Congressional funding deal includes protections for school meals : Augusta Free Press


(© W. Scott McGill –

The bipartisan funding deal approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday includes language extending the USDA Child Nutrition waiver authority.

The move will give public schools the flexibility and support they need to continue school lunch and breakfast programs, and also allows child and adult care centers to operate as non-congregate and waives certain meal pattern requirements.

The language was proposed by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07).

“For many Central Virginia kids, school meals provide one of their only reliable sources of nutrition. To make sure these students stay healthy and strong, we need to give our schools additional certainty that

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Betsy DeVos Weakens Protections For Online Learning In Higher Education

Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released her final regulations for online education, otherwise known as “distance learning.” In a press release, DeVos said, “These regulations are a true ‘rethink’ of what is possible for students so that they can learn in the ways and places that work best for them.”

But many worry these regulations put innovation and institutional burden reduction interests ahead of quality and consumer protection needs. In fact, some version of the word ‘burden’ appears 52 times in the final rule; the word ‘safeguard’ only appears 9 times.

Federal higher education law requires distance education programs to provide “regular and substantive interaction” between instructors and students, so students aren’t left on their own to learn – they’re paying to learn from experts

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Department of Education sends mixed messages on transgender student protections

The Trump administration said it plans to investigate alleged discrimination against LGBTQ students following this summer’s landmark Supreme Court rulings that said sexual orientation and gender identity are protected traits under existing civil rights law — but only in certain circumstances, according to documents released by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

In updated guidance posted via a letter to various Connecticut schools, the Education Department said transgender students still can’t play on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity and instead should be assigned to teams that correspond with their biological gender at birth.

At the same time, in a separate case, the department said it agreed to investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation where a student alleged “homophobic bigot[ry]” at her school.

Sunu Chandy, the legal director at the National Women’s Law Center, said the two moves by the department are “totally at

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