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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


After DeVos Delay, Durbin Urges Cardona To Grant Borrower Defense Discharges For Illinois Westwood College Students

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged the Department of Education to provide prompt federal student loan debt relief to approximately 3,600 Illinois students who were defrauded by Westwood College in 2012. Westwood College deceived Illinois students about the costs and accreditation of its criminal justice program and their prospects for employment upon completing the program. Westwood led Illinois students to believe that its criminal justice program was highly… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Announce $42.5 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 $42.5 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 sources of countless … Continue Reading


Durbin Meets Virtually with University of Illinois

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) met virtually with University of Illinois trustees, administrators, faculty, and students to discuss higher education affordability, including Pell Grants and open textbooks, and the recently passed American Rescue Plan. On the call, Durbin also praised the COVID-19 testing program developed by the university, SHIELD, which is now being used in more than 80 facilities across Illinois. "The University of Illinois is an institution that o… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With Illinois Members Of The American Library Association

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met virtually today with Illinois members of the American Library Association to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of federal funding to libraries. "Libraries provide important services to Illinois communities, families, and children," Durbin said. "Beyond books and local programming, libraries may also be one of the only local opportunities for people to connect with broadband internet service. During today's call, I pr… Continue Reading


Durbin, Baldwin, Smith, Bustos Introduce Bill to Address Teaching Disparities in Low-Income Communities of Color

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Tina Smith (D-MN), along with U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), today introduced a bicameral bill that would address severe nationwide shortages of early childhood and K-12 teachers that disproportionately impacts students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Exacerbated by low pay, school leadership instability, and poor teaching conditions, schools in low-income communities… Continue Reading


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

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