Topic

Betsy DeVos

14 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Betsy Devos

Tell Betsy DeVos: don't use taxpayer $$$ to arm teachers!

As reported by The New York Times, education secretary Besty DeVos is considering awarding federally funded grants to buy guns for schoolteachers as a way to prevent school shootings. DeVos’ plan represents a radical shift in education policy that for years has taken the position that the federal government should not fund weapons procurement for schools. It ignores Congressional mandates that expressly prohibit using federal taxpayer dollars to buy guns. In a cynical ploy to circumvent the prohibition of funding school weapons purchases, DeVos is contemplating raiding the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program to buy guns. Arming teachers is not the way to support students or enrich their academic experience.  Arming teachers is a misguided policy that substitutes NRA rhetoric about “good guys with guns" for rational solutions to prevent gun violence in schools. Educational advocacy organizations, law enforcement experts, parents and teachers themselves roundly oppose the strategy of turning educators into armed security guards. In a statement released after President Trump floated the idea of arming teachers in response to the Parkland school shooting, the National Association of School Resource Officers “strongly recommends that no firearms be on a school campus except those carried by carefully selected, specially trained school resource officers.” Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said arming teachers to prevent school shootings is “the height of lunacy.” Rick Myers, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association said he would be “hard-pressed to find someone in policing who thinks it's a good idea to arm teachers.” As Debra Ciamacca, a Marine Corps officer turned high school teacher explained, “Guns have no place in the classroom” because teachers will never have the training to make the split second decisions needed in active shooter situations. Furthermore, “weapons are not conducive to the teacher/student relationship.” Even among trained police officers, shooting accuracy is shockingly low. A 2008 Rand Corporation study of New York City police reported an average hit rate of just 18 percent. That's one reason why Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Educational Association, calls the idea of arming teachers “ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous.” In her letter to President Trump, Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million member American Federation of Teachers wrote, “The response we have heard is universal, most notably from educators who are gun owners, military veterans and National Rifle Association members: Teachers don’t want to be armed; we want to teach.” In a recent survey conducted by the NEA, 82 percent of their members said they would not carry a gun in school. Two-thirds of educators who own guns would not consider carrying a firearm on school property, and two-thirds also said they would feel less safe with armed teachers in their school. The voices of those who know best overwhelmingly oppose arming teachers. Tell Besty DeVos to listen to them and drop all considerations of using taxpayer funds to arm educators. (Poster Credit: BBDO Atlanta/Ad Age)

CT Against Gun Violence
65,979 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump, The Department of Education, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Aaron D. Ford, Barbara Bailey, Tina Orwall, Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, Richard J. Durbin, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Baldwin, Chris Murphy, Edward J. Markey, Ron Wyden, Debbie Stabenow, Cory A. Booker, John Carter, Grace Meng, Raul Ruiz, Kevin Yoder, Gerald E. Connolly, Barbara Comstock, Pedro Pierluisi, Tammy Duckworth, Steve Israel, Trent Kelly, Tom McClintock, Stacey E. Plaskett, Tom Reed, Eric Swalwell, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Frank Guinta, Christopher J. "Chris" Murphy

Protect the Borrower's Defense to Repayment Program (Student Loan Forgiveness)

Betsy DeVos Plans to Gut the Effectiveness of Borrower's Defense Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's proposed updates to BDAR will effectively kill this program's ability to eliminate fraudulent student debt. The latest round of proposed updates are the worst I've ever seen, literally, in a decade of following the student loan industry, including: 1. Requiring that the school you accuse of fraud or illegal activity must have committed it with "known falsity, intent to deceive, or reckless disregard for the truth"; making it significantly harder to receive approval for a discharge. 2. Making it impossible for anyone to make group claims (similar to class action lawsuits) against the schools, lenders and servicing companies who have scammed millions of ordinary Americans out of billions of dollars in student loans. 3. Changing the "institutional financial responsibility standards" applied to these schools, lenders and servicing companies to make it even more difficult to get any money back from them, even when they're found guilty of committing fraud! 4. Making it impossible to apply for a Borrower's Defense Discharge unless you've already defaulted on your loans, meaning that you would need to destroy your credit and voluntarily default on your debt to even have a chance of getting approved for a BDAR discharge. These changes will not help the ordinary American borrower. They're being put in place to protect the for-profit schools, wall street banks and big money student loan servicing companies preying on ordinary Americans via unsustainable student loan debt. This proposal must be stopped! Please, contact your elected representative, your Senators, and anyone else who will listen to let them know that you are 100% against these updates proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. If we can't stop these changes from going into effect, the BDAR program will be effectively gutted and our best access to student loan forgiveness will be cut off forever. Please share this petition with your friends, colleagues and family members, and request that they support us by spreading the message via Social Media. Without your support, Betsy DeVos will win and the Borrower's Defense Program will be entirely destroyed. The more people who see and sign this petition, the better the odds we have in stopping Betsy DeVos from killing the Borrower's Defense to Repayment Program. Previous Updates: The Department of Education has frozen the Borrowers Defense to Repayment Program. The Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program was created to erase "the federal loan debt of student borrowers who were cheated by colleges that acted fraudulently".  This program was originally negotiated by the Obama Administration, and set to go live on July 1st, 2017, but Betsy DeVos (head of the Department of Education) recently "froze" the new rules from going into effect, calling them "a muddled process that's unfair to students and schools". Mrs. DeVos has promised to create "a new rule-making committee to reconsider the matter from scratch", but she cannot be trusted to protect the financial interests of ordinary Americans, as has been made clear by her recent actions to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. In fact, Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey made it quite clear that Mrs. DeVos is woefully disinterested in helping the American taxpayer, as "since Day 1, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans."  The Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program was the most powerful, most needed Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program on the books in 2017, and the most important program for the hundreds of thousands of students impacted by the closures of ITT Tech, Corinthian Colleges, and several other massive for-profit schools. Without the Borrowers Defense to Repayment Program, these Americans will be stuck with billions of dollars worth of Federal student loans that never should have existed in the first place. This program was created to allow Americans to discharge loans that were created due to false promises and fraudulent claims by the schools who swindled students into believing they were purchasing a valuable education, but who received nothing but frustration and stress for their time and money. The plan to eliminate the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program is an outrage to everyone who has been abused by for-profit schools, and it's elimination is sure to devastate the finances of thousands of American families. We ask that Members of Congress do everything in their power to force Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education to restore the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program. References: https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-betsy-devos-is-upending-the-obama-era-legacy-of-higher-education/529025/ https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/08/betsy-devos-education-department-for-profit-colleges-debt/ https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/07/devos-regulatory-framework-means-less-pressure-colleges-tougher-standard-student https://www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2018/08/02/borrower-defense-trump-administration-sullies-otherwise-sensible-reforms/#1f2093f356e8 https://www.forgetstudentloandebt.com/student-loan-relief-programs/federal-student-loan-relief/federal-forgiveness-programs/defense-to-repayment-student-loan-discharge/

Tim Lavelle
2,542 supporters
Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Protect Foreign Language Programs In Our Schools

Please sign and share this petition to tell the U.S. Congress to reject the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts that would eliminate major funding for international education and foreign language programs. This legislation would directly impact our students’ academic performance, the American economy, and our country’s capacity to interact and compete with other nations. Language study is vital for facilitating intercultural communication and cooperation. The merit of foreign language programs lies in the exposure of students to the vast world beyond their respective communities. Languages are the bridge by which the United States can interact with other nations, and they are universally applicable to all fields of study. American companies lose an estimated $2 billion a year due to inadequate cross-cultural guidance for their employees in multicultural situations (Committee for Economic Development, 2006). Our students go on to work in jobs that require interactions with different countries and cultures, and foreign language skills are critical in these professional endeavors that contribute to economical growth. Students who completed at least four years of foreign-language study scored over 120 points higher on each section of the SAT than students who took a half year or less (College Board, 2016). Extensive research shows that the process itself of learning another language supports academic achievements and cognitive benefits. Thus, even for students who do not directly use a foreign language beyond formal education, their language classes nevertheless make a valuable contribution to their future. The Trump administration’s rationale for the proposed budget cuts is that international education and foreign language programs "suppor[t] activities that are better advanced by other agencies whose primary mission is national security." Diplomacy is the first step in national security before putting our troops in danger unless absolutely necessary. Retired U.S. military officers recently wrote a letter urging Congress to fully fund diplomacy in recognition of the fact that "many of the crises our nation faces do not have military solutions alone.” Not every student will go on to become an official diplomat, but our nation certainly stands to gain from diplomatic citizens who are culturally aware and appreciate global diversity as a result of foreign language classes. International education and foreign language programs foster the skills and values essential to cultivating the compassionate global citizens that will comprise our country's next generation of leaders. Put America first by protecting these programs in our schools. Help ensure that our next generation is equipped to actively engage with the diverse cultures of our world.

Jacquelyn Kim
1,266 supporters