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10.21.21

Durbin, King, Smith, And Sinema Secure $14 Million For Open Textbook Pilot Program In Senate Appropriations Committee Annual Spending Bill

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senators Angus King (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) today announced the inclusion of $14 million for the Open Textbook Pilot Program in the Senate Appropriations Committee's Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The funding includes more than $8.2 million in continuation awards to complete funding for the sec… Continue Reading


10.21.21

Durbin Introduces Bill To Improve Concussion Safety In Youth Sports

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act to strengthen elementary and secondary school procedures for preventing, identifying, and treating student-athletes who suffer concussions. The National Federation of State High School Associations estimates that about 140,000 students playing high school sports suffer concussions every year, though many go unreported. Durbin's bill requires states to adopt "when in dou… Continue Reading


10.08.21

Durbin Statement On Department Of Education Establishing An Enforcement Office Within Federal Student Aid

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced the reestablishment of an Office of Enforcement within Federal Student Aid. This action restores an office that was established in 2016, but dismantled by the previous Administration: "Reestablishing an aggressive enforcement office at the Department of Education is key to holding for-profit colleges accountable and protecting students and taxpayers. … Continue Reading


08.19.21

Durbin, Duckworth Lead Members Of Chicago Delegation In Letter To Head Start Community To Encourage Continuing Services Amid New Funding Process

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with U.S. Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL-7), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL-4), Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Marie Newman (D-IL-3), Bobby Rush (D-IL-1), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), sent a letter to encourage the Chicago Head Start community to continue supporting families during the COVID-19 pandemic while the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Chicago are transitioning to a n… Continue Reading


08.03.21

Durbin Questions Witnesses At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today questioned witnesses at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled "Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform." Currently 45 million Americans hold more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Unlike most other types of debt, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extremely rare circumstances. Durbin asked Christopher Chapman, President and CEO of AccessLex Institute, and E… Continue Reading


08.03.21

Before Judiciary Committee Hearing On Student Loans, Durbin Meets With Illinois Attorney General Raoul

WASHINGTON - Prior to today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on student loan bankruptcy reform, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. During the hearing, AG Raoul testified about the need for student loan bankruptcy dischargeability as a last resort to assist struggling student borrowers, particularly for students misled by for-profit schools that fail to provide adequate education. During their… Continue Reading


08.03.21

Durbin, Cornyn Introduce New, Bipartisan Bill To Allow Federal Student Loan Borrowers To Discharge Loans In Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced the introduction of the FRESH START Through Bankruptcy Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill that would restore the ability for struggling borrowers to seek a bankruptcy discharge for federal student loans after a waiting period of ten years. Currently 45 million Americans hold more than $1.7 trillion in studen… Continue Reading


08.02.21

Durbin Announces Illinois AG Raoul To Testify At Tomorrow's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul will testify at tomorrow's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled "Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform." AG Raoul will testify about the need for student loan bankruptcy dischargeability as a last resort to assist struggling student borrowers, including those who were misled into taking out large loans to attend for-profit schools that did not … Continue Reading


08.02.21

Durbin Announces Former For-Profit College Student To Testify At Tomorrow's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today announced that Diane Barta, a former Ashford University student, will testify at tomorrow's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled "Student Loan Bankruptcy Reform." Barta will testify about her experience attending Ashford University - a for-profit college recently purchased by University of Arizona that has long been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations and lawsuits… Continue Reading


08.02.21

Durbin, Warren, Brown Urge Department Of Ed To Protect Students During Closure Of Fradulent Center For Excellence In Higher Education Schools

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging him to assist students impacted by the closure of Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE) schools. Last year, a Colorado state court found CEHE had defrauded students by using predatory tactics and false advertising. In previous letters, the Senators called on the Department to withhold Title… Continue Reading


07.22.21

Durbin, Duckworth, Hirono, Booker Introduce Bill To Expand Public Service Loan Forgiveness To Adjunct Professors

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today introduced the Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act to allow part-time faculty at colleges and universities - who are often paid low wages with few benefits - to be eligible to participate in the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. PSLF is designed to encourage graduates to pursue a career in public service by offering loan forgi… Continue Reading


07.09.21

Durbin Statement On Department Of Education Approving 1,600 Borrower Defense Claims For Former Westwood College Students

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education announcing that it has approved 1,600 borrower defense claims from former Westwood College students, amounting to $53 million in relief. Of the 1,600 claims discharged, 488 belonged to Illinoisans, totaling $16 million in relief. In 2012, then-Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a suit against Westwood College for using deceptive marketing in violation of… Continue Reading


07.08.21

Durbin, Murray, Colleagues Submit Public Comment On Rulemaking To Department Of Education, Urge Accountability Of For-Profit Colleges

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), led a group of 10 Senators in sending a public comment to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the Department's upcoming accountability rulemaking related to improving program integrity, oversight accountability, and consumer protection for institutions of higher education that receive taxpayer-funded federal financia… Continue Reading


07.02.21

Durbin Statement On Department Of Education OIG Report On Dream Center Schools

CHICAGO - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the Trump Department of Education's handling of the conversion and closure of Dream Center schools. The report found that under the direction of Principal Deputy Undersecretary Diane Auer Jones, the Department of Education failed to comply with its own internal procedures in order to assist in finding a buyer for the finan… Continue Reading


06.24.21

Durbin, Duckworth, Schakowsky, Garcia, Trahan Introduce Mentoring To Succeed Act

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL-4), and Lori Trahan (D-MA-3), introduced the bicameral Mentoring to Succeed Act to provide a strong, sustainable support system through mentorship to ensure that children who experience barriers like poverty, inadequate schooling, disability, adverse childhood experiences, or drug or alcohol abuse, can su… Continue Reading


06.22.21

Durbin Talks For-Profit Colleges, Student Debt With Federal Student Aid COO

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met virtually with Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid Richard Cordray to discuss protecting students from predatory for-profit colleges and student loan bankruptcy. On the call, Durbin received an update about the Biden Administration's efforts to reverse damaging policies enacted during the Trump Administration. Cordray noted that the Department will soon be considering revisions to the borrower defense rule that would … Continue Reading


06.16.21

Durbin Urges Secretary Of Education Cardona To Take On For-Profit Colleges And Help Struggling Student Borrowers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today, at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services hearing about the Department of Education's Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Budget Request, urged Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to bring greater accountability and oversight to the for-profit college industry. In his remarks, Durbin highlighted that for-profit colleges and universities enroll just eight percent of all post-secondary students … Continue Reading


06.10.21

University Of Illinois System Awarded $1 Million Open Textbook Pilot Grant

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the University of Illinois (U of I) System has been awarded $1.08 million from the U.S. Department of Education's Open Textbooks Pilot Program - a competitive grant program based on Durbin's Affordable College Textbook Act. The funding will support the creation and expand the use of open college textbooks - textbooks that are available under an open license, allowing professors, students, researchers, and others to f… Continue Reading


05.04.21

Durbin To Senate Republicans: American Families Plan Is Not 'Radical Socialism'

WASHINGTON - In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today slammed Senate Republicans' argument that President Joe Biden's American Families Plan is 'radical socialism.' Durbin argued that providing safe, affordable, quality child care is not 'radical socialism' and offering two years of free community college is not 'radical socialism,' like many Senate Republicans are suggesting. President Biden's American Families Plan would make education more affordab… Continue Reading


04.23.21

Durbin Urges Illinois Education Professionals To Sound The Alarm On For-Profit Colleges

SPRINGFIELD - With high school seniors making decisions about their plans for higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) is enlisting the help of Illinois high school principals, counselors, and teachers to warn college-bound students and their families about the risks associated with attending for-profit colleges. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted in-person learning, a report from the National Student Clearing House found that private for-coll… Continue Reading

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