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Education Policies for 2017 in US under President-Elect Donald Trump’s Administration: 4 Ways to Improve on it!

These laws will ensure that federal government has minimal interference in students’ higher education choices

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US President-elect Donald Trump. Wikimedia

November 15, 2016: The President-elect of USA, Donald Trump, has an opportunity to work on some education policies for 2017.

Trump had prioritized Education policies in his election campaign. Now, the Trump administration would seize the best opportunity to advance the education choices for children in Washington, D.C. Trump will most certainly reverse Obama’s policies which had increased the federal intervention in education.

For example, the federal Student Loan program turns billions of dollars profit every year. According to Trump, these loans shouldn’t make government any profit, and yet it does. He believes that the loans should be like investing in America’s future.

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We believe that Trump’s administration will definitely accomplish its goals by working on the following issues:

  1. Supporting the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

 The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is the United States’ first federal funded school voucher program.  It is the financial source for many low-income children in Washington D.C. The Fund provides for tuition and other fees at the participating private schools. The Program was, approved in 2003, expired in 2009. Then, in 2011, under the SOAR Act, the Program was reauthorized.

While there is no solid evidence to prove that OSP has affected student’s achievement, the program has definitely increased the graduation rates of the capital. In a randomized controlled trial, conducted by the Department of Education in 2010, students who used their vouchers had a graduation rate of 91%. Students who were offered vouchers had an 82% graduation rate. This shows that rate for students who weren’t given vouchers was only 70 percent.

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As the statistics suggest, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has increased the educational opportunities for students in the nation’s capital.

The first decade of the Program has been a great success. The next administrator, Donald Trump, should support the education choice in the nation’s capital. The policies need to be expanded to more district families.

2. Rescinding ESSA regulations

President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on 10th December, 2015. This Act reauthorized the old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that commits equal opportunities to all the students.

The ESSA serves as a heavy-handed law that will control day-to-day affairs of local schools including expenditures, staffs and accounts. The law affects more than 49 million schoolchildren of America studying in local schools. The main issue with the ESSA is that it hands out almost all the authority to the state, so the state has to step in for improving schools and provide meaningful plans for the institutions.

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 Trump should rescind these regulations and support the long term conservative legislative policy that allows states to opt out from ESSA

3. Rolling back higher education regulations

The Department of Education, under Obama, supported policies like broadcasting policies that unfairly single out for-profit universities. These policies picked losers and winners of the higher education sector.

The Trump administration needs to bring back two major regulations including Defense against Repayment and Gainful Employment.

Defense against Repayment allows students to get out of paying back the student loans if they prove that they faced “acts or omissions of an institute of higher education”.

Gainful Employment is a regulation that vocational programs and for-profit colleges will ensure that their graduates don’t have loan repayments exceeding 20% of their income.

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4. Common core

The Common Core is an educational initiative in USA that explains in detail what K-12 students need to know in English Language arts at Mathematics in each grade.  If Trump refrains the state from using its authority under ESSA, it would be very easy for states to ditch the Common Core.

President-Elect Donald Trump released his first 100 days plan in office. Apart from detailed proposal on trade war, term limits and mass deportations, the plan had an outlined proposal on the education policy. These included:

a. Addition of a federal investment of $20 billion for the school choice. This will be achieved by re-prioritizing the existing federal currency.
b. Give the state the authority and funds to follow students to public or private schools. The grant distribution will favour school with private school choice, magnet schools. This will encourage more school to participate.
c. Achieving the goal of providing school choice to 11 million school-aged children.
d. Ensure that the universities are making an effort to reduce the college’s cost. The cost will be exchanged for the tax dollars.
e. Ensure that vocational and technical education is accessible.

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Revoking such regulations would open gates to innovation in higher education and the marketplace will be a determinant of quality. These laws will also ensure that federal government has minimal interference in students’ higher education choices. Promoting education choice will help the low-income families in the capital and also promoting advance education choices.

 by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Sulabh International unveils World’s biggest Toilet Pot model

The NGO gave 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.

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Sulabh launched biggest pot toilet models
Sulabh International in working towards improving sanitation. Wikimedia Commons

Sulabh International on Sunday launched the “world’s biggest” toilet pot model in Haryana’s Marora village — popularly known as ‘Trump village’ — on the occasion of World Toilet Day.

As per a release by the non-profit, the mega Indian-style pot, made of iron, fibre, wood and plaster of Paris, measuring 20×10 feet, was unveiled to create awareness about the use of toilets in the village dedicated to US President Donald Trump.

Sanitation expert and founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak, also dedicated 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.

“This large pot replica will be shifted to Delhi’s Sulabh Toilet Museum,” the release quoted Pathak as saying.

He said the idea behind naming a village after Trump was to highlight the issue of sanitation and cleanliness globally.

Puneet Ahluwalia, a member of the ruling Republican Party in the US, said that such an initiative would go a long way to motivate masses towards cleanliness and safe sanitation. (IANS)

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Exposed! Paradise Papers reveal Tax-haven Secrets of the Super-rich! Even Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t been spared!

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

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Paradise Papers expose tax haven secrets of ultra-wealthy, including Queen Elizabeth. The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive - and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth. VOA

London, November 6, 2017 : A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate secretly invest vast amounts of cash in different offshore tax havens, media reports said on Monday.

The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files in the Paradise Papers on Sunday that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.

The material which has come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens was obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with 100 other media organisations including the Guardian, the BBC and The New York Times.

Some of the revelations in the Paradise Papers include millions of pounds from Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate that has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund and some of her money that went to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people.

Paradise Papers detail extensive offshore dealings by US President Donald Trump’s cabinet members advisers and donors including substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The leak shows how social media giants Twitter and Facebook received millions in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions along with aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations including Nike and Apple.

It also includes information about a tax-avoiding Cayman Islands trust managed by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief wealth manager.

The leak also includes how some of the biggest names in the film and TV industries protect their wealth with an array of offshore schemes and the complex offshore webs used by two Russian billionaires to buy stakes in Arsenal and Everton football clubs.

The disclosures will put pressure on world leaders including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May who have both pledged to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

Offshore finance is about a place outside of one’s own nation’s regulations to which companies or individuals can reroute money assets or profits to take advantage of lower taxes reports the BBC.

These jurisdictions are known as tax havens to the layman or the more stately offshore financial centres (OFCs) to the industry. They are generally stable secretive and reliable often small islands but not exclusively so and can vary on how rigorously they carry out checks on wrongdoing. (IANS)

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Donald Trump Planning to meet Putin during his Asia tour

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia is the longest international tour.

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. wikimedia commns
  • US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he expected to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Asia tour.

“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders,” Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One before landing at the Yokota Air Base in Japan, Efe reported.

Putin is scheduled to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which Trump will also attend as part of his long Asia tour.

The North Korean nuclear threat is expected to dominate Donald Trump’s meetings in Japan and the next two stages of his tour, South Korea and China, where he will have a highly anticipated sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The remainder of the tour will be more focused on economic issues, with Trump scheduled to take part in the APEC meeting in Da Nang and then in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is the longest international tour by a US head of state since the one then-President George H.W. Bush embarked on in 1992.

Bush became ill at the end of that trip, famously vomiting on the Japanese prime minister’s lap at a formal dinner before fainting.(IANS)