DeVos Appears Before House Education Committee: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos addressed school safety, teacher walkouts, and ESSA’s effect on disadvantaged students before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday. While the school safety commission created by President Donald Trump after the shooting at Majority Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was central to the hearing, DeVos and committee members avoided the topic of gun control. Despite only meeting once since its creation, DeVos said she hoped for a report by the end of the year. After recent teachers movements prompted questions about nationwide salary increases, DeVos acknowledged problems with the system but did not make a statement addressing teachers nationwide.
Education Department Announces Fix for PSLF Program: New changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will allow borrowers to appeal rejected applications, a fix which had been called for by high-profile lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Since the program’s creation in 2007, minor mistakes on the application have resulted in tens of thousands of eligible individuals being denied. Earlier this year, Congress set aside $350 million to help those affected by this mistake.
House Won’t Vote on School Choice for Military Families: The House Rules Committee rejected Rep. Jim Banks’ (R-IN) amendment to the defense bill that would have given some military families education savings account. During Secretary DeVos’s hearing on Tuesday, she said that the Administration did not support Banks’ amendment because it would have funded the accounts with Impact Aid. With midterm elections this fall, House Republicans were hoping for a victory on school choice.