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House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.9T relief plan despite setback on minimum wage
Washington Post
The vote closed early Saturday morning, with Republicans repeatedly decrying the legislation as a partisan boondoggle and Democrats defending it as much-needed relief. Even bigger fights await in the Senate, where Democratic unity will face greater tests.

Millions of low-income Americans to get up to $50 subsidies for their monthly Internet bills under newly finalized U.S. program
Washington Post
The Federal Communications Commission last week finalized a $3.2 billion program that will provide a monthly discount to millions of cash-starved Americans struggling to pay their Internet bills — the country’s most ambitious effort yet to close the digital divide amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Free two-year college grant program now law in New Jersey
Press of Atlantic City
A program that offers thousands of low- and moderate-income students in New Jersey the opportunity to get a tuition-free education at the state’s community colleges is now permanent under a law Gov. Phil Murphy signed Friday.

What the Biden administration can learn from New Jersey about free community college
Politico
As President Joe Biden plans to roll out his own tuition-free community college policy across the country, New Jersey officials say they have the blueprint.

Commentary: Time for nationwide free community college
KATU
The Biden administration is pushing to make free community college a federal policy. It should be — for the same reasons that brought red Tennessee, blue Oregon and hundreds of communities in between to the same place.

Sununu pitches community college, university system merger
Associated Press
New Hampshire should move quickly to merge its community college and university systems, developing a solid plan within a year and implementing it soon after, Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday. But some lawmakers and school officials are wary.

Lessons from the pandemic: Hudson community college and its students adapt, survive and keep dream alive
NJ.com
Working toward a college degree isn’t easy, especially when balancing it with a job and tackling it later in life.

How can we improve the value of education?
Lessons Earned (Strada Education Network podcast)
Harvard Education Economist David Deming discusses his research into identifying workers’ soft skills, the value of four-year degrees versus short-term certificates and skills-based programs, and the role community colleges can play in our economic recovery.

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