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Durbin, Cohen: It Is Time for Congress to Close Loophole that Encourages For-Profit Colleges to Target Veterans & Service Members

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) today introduced bicameral legislation that would help put an end to the for-profit college industry's aggressive recruiting of veterans, service members, and their families. The Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act would prohibit for-profit colleges and universities from receiving more than 85 percent of their revenue from the federal government and change the calculation of fe… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Relief with Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities (FIICU) about the importance of providing additional COVID-19 relief that supports private, not-for-profit colleges and universities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Durbin supports additional funding for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), created by the CARES Act, which provided assistance to institutions and emergency financial aid for stu… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Join Colleagues to Introduce Resolution Asking President Biden to Cancel up to $50,000 in Federal Student Loan Debt Immediately

WASHINGTON - United States Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) today to reintroduce their bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for Federal student… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Illinois Community Colleges to Discuss COVID-19 Relief, Higher Ed Policy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) virtually met with Illinois community college trustees, presidents, and staff for the Illinois Community College Trustee Association (ICCTA) to discuss President Biden's American Rescue Plan and how it supports higher education and state and local governments. The American Rescue Plan includes $35 billion for higher education with an additional $5 billion fund for governors to address education concerns. "Our community colleges have always stepped u… Continue Reading


GAO Report Requested by Durbin, Members Highlights Need for Better Oversight of For-Profit Colleges

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-WA), and U.S. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) announced today the release of a Government Accountability Office report that they requested into for-profit college conversions - the process used by some for-profit colleges to become nonprofit, changing both their tax filing status and level of higher education accountability requirements applied to the institution. You can read the report here. The report… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic, For-Profit Colleges with Dr. Miguel Cardona, Biden Nominee for Secretary of Education

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Dr. Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education. During their Zoom call, Durbin and Cardona discussed how teacher shortages in Illinois and around the country have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and how Durbin's RETAIN Act would incentivize teacher retention by providing a fully refundable tax credit for teachers, paraprofessionals, mental health providers, and school leaders in Title I scho… Continue Reading


Durbin, King, Smith, Sinema Secure $7 Million for Competitive Grants Supporting Open Textbooks in Year-End Funding Bill

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Angus King (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) today applauded the inclusion of $7 million in additional funding for the continued implementation of the Open Textbooks Pilot in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations bill. The Open Textbooks Pilot, based on the Senators' Affordable College Textbook Act, is a competitive grant program to support the creation and expand the use of open college textbooks-textbooks that are available u… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Announce $52 Million To Support Head Start And Early Head Start In Chicago

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced a total of $52.7 million in federal grant funding to the City of Chicago for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The funding, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, will support comprehensive child development programs for low-income children from birth to age five. "Head Start and Early Head Start programs are crucial for school re… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Relief for Schools with National Education Association President

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Becky Pringle, the new president of the National Education Association (NEA), about the need for additional COVID-19 stimulus funds for education and child care. Durbin discussed his support of the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which would provide $430 billion to the education sector, including $50 billion in grants to child care providers. "As the nation continues to reel from this awful pandemic, our educators a… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Leaked For-Profit College Lobbyist Email

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement after U.S. News and World Report published an email from for-profit college lobbyist Steve Gunderson to for-profit college industry leaders outlining how to continue to exploit students, veterans, and taxpayers if Democrats control Congress in 2021: "The for-profit colleges' recent strategy memo tells all. Former Republican Congressman Steve Gunderson, now President of this group, has set his sights on exploitin… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Join Schumer, Warren To Introduce Resolution Calling On President To Cancel Student Loan Debt For Federal Borrowers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today to introduce a resolution outlining a bold plan for the President of the United States to use existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in Federal student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers. The resolution outlines how the President should use executive authority to cancel student loan deb… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls On HHS To Stop Diverting COVID-19 Tests From Illinois Schools And Fix The Shortfall In Testing Supplies

MAYWOOD - At a press conference today with Loyola University Chicago officials, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) highlighted ongoing testing challenges at schools and universities, and announced he was sending a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking how the Trump Administration plans to rectify the shortfall in testing supplies it has created at our universities and schools after Durbin learned HHS diverted shipments of COVID-19 tests bound for t… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Start Of New School Year During COVID-19 Pandemic With Teach For America

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with the Teach for America (TFA) Chicago-Northwest Indiana Executive Director Aneesh Sohoni about how TFA is helping Illinois school districts meet the challenges of educating during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the call, Durbin and Sohoni discussed the teacher shortage in Illinois that disproportionally impacts students from low-income backgrounds and students of color and TFA's instrumental efforts in filling these open positions to ensure… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Join Colleagues To Call On FCC To Bolster Lifeline Program To Keep Students Connected As The School Year Begins

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in leading a group of 22 other Senators in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to boost its Lifeline program to keep students connected as millions return to school both virtually and in person. Since 1985, the FCC's Lifeline program has made basic internet and telephone service more affordable for low-income Americans and has had bipartisan support. "As mil… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Fall Reopening With University Of Illinois System President

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Tim Killeen, the President of the University of Illinois System, to discuss fall reopening plans including the University's contact tracing and testing strategies. The two also discussed the need for additional federal relief for higher education. Durbin is a cosponsor of the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which provides an additional $132 billion in support for institutions of higher education and students. "The… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Colleagues Calling For Long-Term Relief For 43 Million Student Loan Borrowers Amid COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and 16 other Senators in a letter to Senate leaders urging them to include long-term relief for millions of Americans with student loans in the next coronavirus relief package as negotiations between Senate Republicans and Democrats continue. The letter comes after the President issued an executive order that only places a three-month forbearance for some student loan borrowers, leaving nearly eight million studen… Continue Reading


Durbin, Brown Caution University of Arizona On Its Bid To Purchase Predatory For-Profit College

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to the President of the University of Arizona (UA) urging the school to take steps to protect students after it announced the purchase of Ashford University, a for-profit college that has long been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations and lawsuits for fraudulent and predatory practices. Despite a long history of troubling practices, if the transaction is consummated, Zovio - which own… Continue Reading


Durbin Slams President Trump & Senate Republican Proposal Conditioning Federal Funds To Schools On Reopening In-Person

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), today during a speech on the Senate floor, slammed President Trump and Senate Republicans for attempting to condition education funds in the next coronavirus relief package on the reopening of elementary and secondary schools for in-person instruction. Durbin instead urged his colleagues to pass the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which provides $175 billion to elementary and secondary schools to help meet technology, cleaning, staf… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Bill To Support School-Based Mentoring Programs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today introduced the Mentoring to Succeed Act, legislation that increases support for school-based mentoring programs in order to help at-risk youth thrive in their schools, careers, and life. The bill would invest in mentoring programs that help students overcome adversity and trauma and develop the workforce skills employers are seeking. Specifically, the Mentoring to Succeed Act would establish a five-year, competitive … Continue Reading


Durbin Calls For Resignation Of Principal Deputy Under Secretary Of Education Diane Auer Jones

WASHINGTON- Following the release of a report from the House Education and Labor Committee on its investigation into the Department of Education's handling of Dream Center Education Holding's (DCEH) accreditation misrepresentation at its Illinois Institute of Art and Colorado Art Institute campuses, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement calling for the resignation of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Education Diane Auer Jones: "Under Secretary Jones, a former… Continue Reading

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