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Remembering Rep Williams, Fed $ for R&D on Ed, Biden’s New Student Loan Proposal, New Faces of CT Ed

Remembering CT State Representative Q Williams

Last week, the State of Connecticut began to mourn the loss and honor the life of State Representative Quentin Williams, who was killed in a car accident shortly after being sworn into the legislature and attending the inaugural ball.

He is being remembered for his positivity, talent, dedication to community, and advocacy on behalf of student equity and families in our state. The Capitol Complex was closed on Thursday and Friday, and Governor Lamont ordered the state flag lowered to half-staff. It’s a devastating tragedy for the state. Our thoughts are with Q’s family, colleagues, friends, and the many who loved him.

Nerd Alert: Fed $ Goes to Research & Development for Ed On Thursday, The 74 covered a new $70M investment in the Institute for Education Sciences, as part of the $1.7T federal spending bill that was signed into law at the close of 2022. Of that budgetary increase, $40M is allocated for research, development, and dissemination of solutions to improve education outcomes for students. It’s eventually intended to spin off into a new center within the National Center for Education Research, one that will mirror the Pentagon's research and development branch at DARPA. The article describes how the federal government has disinvested in federal education research over the past decade and how this recent legislation was spurred by efforts to reverse that trend. Worth a read!

President Biden’s New Proposal for Student Loans

Yesterday, the Biden administration unveiled draft regulations for a new student loan repayment program. As explained by the New York Times and others, among numerous changes, the proposal would:

  • Update the existing Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan by reducing payments from 10 percent of discretionary income to 5 percent;

  • Allow more low-income borrowers to qualify for zero-dollar payments; and

  • Ensure that balances don't accumulate in excess of a borrower’s calculated student loan payment due to unpaid interest.

Forbes' coverage notes that the proposed regulations will now face a public comment period, after which they could be revised further; the hope is that these changes will be available later in 2023.

“These proposed regulations will cut monthly payments for undergraduate borrowers in half and create faster pathways to forgiveness,” says a press statement from Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, “so borrowers can better manage repayment, avoid delinquency and default, and focus on building brighter futures for themselves and their families.”

Introducing: The CT Legislators Who Will Lead on Ed in 2023

Since the start of session, we’ve seen a series of important legislative committee appointments that will impact the shape of education policy in 2023. In particular:

  • Education Committee Co-Chairs Senator Doug McCrory and Representative Jeff Currey

  • Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee Co-Chairs Senator Derek Slap and Representative Gregory Haddad

  • Appropriations Committee Co-Chairs Senator Cathy Osten and Representative Toni Walker

  • Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Chairwoman Senator Pat Billie Miller and Vice-Chair Representative Antonio Felipe

Congratulations, all! It’s going to be an exciting legislative session with these leaders at the helm, and we are enthusiastic about all that we can accomplish together!


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