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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Congressman George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, has proven himself an avid reader of our little blog! You see, in response to my highlighting of this morning’s Quote of the Day, about how the most important reform in post-secondary education is the advancement of early education, the good Chairman has introduced the Student Aid and Financial Responsibility Act.

SAFRA will lower the costs of higher education and help more Americans complete college by reforming the federal student program so that the federal government provides student loans directly rather than through private financial institutions subsidized by the tax dollars. (See here for more background.) Basically, the federal government’s Direct Loan Program is more efficient than the private student loan market and so tax dollars are wasted on needless subsidies to these companies – many of whom only exist thanks to the subsidy. SAFRA will eliminate these subsidies and capture the savings for other educational uses, primarily an increase in need-based Pell Grants.

So now we see how this is an important post-secondary reform, but how does it advance early education? Early Ed Watch is on the case:

Miller’s legislation would capture a portion of those savings — $10 billion over 10 years — to fund Early Learning Challenge Grants. […]

summary of the bill posted online earlier today says that to win these grants, states would need to commit to build comprehensive early childhood systems that include:

(more…)

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Your Congress is Busy

Doing some research into the workforce development provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka stimulus package), and I’m looking for the bill’s “joint explanatory statement.” It has proved elusive thus far.

Anyway, while searching around on the Senate website I discovered that the pressing topic of this afternoon is:

2:00 p.m.: Convene and proceed to the reading of Washington’s Farewell Address.

Thereafter, resume consideration of the motion to proceed to consider S.160, the D.C. voting rights bill.

So we’re going to engage in some Revolutionary-era reenactment and then see if we can continue to deny Congressional representation to the nation’s capital.

Congress must hate Mondays as much as the rest of us.

Image used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user John-pa.

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Image used under a Creative Commons license from flickr user changedotgov

Arne Duncan, President-elect Obama’s choice for Education Secretary, began his confirmation hearings today, appearing before Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. Congressional Quarterly reports that Duncan “promised a new emphasis on early childhood education” and called for a commission on the subject as well as improved cooperation between his department and the Department of Health & Human Services, which oversees Head Start.

It looks like Duncan will sail through confirmation. The New York Times has Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, gushing “I think you’re the best.”

Image used under a Creative Commons license from flickr user changedotgov

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