ProPublica: The Federal Government Gave Billions to America’s Schools for COVID-19 Relief. Where Did the Money Go?

ProPublica: The Federal Government Gave Billions to America’s Schools for COVID-19 Relief. Where Did the Money Go?. “After the pandemic shut down schools across the country, the federal government provided about $190 billion in aid to help them reopen and respond to the effects of the pandemic. In the year and a half since millions of children were sent home, the Education Department has done only limited tracking of how the money has been spent. That has left officials in Washington largely in the dark about how effective the aid has been in helping students, especially those whose schools and communities were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.”

U.S. Department of Education: U.S. Department of Education Releases “Return to School Roadmap” to Support Students, Schools, Educators, and Communities in Preparing for the 2021-2022 School Year

U.S. Department of Education: U.S. Department of Education Releases “Return to School Roadmap” to Support Students, Schools, Educators, and Communities in Preparing for the 2021-2022 School Year. “The Roadmap provides key resources and supports for students, parents, educators, and school communities to build excitement around returning to classrooms this school year and outlines how federal funding can support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning. Over the course of the next several weeks as schools reopen nationwide, the Roadmap will lay out actionable strategies to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance for K-12 schools, so that schools can minimize transmission and sustain in-person learning all school-year long.”

Yahoo News: Education Department removes tool for defrauded students 9 days after launch

Yahoo News: Education Department removes tool for defrauded students 9 days after launch. “On Nov. 10, the Department of Education (ED) launched a fresh website to help borrowers who are seeking debt relief after being defrauded by a college. The new website attempted to improve the borrower defense process, which is a fairly complicated process that involves former students of allegedly predatory schools seeking loan forgiveness. On Nov. 19, that website was taken down.”

Washington State Attorney General: AG Ferguson Challenges Department Of Education Decision Blocking Coronavirus Aid For Thousands Of Washington Students

Washington State Attorney General: AG Ferguson Challenges Department Of Education Decision Blocking Coronavirus Aid For Thousands Of Washington Students. “Attorney General Bob Ferguson today challenged a U.S. Department of Education decision that deprives thousands of Washington college students from receiving critical aid included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under its Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the CARES Act appropriated more than $12 billion to higher education institutions across the nation to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act required that at least 50 percent of the funds be disbursed to students as emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.”

US Department of Education: Secretary DeVos Directs FSA to Stop Wage Garnishment, Collections Actions for Student Loan Borrowers, Will Refund More Than $1.8 Billion to Students, Families

US Department of Education: Secretary DeVos Directs FSA to Stop Wage Garnishment, Collections Actions for Student Loan Borrowers, Will Refund More Than $1.8 Billion to Students, Families. “U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that, due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the Department will halt collection actions and wage garnishments to provide additional assistance to borrowers. This flexibility will last for a period of at least 60 days from March 13, 2020.”

US Department of Education: Secretary DeVos Releases New Resources for Educators, Local Leaders on K-12 Flexibilities, Student Privacy, and Educating Students with Disabilities During Coronavirus Outbreak

US Department of Education: Secretary DeVos Releases New Resources for Educators, Local Leaders on K-12 Flexibilities, Student Privacy, and Educating Students with Disabilities During Coronavirus Outbreak. ” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued new resources today that will assist education leaders in protecting student privacy and ensuring students with disabilities continue to receive services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the event of school closures due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Education Department also released importantinformation for K-12 educators on flexibilities the Department could grant when it comes to the accountability standards required by law under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).”

Lake County Record-Bee: As California launches preschool expansion, federal government seeks to limit data

Lake County Record-Bee: As California launches preschool expansion, federal government seeks to limit data. “…the U.S. Department of Education is proposing to stop collecting a wide range of data, including information about young children, such as how many children have access to preschool and kindergarten, broken down by race, sex, disability and English learner status.”

Campus Safety Magazine: Dept. of Ed. Publishes Database of Pending Civil Rights Investigations

Campus Safety Magazine: Dept. of Ed. Publishes Database of Pending Civil Rights Investigations. “On Wednesday, the Department of Education published a searchable database containing all active civil rights investigations that will be updated monthly. The list includes the state, the institution, the institution type, the type of discrimination complaint and the date the investigation was opened. Users are able to search investigations by subcategories, including race and national origin discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination and age discrimination.”

EdScoop: Education Department awards $42.5M grant to grow online library of accessible books

EdScoop: Education Department awards $42.5M grant to grow online library of accessible books. “Benetech, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit, received a five-year, $42.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Education to expand and improve availability of free, accessible books for qualified students through an online library. Bookshare — one of Benetech’s global literacy projects — provides personalized access to over 800,000 titles to students with visual and reading impairments and currently serves approximately 500,000 students across the United States.”

Department of Education Launches New Resource for Displaced Students

The US Department of Education has launched a new resource site for students impacted by recent higher education closures. “The U.S. Department of Education today joined Beyond 12 and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) in announcing the launch of a new online package of supports to aid students affected by college closures…. Next Steps EDU advisors will respond to questions from students, by email, phone and text message, about academic, financial aid, and federal loan discharge options. All advisors are professionals working in the field of education and will be pre-screened and trained before being matched with students.”