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Education & Labor Archive

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Heritage to Offer Conservative Budget Blueprint

More than 100 cost-savings proposals, due out from the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, could provide ammunition for conservative lawmakers in coming debates over restructuring entitlement programs, addressing the post-sequester discretionary spending caps, reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund and raising the debt limit.

Federal Higher Education Policy: Momentum or Collision Course? | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s proposals on higher education announced at the State of the Union have generated a continuum of reactions — ranging from positive to derisive — from lawmakers and the higher education policy community. Successful passage of these ideas will likely face long odds following the release of the president’s budget next week. But even if the president’s sweeping plans don’t make it through, the door is open for real, bipartisan progress that can serve as important first steps toward a much-needed overhaul of our federal strategies that help students gain the talent they need to prosper economically and socially in the 21st century.

We Built the Middle Class, and We Can Rebuild It | Commentary

Most members of Congress today are millionaires. Their wealth has increased 28 percent since 2007, while that of the average American fell 43 percent.

The Case for Year-Round Pell Grants | Commentary

As Congress takes up reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this year, it will have to address several policy concerns, including the rising cost of college and the need to increase degree attainment rates in the U.S. Notwithstanding those concerns, college access will continue to be a major issue. How can our nation expand college opportunities to those who have long been underrepresented, including lower-income students, minorities, and those who are the first in their families to attend college, ramping up the number of degree earners?

Five Lessons as the 114th Congress Gets Started | Commentary

As the 114th Congress settles in and President Barack Obama finalizes his State of the Union address, the consequences of the midterm elections are becoming real in Washington. New leaders have taken control of every Senate committee and subcommittee and the chamber itself, and the dynamic is changing.

Bringing Communities Together: A Better Way to Help America's Kids Succeed | Commentary

Today, President Barack Obama will be giving his State of the Union address, which will likely include the president laying out a vision for addressing the needs of our nation’s children. Among a host of other policy announcements, the president may emphasize much needed recent investments to expand access to pre-K and infant and toddler care.

Our Fight's With the President, Not DREAMers | Commentary

In November, President Barack Obama unveiled one of the most sweeping Executive Orders in American history. Ignoring for a moment the merits of the immigration policy itself, such actions cannot be condoned by the American body politic. Unilateral action defies the separation of powers on which our country was founded, and on which our federalist democracy is sustained. Imagine a future president refusing to enforce drug laws, environmental laws, criminal penalties for sexual assault or tax collection for important constituencies.

Fixing the On-Ramp to Higher Education | Commentary

This year portends to be an important one for higher education in Washington. Last week, both political parties and the White House were already falling over themselves to offer proposals that could pay major political and practical dividends.

Obama Administration Won't Back Away from Annual Student Testing

Education Secretary Arne Duncan Monday issued a firm call to continue annual standardized testing under the elementary and secondary education law known as No Child Left Behind.  

Moving Forward, Ideas Matter | Commentary

As the dust settles after the midterm elections, it is clear that voters across the country sent a strong message that they have had enough of partisan gridlock and inaction in Washington. And now the hard work begins – turning to the future and to the ideas that will move our nation forward.

Service Members, Spouses and Veterans Often Need a New Kind of College Education | Commentary

When the newly elected Congress convenes, it will consider two seemingly unrelated issues: funding a new military involvement in the Middle East and reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which governs student aid.

Retired Military Leaders: School Nutrition Supports National Security | Letter to the Editor

I applaud Melinda Bonner’s efforts to make healthier school meals work in her district (Congress: Don’t Turn Back the Clock on Healthy School Meals, Roll Call, Dec. 4). As a retired general from Alabama, I would like to add that improved school nutrition is also important for our future national security.

Murray Announces Intent to Take HELP

Patty Murray confirmed Friday that she plans to succeed Tom Harkin as the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee next year, where she is expected to play a prominent role defending the health care law and trying to forge compromises on stalled education policy.

Workers Need More Than Canned Goods This Holiday Season: They Need a Raise | Commentary

Like communities across the country, Capitol Hill is pitching in for a time-honored tradition this holiday season: a canned food drive to benefit the local food bank. Stepping up to donate and volunteer are members of Congress, their staff and the Hill’s other major inhabitant — corporate lobbyists. This is also a popular time of year for elected officials to volunteer at food pantries and soup kitchens, and highlight the good work of private food assistance in their districts.

Let's Give Our Students a Chance to Compete in the Digital Age | Commentary

Across the nation, the powerful combination of broadband, affordable devices and increasing opportunity for cloud-based content is transforming education. Traditional teaching tools like blackboards and books are giving way to interactive digital content delivered directly to students’ devices. We have moved from a world where a connected computer lab down the hall was a luxury, to one where high-speed broadband delivered directly to the classroom is a necessity. Indeed, we have graduated into the digital age.

Congress Can, and Should, Address Student Loan Debt | Commentary

More and more jobs today require at least some type of higher education, whether it’s a four-year degree, an associate’s degree or a certificate from the local community college.

Congress: Don't Turn Back the Clock on Healthy School Meals | Commentary

When it comes to obesity, my home state of Alabama is usually the bearer of bad news. Only 10 states have a higher childhood obesity rate than we do and only seven states have a higher rate among adults. Our rankings are even worse when we talk about causes of obesity and related health conditions — we have the highest rate of adult diabetes in the nation.

FBI Database Is Anything but a Gold Standard for Employment Screening | Commentary

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners applauds Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., for their commitment to protecting vulnerable populations from predators through stringent background screening (“Keeping Our Kids Safe From Predators: A Challenge With a Bipartisan Solution,” Roll Call, Nov. 17). We take issue, however, with their editorial in which they characterize the FBI’s fingerprint database as the “gold standard” for use in employment or volunteer screening. In reality, the FBI database is far from perfect and should never be regarded as the most reliable source for comprehensive and accurate background screening.

Labor Relations Board in State of Flux as Republicans Prepare to Take Over Congress

Even without the expected Republican deluge of oversight and appropriations riders, the National Labor Relations Board is in a period of turmoil.

GOP Strategy on Labor Issues Remains Hazy

The new Republican-controlled Congress is expected to take a pro-business approach to labor issues, including trying to rein in what GOP leaders consider an activist National Labor Relations Board and perhaps blocking some of its decisions.

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