Here’s a roundup of the education articles that caught Next America’s eye from March 24 to March 31. All address trends that particularly affect minority students.
Students, or employees? A regional National Labor Relations Board director says that Northwestern University footballs players are technically “employees” of the university, and therefore have the right to unionize. Expect lots of legal challenges to the decision, which the university is already planning on appealing to the full NLRB in Washington. Collective bargaining could potentially help student athletes get guaranteed health care coverage for sports-related injuries, or receive payment for commercial sponsorships. New York Times, InsideHigherEd, Politico
Racial Divide on Paying Student Athletes. Overall, most Americans don’t think college athletes should be paid. But two recent polls find a racial divide on the issue. Fifty-three percent of African-Americans support paying athletes, a survey from HBO Real Sports and Marist College found; among white respondents, the share was 28 percent. “I think it’s increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that you have an unpaid labor force that is predominantly African-American and an incredibly highly paid management system that’s predominantly white,” said Keith Strudler, head of the Marist Center for Sports Communication. Inside Higher Ed
New York’s Segregated Schools. New York state’s public schools are the most racially segregated in the nation, according to the Civil Rights Project at the University of California (Los Angeles). Schools are also divided by income: In 2010, the typical African-American or Latino student attended a school where close to 70 percent of his classmates were low income, while the typical white student attended a school where less than 30 percent of his classmates were low income. In New York City, 73 percent of charter schools have less than 1 percent white enrollment. The report calls those schools “apartheid schools.” AP
Recent Veterans Doing Just Fine in College. Veterans who used the GI Bill to go to college between 2002 and 2010 graduated at a rate comparable to nonveteran students, according to a new report from Student Veterans of America. About 40 percent of the veterans involved in the study had already earned a degree before using their GI Bill benefits — likely associate’s degrees earned with Defense Department tuition assistance while on active duty. The Chronicle of Higher Education
Federal Student-Loan Forgiveness Plan Has a Cost. The Obama administration wants student-loan borrowers to be aware of income-based repayment programs, including an option that allows borrowers to be forgiven all remaining payments after 20 or 25 years. But it’s not free money: Debt forgiveness counts as income, and taking advantage of the option will likely lead to a tax bill. Officials from the Education and Treasury departments say that students who opt for debt forgiveness will still end up paying less overall. Politico
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"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."
Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.