Democrats Think Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Should Focus on Spending (Not Cutting Regulations)

Democrats worry Trump’s plan will focus on rolling back regulations that require environmental reviews and community consultation instead of allocating money to repair, replace and expand the nation’s transportation network.

Trump Overturns Education Regulations

education regulations

During his campaign, Donald Trump promised to undo much of President Obama’s legacy. Now, as promised, Trump has signed bills that will overturn two education regulations set by his predecessor, the Washington Post  and the Chicago Tribune report.

According to Education Week, the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, or Title II, is currently funded at $2.25 billion. Title II, which has Trump overturned, helps states and districts provide teacher training.

Additionally, the president has also overturned the accountability provisions of ESSA, or Every Student Succeeds Act. However, Education Week reports that states are already far along in meeting the requirements ESSA had already set for them. State plans are due either next month or in September. That will probably change after this year, since the Trump template requires much less of states.

Here’s more about this development from the Washington Post article, Trump Signs Bills Overturning Obama-era Education Regulations:

“President Trump signed bills Monday overturning two Obama-era education regulations, continuing the Republican majority’s effort to undo key pieces of the previous administration’s legacy.

Trump’s move scraps new requirements for programs that train new K-12 teachers and rolls back a set of rules outlining how states must carry out the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan federal law meant to hold schools accountable for student performance. In a signing ceremony at the White House Monday, the president hailed the measures for “removing an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools.”

Leaders of the Republican majority claimed that the accountability rules represented an executive overreach by former president Barack Obama. Democrats argued that rescinding the rules opens loopholes that states can use to shield poorly performing schools from scrutiny, especially when they fail to serve poor children, minorities, English-language learners and students with disabilities.

Civil rights and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also opposed doing away with the rules. The measure to repeal the regulations passed easily in the GOP-dominated House, but barely made it out of the Senate on a 50 to 49 vote, mostly along party lines.

The teacher-preparation regulation, which stemmed from the Higher Education Act, required states to issue annual ratings for training programs within their borders. It was meant to ensure that novice teachers enter classrooms more prepared, but it was broadly unpopular from the start. Teachers unions said the regulations wrongly tied ratings of teacher-training programs to the performance of teachers’ students on standardized tests; colleges and states argued that the rules were onerous and expensive, and many Republicans argued that Obama’s Education Department had overstepped the bounds of executive authority.”

 

Read more at the Washington Post.

Trump Overturns Education Regulations

education regulations

During his campaign, Donald Trump promised to undo much of President Obama’s legacy. Now, as promised, Trump has signed bills that will overturn two education regulations set by his predecessor, the Washington Post  and the Chicago Tribune report.

According to Education Week, the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, or Title II, is currently funded at $2.25 billion. Title II, which has Trump overturned, helps states and districts provide teacher training.

Additionally, the president has also overturned the accountability provisions of ESSA, or Every Student Succeeds Act. However, Education Week reports that states are already far along in meeting the requirements ESSA had already set for them. State plans are due either next month or in September. That will probably change after this year, since the Trump template requires much less of states.

Here’s more about this development from the Washington Post article, Trump Signs Bills Overturning Obama-era Education Regulations:

“President Trump signed bills Monday overturning two Obama-era education regulations, continuing the Republican majority’s effort to undo key pieces of the previous administration’s legacy.

Trump’s move scraps new requirements for programs that train new K-12 teachers and rolls back a set of rules outlining how states must carry out the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan federal law meant to hold schools accountable for student performance. In a signing ceremony at the White House Monday, the president hailed the measures for “removing an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools.”

Leaders of the Republican majority claimed that the accountability rules represented an executive overreach by former president Barack Obama. Democrats argued that rescinding the rules opens loopholes that states can use to shield poorly performing schools from scrutiny, especially when they fail to serve poor children, minorities, English-language learners and students with disabilities.

Civil rights and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also opposed doing away with the rules. The measure to repeal the regulations passed easily in the GOP-dominated House, but barely made it out of the Senate on a 50 to 49 vote, mostly along party lines.

The teacher-preparation regulation, which stemmed from the Higher Education Act, required states to issue annual ratings for training programs within their borders. It was meant to ensure that novice teachers enter classrooms more prepared, but it was broadly unpopular from the start. Teachers unions said the regulations wrongly tied ratings of teacher-training programs to the performance of teachers’ students on standardized tests; colleges and states argued that the rules were onerous and expensive, and many Republicans argued that Obama’s Education Department had overstepped the bounds of executive authority.”

 

Read more at the Washington Post.

Former Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett is Elected to Ariel Investments Board

Valerie Jarrett

On Monday, Ariel Investments L.L.C. announced that Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, was elected to join the company’s Board of Directors.

“With her wealth of experience from an extraordinary public and private sector career, we are simply delighted to have Valerie join our company board. We know Ariel will benefit greatly from her insights, expertise and vision,” said John W. Rogers Jr., founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments in a press release. As of 2017, Ariel Investments L.L.C., a money management firm headquartered in Chicago, reported over $11 billion in assets.

Jarrett, the longest-serving senior advisor to President Obama, joins another alum from the Obama administration who sits on the board, Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education from 2009 to 2015. Jarrett will also sit on the board alongside notable African American business leaders like Mellody Hobson, the president and chair of the Board of Trustees of Ariel Investments, and Paget Alves, the former chief sales officer at Sprint Communications Corp.

During her tenure at the White House, Jarrett ran the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She also spearheaded the previous administration’s efforts to expand and strengthen the middle class and American business.

In addition to working in the public sector, Jarrett has valuable experience in the private sector, working as the CEO of The Habitat Co. in Chicago. Plus, the University of Michigan Law School graduate practiced with private law firms for six years.

“It is worth noting that Valerie’s father, Dr. James Bowman, was one of our original directors until his death, so there is a great sense of symmetry and continuity with Valerie joining our board. I know Valerie will be a tremendous asset and look forward to working with her,” Rogers added in the press release.

 

Senate Republicans Kill Internet Privacy Requirements

Internet Privacy

Senate Republicans just passed the Broadband Privacy CRA (Congressional Review Act) bill. This repeals data privacy requirements put in place by the FCC during the Obama administration.

According to Reuters, if the bill goes on to pass in the House of Representatives, internet providers including companies such as Google and Facebook no longer have to “obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.”

The issue is highly contested and split down party lines. Republicans and conservatives at the FCC including Chairman Pai, have been critical of regulations over the broadband and internet provider industries.

Democrats and more progressive members of the FCC, as well as consumer advocates, are traditionally for regulations that protect consumers.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (Image: FCC)

 

In the Reuters story, Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the privacy regulation “”makes the internet an uneven playing field, increases complexity, discourages competition, innovation, and infrastructure investment.”

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny released statements criticizing the Senate’s passage of Broadband Privacy CRA:

“Today the Senate voted along party lines to dismantle the FCC’s broadband privacy rules. If signed by the President, this law would repeal the FCC’s widely-supported broadband privacy framework, and eliminate the requirement that cable and broadband providers offer customers a choice before selling their sensitive, personal information,” said Commissioners Clyburn and McSweeny.

Clyburn and McSweeny, continued: “This legislation will frustrate the FCC’s future efforts to protect the privacy of voice and broadband customers.  It also creates a massive gap in consumer protection law as broadband and cable companies now have no discernible privacy requirements.  This is the antithesis of putting #ConsumersFirst. The House must still consider this legislation. We hope they recognize the importance of consumer privacy and not undermine the ability of Americans to exercise control over their sensitive data.”