of Their Funding From The Government


“The number of for-profit schools receiving at least 90% of their revenue from federal education programs would jump from 17 to nearly 200 when considering all sources of government funding and not just money from the Department of Education … For-profit colleges are required by law to receive no more than 90% of their funds from the Department of Education. But education benefits from other government agencies, like veterans benefits, don’t count toward that 90%. That means a for-profit college could still be in compliance.”
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Report: $171M Garnished From Older Americans’ Social Security To Repay Student Debt In 2015


“Tens of thousands of senior Americans currently have their Social Security benefits garnished hundreds of dollars each month by the government in order to repay long-held, defaulted federal student loans … Borrowers ages 50 years and older who have defaulted on their student loans are required to repay the debt with a portion of their Social Security benefits … Each time a borrower’s Social Security was offset, they were charged an offset fee of $15 … About 71% of the funds collected through offsets were applied to the fees and interest of the loan debt, while just 28% went to the loan balance. As a result, many debtors actually saw their loan balance increase rather than decrease over time.”
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The Carolina Coup And The Fight For Public Education

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “The naked power grab by North Carolina Republicans has shocked the nation. But few people really understand that a struggle over public education is at the center of the fight against an authoritarian government in the era of Donald Trump … The attack on the incoming governor’s power over education appointments is especially radical, as it transfers power from the state board to the new state superintendent of public instruction, Republican Mark Johnson, who defeated the Democratic incumbent, June Atkinson, in November. Why go after education offices? In North Carolina, public education has always been an issue inextricably intertwined with voting rights and democracy.”
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