• Education

    More Than a Million Student-Loan Holders to Get Relief

    The Biden administration is suspending collections on defaulted student loans held by more than one million borrowers, the latest in a flurry of moves to offer relief to adults struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. The move extends relief to 1.14 million students who borrowed under an older loan program known as the Federal Family Education Loan Program, and then defaulted on those loans. This group hadn’t been covered by prior coronavirus-related adjustments to collections and payment requirements. FFEL loans are guaranteed by the federal government but held by private lenders. Some defaulted loans were purchased by the Education Department during the financial crisis more than a decade…

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  • Education

    Fraction of Biden’s $128B education relief plan would go toward schools in 2021, CBO estimates

    President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package would put $128 billion toward helping K-12 public schools deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that just $6 billion would flow to schools in 2021. The CBO estimates that the number would increase to $32 billion in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The rest of the money would be paid out through 2028, according to a cost estimate released Monday. The comparatively small outlay for fiscal year 2021, which runs through Sept. 30, 2021, is expected because previously allocated money has not yet been spent. BIDEN’S NEW TARGET FOR REOPENED SCHOOLS IS BEHIND WHERE US IS NOW, DATA SHOW Congress previously approved $31 billion for education relief in…

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  • Jobs

    Opinion | The January jobs report shows the greatest need for covid relief

    As a result, we’re still deep in the hole. The jobs deficit today remains greater than it was at even the worst point of the Great Recession: A “V-shape” this is not. The headline unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, but that’s largely because 400,000 people dropped out of the labor force altogether and so are not officially counted as unemployed. Broader measures of underemployment — counting workers who’ve lost hours, given up looking for new jobs or have been misclassified due to data collection issues during the pandemic — suggest a rate nearly double the headline unemployment number. All this indicates that continued government help will be necessary to…

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  • Online School

    Sotomayor denies emergency relief for families seeking to send their children to online school without vaccines

    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied an emergency injunction to parents seeking to have their children enrolled in remote learning programs without meeting local vaccination requirements. “Excluding medically fragile children from distance learning because they are missing a vaccine that might harm or kill them serves no valid state interest and will cause irreparable harm,” the group of anonymous parents argued. “Excluding them even from online access to school and remote special education services is cruel, inhuman and can serve only punitive purposes.” “The state’s vaccination rules remain in force even though many children admitted at schools are learning remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” attorneys for the state of…

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  • Science

    Our leaders failed us on COVID, but science brings hope for relief

    It seems like a lifetime, but it was only one year ago that the world learned about a cluster of pneumonia cases linked to a live animal market in Wuhan, China. The cause: a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that leads to a disease called COVID-19. Fast forward one year, and the US has seen more than 400,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 25 million confirmed cases — but also remarkable scientific innovation and reasons for optimism.  Much has changed. An economy that was humming along with record-low unemployment was voluntarily shut down in an attempt to mitigate viral spread and the death toll. Unemployment soared to depression levels, and GDP cratered.…

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  • Education

    Biden’s Department of Education Secretary pick Miguel Cardona says student debt relief will be “a priority”

    Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Education, said he would support student loan forgiveness if confirmed, but gave little indication of what student debt relief might look like in practice. In a Monday interview with Connecticut Public Radio, Cardona, who serves as Connecticut’s education commissioner, said that despite his background in K-12 schools, tackling student debt would be a “would be a priority for me, it would be an area of focus that early on we’d have to really make sure we’re coming up with clear support plans and strategies.” Last year federal student loan debt reached an all-time high, nearing $1.6 trillion among more…

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  • Jobs

    Continuing Job Losses Put Spotlight on Economic Relief

    Mr. Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would include $1,400 in direct payments to individuals, expanded unemployment benefits and money for hard-pressed states and cities. In written testimony released Thursday as part of her Senate confirmation process, Janet L. Yellen, Mr. Biden’s nominee for Treasury secretary, reiterated the urgency of renewed aid. “Unemployment remains troublingly high, and millions of families are facing hunger or the risk of eviction,” Ms. Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chair, told a questioner. “Additional relief is needed to strengthen the economy, address our public health challenge and provide relief to communities that have been hardest hit.” Republicans have already registered resistance to…

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