Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki

  • A thinner GOP funding bill
  • Jill Biden, DeVos pitch for their candidates

A thinner GOP funding bill

Senate Republicans on Wednesday released the text of their slimmed-down $500 billion COVID-recovery bill prior to next week’s anticipated floor debate, according to education advocates.

The new version of the “skinny” bill would include about $29 billion for postsecondary education and retain a grant formula based on the number of FTE students. It also would provide coronavirus-related liability protection to colleges, schools, religious and nonprofit organizations, and businesses.

The bill does not include direct payments, workforce funding or funds for state and local governments, according to advocates.

Jill Biden, DeVos pitch for their candidates

Dr. Jill Biden on Wednesday remotely visited with students and educators at Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) in Florida as part of her back-to-school tour where she also pitched for her husband and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this week issued an open letter to parents outlining the Trump administration’s K-12 education policies, focusing largely on the president’s efforts to keep schools open.

Jill Biden, an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, spoke privately with PHSC students in a communications class and then publicly online with an administrator and professor about the challenges educators and students are facing because of the pandemic, from access to technology and juggling family schedules, to safety, mental health and childcare.

“It’s not always easy, but you always show up when it counts,” Biden said of community college students. She then made a plug for her husband’s campaign, arguing that the stakes are especially high with this coming election.

Meanwhile, DeVos released “A Letter to America’s Parents,” which supports school choice and highlights the administration’s efforts during the pandemic to keep K-12 schools safe and open.

“Your child. Your school. Your way,” she wrote.

Dr. Jill Biden talks online with a provost and professor from Pasco-Hernando State College in Florida. (Image: Screenshot)

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.