BBB is dead, universal pre-K might not be


With the help of Michael Stratford

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Weekly Education will no longer be published as of Monday, December 27. We will resume our normal schedule on Monday January 3rd.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? – Senator Joe manchin Sunday totaled $ 1.7 trillion from President Joe Biden social spending plan which was billed as a one-time investment in a generation and included preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds nationwide.

“I cannot vote to continue with this bill”, the West Virginia Democrat said in an interview with Brett Baier on “Fox News Sunday”. “I can’t do it.”

– “Senator Manchin has promised to continue the conversations in the days to come and to work with us to reach this common ground,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday. . “While his comments on FOX and his written statement indicate the end of this effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable turnaround in his position and a violation of his commitments to the President and to the senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.” “

– The White House has indicated that it “will find a way forward next year”. However, questions remain as to whether Democrats might be able to salvage parts of the bill, including the universal pre-K. The Build Back Better Act provided $ 380 billion to reduce the cost of child care and establish universal kindergarten for children aged 3 and 4, according to the House of Commons Education and Labor Committee.

– “Even though, as he says, Senator Manchin is unwilling to vote for the Build Back Better Act in its current form, there is no question that there is both a great need and an overwhelming support for child care and pre-K arrangements – including the Senior Senator from West Virginia, ”said Sarah Rittling, executive director of the First Five Years Fund. “The positive impact of the early learning and child care proposal would be felt for generations. ”

– Manchin, although he expressed concerns about BBB provisions like the child tax credit and child care, said in September that he is “all for that” and “I am completely” with regard to the universal nursery school. The Universal Public Kindergarten for 4-year-olds in West Virginia was partially rolled out while Manchin was governor. Just over two-thirds of 4-year-olds were enrolled in the state curriculum last year, according to the National Research Institute for Preschool Education.

– “Failure to adopt this transformational package harms West Virginia’s 346,000+ children receiving the Child Tax Credit, flies in the face of over 70% of West Virginia voters that support paid family and medical leave for all workers and betray working and middle-class families calling on the federal government to cut costs on child care, health care, prescription drugs, ”House Chair appropriations Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.

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ADMISSIONS ARE CHANGING – The pandemic has shaken college admissions in 2020, but many colleges across the country have embraced the wave of change as they seek to reduce the barriers that once kept low-income and students of color from entering. their establishments or even apply.

– “Colleges and universities, in the midst of a pandemic that forced them to walk away, then in the midst of a moral calculation around race, really take a step back and decide, OK, let’s rethink how we are let’s do this – can we do it better? Can we, in this process, achieve certain goals that we had not achieved long before by making these kinds of changes? Said Stephen J. Handel, former Senior College Board strategist and co-author of Beyond Free College: Making Higher Education Work for 21st Century Students.

– Here are the three major changes in admissions that have taken off since the start of the pandemic: Colleges have adopted an optional testing policy for the SAT or ACT entrance exams; they cut student loans from their financial aid programs; and top universities like Princeton are re-examining the publication of their acceptance numbers during the admissions cycle, which are often an indicator of “prestige” due to their low acceptance rates.

– The University of California, one of the nation’s leading public university systems, will no longer accept standardized test results. Harvard University also jumped on the trend last week, announcing that it will extend its optional SAT or ACT policy for an additional four years. Experts have said that once a school chooses to take optional tests, it rarely reverts to its old standards.

– But that’s not all: The pandemic has also highlighted the financial strains that students often face when choosing a school, which has led many institutions to get rid of loans. Some students re-evaluated their options in college and decided to attend a school near them or take a year off. Emphasis was also placed on federal student loan debt and the burden many students face after graduation, amid the Biden administration’s ‘are they going or not’ tensions over the cancellation. debt and the restart of repayments after two years.

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CDC WELCOMES ‘TEST TO STAY’ – On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the “test to stay” strategy used by some school districts that allows unvaccinated children who have been exposed to the coronavirus to stay in class if they are negative.

– Children who have been exposed to the virus should be tested at least twice in the seven-day period after exposure, CDC director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Friday. “‘Testing to stay’ is an encouraging public health practice to keep our children in school,” she said, adding that the CDC was updating its materials to help schools and parents know how to upgrade. implemented “this promising and now proven practice”.

– Meanwhile, Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical adviser, predicted an increase in hospitalizations this winter on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. But he expressed hope that schools would remain open and there would be no need for “the kind of blockages we’ve seen before.” He also highlighted the CDC’s guidelines on test options to stay.

– “At the moment, we can keep the children in school safe,” Fauci said. “We are trying the best we can to keep the schools open for the reasons you have just correctly given of the deleterious effects of school closures.”

– Fauci was also optimistic about vaccinating children aged 2 to 5 by the first quarter of 2022. However, he predicted that it could be pushed back to Q2 2022 due to delays from Pfizer, which is test a third dose of his vaccine for children from 6 months to less than 5 years old.

$ 1.5B FOR SUPPLY CHAIN ​​EFFECTS ON SCHOOL MEALS – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced up to $ 1.5 billion for states and school districts to help school meal program operators cope with supply chain disruptions . Through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA to provide $ 1 billion to schools to purchase food for their meal programs, an additional $ 300 million to states to purchase food for distribution to schools and an additional $ 200 million for cooperative agreements to buy local food for schools.

– “USDA’s school meal programs have a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of children in our country” said Vilsack. “Now, more than ever, American children need access to safe, nutritious food, and our school nutrition professionals play a huge role in making that happen.”

MORE GROUPS REQUEST EXTENSION OF STUDENT LOAN BREAK – A trio of left-wing groups who are generally allies of the Biden administration are calling for an extension of the break on federal student loan payments that will expire at the end of next month.

– The Center for American Progress, New America and the Institute for College Access & Success wrote in a joint letter to the Biden administration that student loan payments are not expected to resume until the end of the national pandemic emergency declaration. The Biden administration has indicated that it plans to restart payments on February 1.

– Alternative proposals: If the Biden administration does restart payments, the groups said, the education ministry should at least take steps to soften the blow. They urged the department to keep interest rates at 0%, make it easier to participate in income-driven repayment plans, automatically remove all borrowers from default, and provide a grace period for missed payments. . Some of these ideas have already been explored at the agency. Read the full letter here.

– The Defense for Students announced that Olivia “Libby” DeBlasio Webster will act as legal counsel and co-director of the post-secondary equity and economy research project. She most recently served as Colorado’s Senior Assistant Attorney General.

– The Jain Family Institute report,Homeownership and the Student Debt CrisisExamines the links between rising student debt and declining homeownership over the past decade.

– Purdue chairman Mitch Daniels calls threats against a Chinese student unacceptable: Lafayette Journal & Mail

– Do not get into the heart of the matter: how the critical laws of racial theory cut off conversations in the classroom: Chalk beat

– As fans return to sports in high school, officials say student behavior has never been so bad: The Washington Post

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