Header Ads

Breaking News

House panel examines impact of proposed SNAP changes on children


With help from Caitlin Emma and Michael Stratford

Editor’s Note: This edition of Morning Education is published weekdays at 10 a.m. POLITICO Pro Education subscribers hold exclusive early access to the newsletter each morning at 6 a.m. Learn more about POLITICO Pro’s comprehensive policy intelligence coverage, policy tools and services at politicopro.com.

— A House Oversight subcommittee today will examine a proposal designed to limit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. It’s the second day of hearings on the “negative effects” of the Trump administration’s proposed regulations related to children.

— Education Secretary Betsy DeVos headlined a “Women for Trump” campaign event on Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence just outside Harrisburg, Pa.

— Presidential candidates, educators and teachers unions have all disappointed Keri Rodrigues, a mother of three young boys, on education. So the former labor organizer responded the way she knows best: She co-founded a union — for parents.

IT’S THURSDAY, FEB. 6. WELCOME TO MORNING EDUCATION. Got news to share? Drop me a line at ngaudiano@politico.com. Share event listings: educalendar@politicopro.com. And follow us on Twitter: @Morning_Edu and @POLITICOPro.

HOUSE PANELS EXAMINE IMPACT OF TRUMP PLANS ON KIDS: A teacher, a principal and two anti-hunger advocates will testify before the Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee on the impact of proposed changes to SNAP, which could potentially cut kids’ access to free school meals. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.

— Later at 2 p.m., the committee’s environment panel will hold a hearing on the administration’s proposal to undermine protections from Mercury air toxic standards.

— The hearings are part of a two-day series, “A Threat to America’s Children,” to assess the impact of the administration’s actions on child poverty, housing, hunger and health. On Wednesday, Amy Jo Hutchison, an organizer with the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition in West Virginia, testified during a hearing on the administration’s proposed changes to the poverty line calculation. The federal poverty guidelines say Hutchinson isn’t poor, but she said she has “two jobs and a bachelor’s degree” and still struggles “to make ends meet.”

— “I’m not poor, but I cashed in a jar full of change the other night so my daughter could attend her high school band competition,” she said. “I had to decide which bills not to pay to be here in this room today. Believe me, I’ve pulled myself up by the bootstraps so many damn times that I’ve ripped them off.”

— House Republicans argued, however, that the hearing on changing the calculation was “premature” because the Trump administration has only solicited public comments about possibly revamping how the government measures poverty.

— “Lift” vs. “kick”: Democrats also slammed President Donald Trump’s State of the Union claim that 7 million Americans have come off food stamps and 10 million have been lifted off welfare under his administration. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who also testified during the Wednesday hearing, said people weren’t lifted off food stamps — they were kicked off. “And people are going hungry because we like to use the word ‘lift,’ instead of the truth, which was ‘kicked,'” the New York Democrat said. “And we are booting millions of Americans into the streets because we want to believe and dupe ourselves into thinking that we are doing better. We are not.”

PARENTS FORM NATIONAL UNION: The National Parents Union launched in January at an event in New Orleans with parent activists from more than 150 groups uniting behind bylaws and a statement of values, focused on equity in education and putting parents and students at the center of the education debate.

— “One of the things I know from my experience in labor is the power of solidarity and coming together to build a really united front so that we can have a strong and powerful voice to advocate for our interests, which is that of children and families,” said Rodrigues, the group’s elected president, who spoke this week with POLITICO.

— She said the group received initial seed funding from the Walton Family Foundation, the City Fund and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The union does not request dues because so many members are low-income.

— Parent activists want to redirect the education conversation back to “what is best for children and families,” rather than having “this tired discussion time and again about governance models,” Rodrigues said. “I am not signing up to protect the status quo that literally is going to make my child at best a survivor of public education.” Read more from your host.

DEVOS STUMPS FOR TRUMP IN PENNSYLVANIA: DeVos, one of just four women in Trump’s Cabinet, introduced Pence at the event, which started just minutes after the Senate voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial.

Speaking to a hotel ballroom of largely female Trump supporters, DeVos tore into the Democratic presidential candidates who regularly call for her removal, accusing them of “trying to out-socialist one another.” She also ticked through the Trump administration’s achievements: rolling back regulations, new trade deals, an overhaul of the tax code, and installing conservative judges to the federal bench, including two Supreme Court justices.

DeVos said Trump’s school choice push was about “fighting for every forgotten child,” a reprise of the “forgotten men and women” device Trump used during the 2016 campaign.

Democratic presidential candidates “want complete control over where, how, and what American students learn,” DeVos said. “They want to close every charter school, take away every educational option from low-income families, limit choices everywhere for everyone. Just ignore that most of them sent their own children to private school.”

DeVos also took on Democratic proposals to eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities: “Free college may sound nice, but the outcomes would be anything but nice.” She added: “Only a third of Americans pursue four-year college degrees — why should two-thirds pay for the other one-third?”

Earlier on Wednesday, DeVos traveled with Pence to a Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia. They were joined on Air Force Two by Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader, and her mother, Stephanie, who had tried unsuccessfully to obtain a scholarship under Pennsylvania’s state tax credit scholarship program that pays for tuition at private schools.

Trump announced during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night that a scholarship had “become available” for Janiyah, allowing her to attend the school of her choosing. DeVos is personally funding the scholarship, the Education Department said Wednesday.

BLOOMBERG ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH OBAMA: In his new 30-second ad “Bringing Together,” former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg highlights his work with President Barack Obama, including on education and fighting for gun safety laws. The campaign points to Obama’s 2014 launch of “My Brother’s Keeper,” an initiative to help men of color access education employment and mentoring that built off Bloomberg’s “Young Men’s Initiative,” partly funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

BRIEFING CANDIDATES ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: The First Five Years Fund is releasing its briefing book today for presidential candidates on early childhood education, offering polling, policy research and messaging guidance on the issue. The bipartisan child advocacy group plans to meet with every top presidential campaign. It’s also planning digital, print and broadcast advertising in battleground states, national polling, and a policy roadmap for the next administration and Congress.

COLLEGE BOARD TOUTS MORE AP TEST TAKERS: More students than ever are taking Advanced Placement exams and passing the tests, according to results released by the College Board today, but the gap between minority students passing the exam compared with their white peers is still glaring.

— About 39 percent of public high school graduates in the class of 2019 took at least one AP exam, and 23.9 percent of those graduates scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam. Bianca Quilantan has more.

— The National Endowment for Financial Education announced two new members have joined its board of trustees. Jourdan Jones, senior director of market and competitive strategy at TIAA, and Dionne A. Blue, chief diversity officer for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in Indiana, each will serve an initial three-year term on the board.

— A report released by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education shows voluntary support of U.S. higher education institutions reached $49.6 billion in 2019, the highest level ever reported, according to the Council.

— The Council for Economic Education released results of the 2020 edition of the “Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education In Our Nation’s Schools.”

— E-cig execs draw fire on youth vaping at hearing: POLITICO Pro

— SEC suspends former Willkie co-chair convicted in college admissions scandal: POLITICO Pro

— Documentary: A new film offering “A Parent’s Guide” to IEPs, released by Learning Success, is available on Amazon Prime Video and for free.

— China’s traditional schools embrace online learning as coronavirus forces students to stay at home: South China Morning Post



Source link

No comments