Hello and welcome to another roundup of the top education stories. It has been a long week, and a lot has happened. Here is our recap.
The FCC votes to repeal net neutrality regulations
The Republican majority on the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal Obama-era rules that restrict the power of Internet service providers to favor specific websites and apps. This dramatic reversal in favor of providers has propelled the once-wonky issue of net neutrality into the mainstream, turning it into an increasingly political matter.
The 2015 rules were put in place to prevent Internet providers from controlling what people can access and how quickly they can access it by, for example, blocking websites or apps and meddling with loading speeds.
Educators rely heavily on technology in the classroom, so the repeal could dramatically impact the way students learn. Librarians across the country have also raised concerns about access.
Activists are next expected to push Congress for a vote under the Congressional Review Act that would block the FCC's repeal from taking effect. Consumer advocacy groups and state attorneys general are also planning lawsuits.
Revisions to SALT
Last week, we used this space to explain how Republicans had proposed, as part of the tax overhaul, to limit federal write-offs that many Americans receive for paying their state and local income, sales and property taxes. As we reported, limiting those federal deductions would make it harder for state and local governments to raise money for schools.
This week, in an effort to reconcile their tax proposals, House and Senate Republicans tweaked their deduction plans for state and local taxes. Instead of the original pitch, which was to eliminate them for sales and income taxes entirely while capping property tax deductions at $10,000, the new compromise would reportedly allow all SALT deductions — for sales, income and property taxes — but keep them under that $10,000 cap.
Is that a relief to folks who worry this will hurt states' and communities' ability to raise new public school dollars?