Saturday, April 15, 2017

This Week In Education: DeVos Hires; NY Announces Free College And Free Textbooks : NPR Ed : NPR

This Week In Education: DeVos Hires; NY Announces Free College And Free Textbooks : NPR Ed : NPR:

This Week In Education: DeVos Hires; NY Announces Free College And Free Textbooks

Greetings and welcome to our weekly roundup of education news from Washington and around the country:
DeVos hires

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made her first official staff announcement this week, with 10 names.
Among them: Josh Venable, will serve as DeVos' chief of staff. He worked on the presidential campaign of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and is an advocate of both school choice and the Common Core.
Robert Eitel, who was a lawyer in the department under President George W. Bush and also worked for the owner of a for-profit college, will serve as senior counsel to the secretary.
Candice Jackson will be Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights and Acting Assistant Secretary. Her brief at OCR will include prosecuting campuses for violations of Title IX, including sexual assault cases. Jackson is the author of a book focusing on women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and abuse.
Big Education Ape: DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White - ProPublica -
Ebony Lee, another veteran of the Bush administration who has also worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be deputy chief of staff for policy.

Student loan regulation rollback
In a letter sent on Tuesday, DeVos withdrew several policy memos from the previous administration involving consumer protections for student loan borrowers.
Student loan repayment is managed in part by for-profit loan servicers. In her letter, DeVos cited the need to limit the cost to taxpayers of loan servicing. The Obama-era guidance had instead emphasized protection for borrowers.
This may be good news for Navient, the largest student loan servicer. As we noted last week, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January sued Navient, alleging that it "illegally cheated borrowers" out of their rights and their money — as much as $4 billion — through patterns of deception and misapplying payments.
Navient has denied wrongdoing, calling the suit "unsubstantiated, unjustified and politically driven."
Protecting the Secretary
Image result for big education ape DeVos  protective security from the U.S. Marshals Service.
In case you missed it, DeVos is receiving full, 24/7 protective security from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Most every White House cabinet official gets some level of protection, of course. But often it's door-to-door and not a round-the-clock detail, let alone from active duty federal law enforcement agents.
"This is unique," Marshals Service spokeswoman Nikki Credic-Barrett tells us. "The Attorney General felt that there was a need for her to be provided with a protective detail."
Credic-Barrett declined to say how many Marshals are protecting DeVos or the nature of the threat, only that "the detail is commensurate with the existing threat" and based on the service's "requirements, experience and methodology."
The extra money for security comes as President Trump's proposed budget contains deep cuts to the Education department. The Marshals Service says its contract with the Department of Education will cost taxpayers $7.78 million, from mid-February through Sept. 30, or about $1 million a month.
Credic-Barrett says the Marshals Service has not protected a cabinet official since the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, better known as the "Drug Czar," held cabinet rank. That ended 8 years ago.
Protesters showed up at many appearances by President Trump's cabinet officials, including DeVos, during the confirmation process. The only known security "incident" for DeVos since she took office was a February visit to a Washington, D.C., public school where several protesters shouted "shame, shame!" and temporarily blocked her and an aide from entering.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has also asked for additional round-the-clock security. Pruitt is facing criticism for backing a 31 percent slice to the agency's budget, including research for climate change, among other deep cuts.
Free college for New York State 

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