As expected, Trump’s education budget slashes student aid

President Donald Trump on May 23 released details of his proposed FY 2018 education budget, which adamantly supports school choice and slashes funding for other major education programs and initiatives.

Under the education budget proposal, the Department of Education would see a 13 percent decrease in funding, down $9 billion to $59 billion in discretionary funding.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the budget a “historic investment in America’s students,” noting that Trump is focused on giving more power back to states.…Read More

5 major ways Trump’s proposed education budget would impact schools, students

If “near-final” documents obtained by The Washington Post are true, education would see deep cuts to the tune of more than $10 billion under President Donald Trump’s education budget. The budget is set to be released as early as Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports that funding for federal K-12 and higher-education initiatives and programs would vanish or be redirected.

The education budget documents indicate that the administration would direct some of the savings from large cuts to various programs to school choice programs instead.…Read More

New research: This is how successful innovation is done

As higher education institutions face new demands from society, students, and the government, the ground is shifting beneath them. It’s abundantly clear that tweaking the status quo won’t solve the affordability issues that students face. Slight improvements to current models won’t rectify brutal disparities in access and outcomes in higher education. Many institutions are aware of this—particularly smaller, rural schools, which are struggling with declining enrollments and ensuing financial tailspins.

Innovative models are necessary to address higher education’s internal and external challenges, and in a recent paper, College Transformed, I highlight five institutions that are pioneering new paths forward. Despite the obstacles leaders face, such as accreditation, and the unknown response of accreditors to potential organizational change, there are strategies that can help propel innovative models forward.

Barbara Brittingham, president of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), agrees that innovation is necessary. “We live in challenging times, especially for education, and there is an understanding that just doing the same thing as it’s been done in the past won’t address the challenges or take advantage of opportunities,” she says. NEASC accredits three of the five innovative institutions highlighted in “College Transformed,” including Simmons College, Northeastern University, and Southern New Hampshire University.…Read More

Will higher edtech, innovation really change under Trump?

The tumultuous early weeks of the Trump administration have produced plenty of headlines and controversy, but almost nothing on higher education. The nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has only recently been confirmed, and given her background in K-12, higher education was not a major theme of her Senate hearing. The announcement of a task force to reform higher ed, to be led by Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell, Jr., gave little detail about its policy priorities or objectives, but remains the young administration’s only substantive action on higher ed to date.

Last year’s electoral campaign and executive actions in the early weeks of the administration, however, offer some insight into education priorities, pointing attention—and, potentially, funding—toward workforce development and institutional accountability. Neither area is a major departure from longstanding trends in higher education, but the administration’s emphasis will create opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Opportunity: Educating America’s Workforce…Read More

Pence casts historic tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos

For the first time ever, the vice president was called to Capitol Hill to break the tie on a vote to confirm a member of the Cabinet.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate for the first time since being sworn in just over two weeks ago, and cast the tie-breaking vote, 51-50, to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next education secretary. The vice president has never done so before, according to the Senate Historian’s office.

That DeVos could not garner support from the GOP-led Senate underscored her weakness as a nominee, Democrats argued.…Read More

After ethics review, Senate postpones vote for Betsy DeVos

According to the Washington Post:

“The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has postponed the vote on Trump’s education pick Betsy DeVos, hours after receiving the completed ethics review for the Michigan billionaire.

The committee vote, originally scheduled to take place Tuesday has been rescheduled for Jan. 31 at 10 a.m., according to a statement from the HELP committee chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The announcement arrived after the Office of Government Ethics, an agency that examines nominees’ financial disclosures and resolves potential conflicts of interest, released its long-awaited report Friday. Alexander said he wants to give each Senator on the committee time to review the documents.…Read More

DeVos confirmation hearing elicits intense reactions

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, emerged from her confirmation hearings with Republicans praising her commitment to school choice and with Democrats voicing concerns over what they see as a lack of experience to ensure equity for students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Higher education did not receive as much attention as K-12 education during the hearing, but DeVos admitted that she does not have experience running a program similar to the federal student loan program.

She also stated, when asked, that she has never taken out a federal student loan for her own education or for that of her children.…Read More