Read NPR's Weekly Summary of Education News.
Andrew Harnik / AP
Supreme Court Appeals Against Trade Unions
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that public sector unions can no longer charge fees to non-members. The decision of 5-4 in Janus against AFSCME will concern government employees including teachers and could have a major impact on the future of teacher unions.
In 22 states, public sector workers who are not members of their unions still have to pay compulsory union fees to support collective bargaining. But some non-members disagree with trade union policy. And while the unions were technically prohibited from using these fees for political activities, the court ruled that the charges still violated the First Amendment rights of these non-members.
Justice Samuel Alito said in the majority opinion that concerns about freedom of speech prevail over fears of free-riders (the non-members who benefit from collective bargaining without paying union dues).
Researchers predict that teachers' unions will lose members and money without the opportunity to collect these fees. They also say that the decision of Wednesday could pave the way for a stronger grassroots organization among teachers and other educators. Teachers in several countries rioted this spring protesting for more school funding and / or higher pay. They did this both with and without union support.
California Sues Large-Scale Credit Provider
The State of California sues Navient, a large student loan company, for "misconduct in the maintenance and collection of federal student loans."
The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the lawsuit at a press conference on Thursday, in which he said that Navient hindered borrowers for repayment options and collection fees and hindered giving borrowers inaccurate information. The lawsuit was filed on Friday.
"Where the federal government has dropped the ball on the protection of our hard-working students, California will pick it up," Becerra said Thursday.
Earlier this year, the Education Department headed by Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a new policy requiring student loan debtors such as Navient not to answer state regulators. They only have to comply with the laxer federal regulations in some cases.
Navient collects loan payments for lenders, and it is one of the largest US companies, providing loans to approximately 12 million borrowers.
In a statement, Navient President and CEO Jack Remondi said California's lawsuit "is another attempt to blame a single service provider for the failures of the higher education system and the federal student loan program to deliver desired results."
In 2017 The Consumer Protection Bureau also sued the company for more expensive plans for mismanagement of loan payments and the guidance of borrowers. This case is still ongoing.
Justice Kennedy leaves records on educational decisions – and questions about the future
Justice Anthony Kennedy announced Wednesday his resignation from the US Supreme Court, leaving room for a new appointment and raising questions about future decisions, including those related to education.
In 2010 Christian Legal Society v. Chr. Martinez agreed with Kennedy on the campus in accordance with the liberal majority in a case about freedom of expression. The court ruled that a public law school did not violate the First Amendment when it refused official recognition to a student group that had not admitted all students.
Kennedy also wrote majority opinion in 2016 Fisher v The University of Texas at Austin which decided that colleges have the right to use the breed as an admission factor.
The legal issues surrounding affirmative action seemed to have been resolved by the court, but Kennedy's retirement could change that. [19659012DerselbeAktivistderdieKlagegegendieUniversitätvonTexasunterstützteführtjetztStudentenfürgerechteAufnahmendieGruppedieHarvardUniversitätüberdieAufnahmepraxisdieserSchuleverklagtStudentenfürfaireZulassungenbehauptendassHarvardgegenamerikanisch-asiatischeBewerberdiskriminiert