Close contacts with any unmasked exposure to persons with COVID-19 had significantly higher odds of receiving a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result compared with those who had only masked exposure. In addition, close contacts who had multiple exposures, whether masked or unmasked, had higher odds of a positive test result than did those with only a single exposure. The percentage of positive test results among close contacts in this study (30.7%) was similar to that observed in previous studies (approximately 31%) (2,3). Consistent with findings from studies in nonuniversity settings (4,5), the findings from this study reinforce that universal masking and having fewer encounters in close contact with persons with COVID-19 helps prevent further transmission in in-person university settings.
Wearing masks and having fewer encounters with persons with COVID-19 reduced the odds of transmission in a university setting. In addition, there was no evidence of secondary transmission from either of the two students with only masked exposure who received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, and who, because of the modified protocol in place, were allowed to forego quarantine. Universities opening for in-person instruction could consider taking mask use into account when determining which unvaccinated close contacts require quarantine if enforced testing protocols are in place. CDC recommends that universal masking be adopted in indoor spaces for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons in areas with substantial or high transmission rates and that masks should be worn in indoor spaces in areas without substantial or high transmission rates if you are not fully vaccinated (9). In addition, CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for individuals aged ≥12 years.
A decade since the Great Recession hit, state spending on public colleges and universities remains well below historical levels. Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges in the school year ending in 2018 was more than $7 billion below its 2008 level, after adjusting for inflation. (See Figure 1.) In the most difficult years after the recession, colleges responded to significant funding cuts by increasing tuition, reducing faculty, limiting course offerings, and in some cases closing campuses.
The promise to past generations of students in America has been that if you work hard and strive, public colleges and universities will serve as an avenue to greater economic opportunity and upward mobility. For today’s students — a cohort more racially and economically diverse than any before it — that promise is fading.
Rising tuition threatens affordability and access leaving students and their families –– including those whose annual wages have stagnated or fallen over recent decades — either saddled with onerous debt or unable to afford college altogether. This is especially true for students of color (who have historically faced large barriers to attending college), low-income students, and students from non-traditional backgrounds. Higher costs jeopardize not only the prospects of those individual students but also the outlook for whole communities and states, which are increasingly reliant on highly educated workforces to grow and thrive.
To build a prosperous economy — one in which the benefits of higher education are broadly shared and felt by every community regardless of race or class — lawmakers will need to invest in high-quality, affordable, and accessible public higher education by increasing funding for public two- and four-year colleges and by pursuing policies that allow more students to pursue affordable postsecondary education. By doing so, they can help build a stronger middle class and develop the entrepreneurs and skilled workers a strong state economy needs.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) [2019 file photo].
On Twitter yesterday, directed at Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D):
Chris Geidner @chrisgeidner
Today is revealing who Pete is as clearly as anything else he’s done during this campaign, and it’s remarkably disappointing. This disingenuous BS is turning the Democratic vision of governing on its head. And both Pete and Lis know that, which makes it all the worse.
Lis Smith @Lis_Smith
If you think that a worker who didn’t go to college should pay for college for a CEO’s kid, then @PeteButtigieg isn’t your candidate. [….]
If you put Pete and Lis in the middle of any great moment of the expansion of the Democratic vision for America, today’s argument would have been not to do more and make America better, but too do less, and expect less, and be less.
All I keep doing is transporting Pete and Lis into the era of the New Deal and the Great Society and becoming more and more disappointed in this disingenuous line of attack.
A vision of providing for all—whether it be education, health care, retirement, social security, infrastructure, transit, libraries—means all. This vision of exclusion being pushed by Pete & Lis undermines the entire Dem governing argument for WHY government should provide these.
Dems arguing that those who want to provide a service to all are “paying for billionaires” is so dispiriting to see. Pete & Lis arguing for the merits of Pete’s proposal as more workable or realistic is one thing, but arguing that doing more is BAD is an awful Dem position.
It’s their argument that is turning, in my words, the Democratic vision of governing on its head — not Pete’s proposal in and of itself. That’s why I didn’t say anything about it until they decided to argue that doing more, covering all, was actually bad policy.
From Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s (D) campaign web site:
Freedom means access to affordable higher education.
While higher education remains a clear pathway for much of the middle class, for too many–particularly for students of color and low-income students–those paths are littered with hurdles. We must make public college truly debt-free for lower-income families. We will do this through a state-federal partnership that makes public tuition affordable for all and completely free at lower incomes–combined with a large increase in Pell Grants that provides for basic living expenses and keeps up with inflation. Middle-income families at public colleges will pay zero tuition.
We will cancel the debts of borrowers in low-quality, overwhelmingly for-profit programs and invest $50 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving institutions (MSIs), which are critically important institutions that deserve more dedicated support.
Other Critical Policy Areas
Confront student loan debt
Provide more support for students entering public service
Ensure the highest degree of transparency and accountability for higher education institutions
Apply strict standards to for-profit higher education institutions
This evening from Representative Holly Rehder (r) via Twitter:
Holly Rehder @hrehder
I was proud to stand with my fellow members of the Missouri House and President Trump today in saying NO to a budget that would give illegal immigrants in-state tuition. Missouri citizens must come first!
[….] 6:56 PM – 9 May 2019
Some of the responses:
Let’s get real. The university system needs the revenue thanks to rampant fiscal mismanagement in Jefferson City.
It’s not us against them.
It is in Donald Trump’s (r) world.
This is gross.
What do I, as a Missouri citizen, get out of you making life more difficult for others? How does this “put me first”? Will my tuition go down? Tell me how hurting others helps me.
This is inherently racist. People are not illegal and this does nothing to help anyone get an education. Of course an educated electorate is not what Republicans have ever been interested in.
Claiming “Missouri citizens must come first!” as you tear apart initiatives voted in by….(wait for it) Missouri citizens. I think I’ll respect the voters and vote blue.
I see you “believe in god and that people are inherently good” look up hypocrisy because you are it in spades.
I guess you skipped church day they covered “The soul who sins dies. The son won’t bear the punishment of his father’s sin and the father won’t bear the punishment of his son’s sin”
Missourah portion of the state is so embarrassing.
DACA recipients are “considered by DHS to be LAWFULLY present during the period deferred action is in effect.”
How do you, as an elected official, not know this?
Washington University issued a statement opposing proposed Missouri legislation on Title IX Wednesday.
Missouri Senate Bill 259 and Missouri House Bill 573, introduced Jan. 15 and Jan. 16, respectively, both propose changes that would allow more protection for the accused in Missouri Title IX cases than in any other state.
The University wrote in their statement that “SB 259 and HB 573 would interject an alternate process that would be re-traumatizing and re-victimizing. This would have a chilling effect on students’ willingness to come forward with claims and reverse years of effort at our university to create an environment that encourages our students to report incidents of sexual assault and misconduct.”
SB 259 would remove the anonymity of the accuser and allow the accused to personally sue their accuser if the court finds the claim was false. The bill does not make a distinction between claims that are false and those that cannot be authenticated.
HB 573 would allow for the cross-examination of the accuser. Both bills would allow the accuser to see the evidence against them and give students the ability to sue their university if a court finds the student did not receive due process.
“To be clear, at Washington University we are intent on a Title IX process that is thorough and fair to all parties involved,” the University’s statement read. “The proposed state legislation is not the way to get there.”
SB 259 passed out of the Senate’s education committee Feb. 26, HB 573 had its public hearing March 5.
Dean Dohrman (r) [2017 file photo].
The House bill, introduced by Representative Dean Dohrman (r):
Creates new provisions relating to rights of accused college students in Title IX proceedings
Sponsor: Dohrman, Dean (051)
Proposed Effective Date: Emergency Clause
LR Number: 0202H.01I
Last Action: 03/05/2019 – Public Hearing Completed (H)
Bill String: HB 573
Next House Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: Bill currently not on a House calendar
HB 573 — DUE PROCESS PROCEEDINGS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
This bill defines “institution of higher education” and provides, students in higher education, due process protections and allows students to request that Federal Title IX procedural hearings be heard before the Administrative Hearing Commission (Section 173.1898 RSMo).
This bill allows students to request a hearing for formal Title IX complaints to the Administrative Hearing Commission. Hearing procedures are set forth in the bill and will follow methods used in Missouri civil cases (Section 173.1900).
This bill allows any students in an institution of higher education past or present that has received a disciplinary action in a Title IX case to appeal to the Administrative Hearing Commission (Section 173.1905).
The Administrative Hearing Commission shall compile relevant statistics on the cases it hears (Section 173.1907).
This bill provides institutions of higher education guidance for Title IX formal complaints. This guidance includes interim measures that avoid depriving any student of education during investigation and resolution of the formal complaint.
Notice of the right to request a hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission must be provided.
This bill sets forth hearing procedures for Title IX formal complaints.
To reach a determination of responsibility, the decisionmaker or decisionmakers shall apply the clear and convincing evidence standard (Section 173.1910).
The bill specifies that failure to provide due process for a Title IX proceeding will entitle students to a civil cause of action.
It will be considered a breach of contract for the institution of higher education and be considered an illegal act by the Attorney General for purposes of investigation (Section 173.1915).
This bill authorizes the Attorney General to investigate alleged or suspected violations and impose the fine of $250 thousand dollars for violations of a student’s due process. The bill further outlines information that should be collected regarding procedures and policies for formal complaints (Section 173.1925).
The bill defines “exempt record” and “personally identifiable information,” and provides that any record related to a Title IX formal complaint or investigation would be considered an exempt record (Section 173.1930).
The bill contains an emergency clause.
There’s strong opposition to this weakening of Title IX:
These bills weaken protections for sexual assault survivors at colleges and universities by changing how complaints are handled under Title IX, a measure aimed at protecting students from sex discrimination — including sexual assault.
House Bill 573 and Senate Bill 259 would compromise the safety of sexual assault survivors and deter students from reporting sexual assault. The bills allow students with a complaint ﬁled against them to bring the investigation to Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission, taking campus disciplinary proceedings out of the hands of universities and burdening survivors with onerous legal standards designed for criminal and civil courts.
● By applying the discovery process of civil court proceedings, the bills give the accused the power to obtain personal information and compel communication from the survivor and witnesses before the hearing. Survivors and their friends may be subject to “interrogation” in writing or in-person, which may be videotaped. These powers are inappropriate for the setting and could eﬀectively require survivors to hire an attorney.
● They would allow those with a school sexual misconduct complaint ﬁled against them to sue whoever accused them if the administrative courts decide it was a false claim. The bill does not deﬁne “false” or diﬀerentiate between claims that are intentionally false versus those that cannot be corroborated.
Reporting sexual violence can be difﬁcult, and many survivors never come forward. These bills make it even less likely that survivors will report a sexual assault.
● Allowing accused perpetrators to cross-examine survivors and witnesses in school disciplinary settings will allow rapists to intimidate survivors into silence.
● The President of the Association of Title IX Administrators estimated that crossexamination process would lead to a 50 percent drop in the reporting of sexual assault on campuses.
● According to RAINN, only 20% of sexual assault survivors currently report their assault to law enforcement due to stigma, trauma, and fear of retribution.
Raising the burden of evidence to a “clear and convincing” standard makes it harder for schools to hold sexual abusers accountable.
● The measures apply legal procedures that are appropriate to criminal and civil proceedings, not school disciplinary actions. They go so far as to prohibit “all parties” from using the term “survivor,” mandating instead the term “complainant.” This level of unnecessary intervention disempowers universities and survivors.
● There is bipartisan agreement that the “clear and convincing” standard is inappropriate for campus disciplinary proceedings. In 2004, the Bush Administration found Georgetown University noncompliant with Title IX for using a “clear and convincing” standard. This standard of proof is unreasonable for school disciplinary action, and most survivors would not be able to meet it — particularly if they cannot hire an attorney.
What is the penalty for non-compliance with Title IX? Does it include losing access to Title IV funding. If so, that’s the quickest way to bankrupt every higher education institution in the state of Missouri.
“…In 2004, the Bush Administration found Georgetown University noncompliant with Title IX for using a ‘clear and convincing’ standard…”
If a “preponderance of evidence” is the Title IX standard, why implement “clear and convincing” standard?
So, who is pushing this legislation?:
Kingdom Principles? At the Missouri Secretary of State web site:
Name Kingdom Principles, Inc
Type Nonprofit Corporation
Charter No. N000709329
612 East Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Status Good Standing
Date Formed 8/15/2018
“…3. No public institution of higher learning shall deny a political or ideological student organization any benefit or privilege available to any other student organization, or otherwise discriminate against such an organization, based on the expression of the organization, including any requirement that the leaders or members of such organization:
(1) Affirm and adhere to the organization’s sincerely held beliefs;
(2) Comply with the organization’s standards of conduct; or
(3) Further the organization’s mission or purpose, as defined by the student organization…”
Nazis and Fascists, oh my.
“You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he [Donald Trump (r)] added.
A decision matrix.
A bill, introduced on Wednesday by Representative Dirk Deaton (r):
To amend chapter 173, RSMo, by adding thereto two new sections relating to higher education.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 173, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto two new sections, to be known as sections 173.1559 and 173.1560, to read as follows:
173.1559. As used in this section and section 173.1560, the following terms shall mean:
(1) “Benefit”, recognition, registration, the use of facilities of the public institution of higher learning for meetings or speaking purposes, the use of channels of communication of the public institution of higher learning, and the use of funding sources that are otherwise available to other student associations or organizations in the public institution of higher learning;
(2) “Exercise of religion”, any practice or observance of religion, whether compelled or mandated by, or central to, a system of religious belief;
(3) “Public institution of higher learning”, any state postsecondary educational institution governed or supervised by a board erected under chapter 172, 174, 175, or 178; a board of trustees of a community college; or any state board for any other technical school;
(4) “Substantially burden”, an action by a public institution of higher learning that directly or indirectly:
(a) Penalizes conduct or expression that reflects a student’s sincerely held religious beliefs;
(b) Denies a student an opportunity to engage in religious activities; or
(c) Pressures a student to engage in conduct or expression contrary to a sincerely held religious belief or not to engage in conduct or expression motivated by a sincerely held religious belief.
73.1560. 1. No public institution of higher learning shall take any action or enforce any policy that denies a religious student association any benefit available to any other student association, or otherwise discriminate against a religious student association with respect to such benefit, based on that association’s requirement that its leaders or members adhere to the association’s sincerely held religious beliefs, comply with the association’s sincere religious observance requirements, comply with the association’s sincere religious standards of conduct, or be committed to furthering the association’s religious missions as such beliefs, requirements, standards, or missions are defined by the 9 association or religion upon which the association is based.
2. No public institution of higher learning shall substantially burden a student’s exercise of religion unless the institution can demonstrate that application of the burden to the student is in furtherance of a compelling interest of the public institution of higher learning and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling interest.
3. No public institution of higher learning shall deny a political or ideological student organization any benefit or privilege available to any other student organization, or otherwise discriminate against such an organization, based on the expression of the organization, including any requirement that the leaders or members of such organization:
(1) Affirm and adhere to the organization’s sincerely held beliefs;
(2) Comply with the organization’s standards of conduct; or
(3) Further the organization’s mission or purpose, as defined by the student organization.
4. Any student, religious student association, or political or ideological student organization that has been aggrieved as a result of a violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding against the public institution of higher learning and obtain appropriate relief, including damages, against that institution.
Does that mean that you can’t punch Nazis? Just asking.
Representative Hannah Kelly (r) [2019 file photo].
A bill, introduced yesterday by Representative Hannah Kelly (r):
Prohibits public institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious student association or denying a religious student association any benefit available to any other student association
Sponsor: Kelly, Hannah (141)
Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2019
LR Number: 1782H.01I
Last Action: 02/06/2019 – Read Second Time (H)
Bill String: HB 837
Next House Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: HOUSE BILLS FOR SECOND READING
This bill prohibits public institutions of higher learning from taking any action or enforcing any policy that denies a religious student association benefits available to other student associations. The bill also prohibits discrimination against a religious student association based on its requirement that leaders of the association adhere to its sincerely held religious beliefs, religious practice requirements, or religious standards of conduct.
The bill also authorizes aggrieved religious student associations to seek appropriate relief in a judicial or administrative proceeding against a public institution of higher learning that violates the requirements of the bill.
This bill is similar to HB 2074 (2018) and HCS HB 642 (2017).
If Pastafarians want to hold a spaghetti dinner on campus on Talk Like a Pirate Day would that qualify? Would this exempt them from having to provide a separate sauce for vegetarians? Just asking.
University of Central Missouri President Chuck Ambrose [2016 file photo].
The following is an op-ed written by Chuck Ambrose, the President of the University of Central Missouri:
State Support for Higher Education an Investment in Missouri’s Economic Future
As Missourians, we all have a stake in our state’s economic success. As such, we should be cognizant of critical factors that contribute to stronger communities which also mean better public schools for our children and services to improve the quality of our lives. While our state faces budget challenges, higher education continues to be an exceptional asset in helping to meet economic as well as social goals, and citizens deserve a strong public policy in support of colleges and universities as an investment in the public good required to drive Missouri’s future forward. Continued reductions in appropriations for higher education are only hindering the opportunity to maximize the potential these institutions provide the state, and most importantly, directly to its people.
Growing jobs and creating an environment that stimulates the economy for all Missouri residents is the goal. Studies show the value of a college degree includes an enhanced lifetime earning potential of $1 million more for graduates versus those without a degree. Additionally, a well-educated workforce is good for local businesses seeking to broaden their consumer base. Amidst a growing need for the state to be more competitive on a global level, we must consider who is going to provide training for a workforce that is well prepared to seek out new markets for home-grown goods and services overseas. Evidence of Missouri’s desire to enter this realm includes a recent bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Kansas City. A globally competitive environment for business requires a globally competitive commitment to higher education, and public higher education institutions are ready to respond.
Some 359,492 students are currently served by post-secondary education throughout the state. Collectively, we must ask ourselves how do we value these students’ place and the impact 27 public and 25 private campuses hold within Missouri’s public policy agenda? If they are important, then the current divestment trend must be reversed.
In order for higher education to achieve its full potential as an economic driver, there must be a stronger commitment to funding Missouri’s colleges and universities to ensure that students are not priced out of the opportunity to earn a degree. Institutions themselves also have a role in exploring and implementing new initiatives to help meet accessibility and affordability goals so that students do not bear the burden of rising educational costs and an escalating college debt load. But higher education institutions can’t do this alone.
During the past two decades, state support for public higher education has decreased dramatically, from 65 percent of Missouri public institutions’ total revenue to about 35 percent currently. Using the University of Central Missouri as an example, the net state appropriation for Fiscal Year 2018 was $52.7 million, considerably below the $57.9 million budgeted net appropriation for FY17. This is almost a $400 decline in funding per student in one year. Unfortunately, maintaining an accessible, affordable education will not get easier as the Missouri governor’s recommendation for FY19 funding dips to the 2004 state appropriations level.
While the decline in state funding presents a financial challenge, at UCM the focus on student success has meant finding ways to keep students from shouldering the impact of these revenue declines. This means keeping tuition below the consumer price index while still maintaining a quality education; an aggressive completion agenda; maximizing opportunities to create public K-12-higher educationbusiness partnerships such as The Missouri Innovation Campus and Innovation Track programs that reduce the time to degree completion and students’ debt; and becoming the first institution to implement the 15-to-Finish Scholarship concept to keep students on track for timely degree completion.
By contributing to a better economy, higher education can help break the cycle of poverty across the state. Meeting this goal also includes serving many first-generation, low-income students who are pioneering the education trail for their families.
Considering the benefits of a higher education, it is hoped that future public policy will recognize the value proposition Missouri colleges and universities represent for the state. Public institutions are positioned to deliver opportunities that will drive local economies, but more state support is needed to ensure costs are not passed onto Missouri families and that access to college and its affordability remain attainable goals.
Dr. Chuck Ambrose, President University of Central Missouri
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE MORGAN. 4731H.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 174, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to higher education tuition policy, with an emergency clause.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 174, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 174.820, to read as follows:
174.820. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Missouri Tuition Equity Act”.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, for the purposes of tuition, fees, and admission, the governing board of any Missouri higher education institution that receives any state funds whatsoever shall deem an individual a Missouri resident, unless or until the individual establishes a residence outside of Missouri, if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The individual resided with his or her parent or guardian, or was emancipated while attending a public or private high school in this state;
(2) The individual graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this state;
(3) The individual attended school in this state for at least two years as of the date the individual graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;
(4) The individual entered the United States prior to the enactment of this section;
(5) In the case of an individual who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, the individual provides the higher education institution with an affidavit stating that the individual will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so.
3. No Missouri higher education institution that receives any state funds whatsoever shall deny admittance to a student based solely on his or her immigration status, provided the student has satisfied the requirements of this section.
4. Any information collected under this section as part of a student’s admission shall remain confidential.
Section B. Because of the importance of providing educational opportunities for Missouri high school graduates, this act is deemed necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace, and safety, and is hereby declared to be an emergency act within the meaning of the constitution, and this act shall be in full force and effect on July 1, 5 2018, or upon its passage and approval, whichever occurs later.
Investment in education by the state is essential for every individual and the future of the state.