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Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren introduce ‘College for All’ plan


Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday introduced his plan to provide free college tuition along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Calif.).

Free college for all Americans was one of Sanders campaign platforms which managed to garnerthe support of his younger audience during the primaries. The College for All act would eliminate college tuition at four-year universities for students from families that make up to $125,000 a year. Community college would be tuition-free.

Our job is to bring forward a progressive agenda, Sanders said. We can win this fight when millions of Americans stand up and demand this legislation.

During President Trumps first three months, he has worked to repeal Obama-era regulations that limited rates loan agencies could charge people who chose to default on their student loans. Trumps budget proposal made cuts to higher education funding for low-income Americans by a total of $5 billion. It would be difficult for a free college tuition plan to pass duringTrumps administration.

Even during the primaries, Hillary Clinton was a strong opponent for Sanders campaign promise as it had no income cap for those who would be eligible for free tuition. Sandershas pivoted on that point.

The plan would cost $600 billion, which would be financed by a tax on Wall Street speculation. The government would pay 67 percent of tuition subsidies. State governments would be required to pay the other third.

Students would be able to refinance existing loans at lower rates.

When Sanders first introduced a similar bill in 2015, he had no support from co-sponsors. Today there are five Senate members who are co-sponsoring the bill including Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

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‘Trump lies all the time’: Bernie Sanders indicts president’s assault on democracy

Exclusive: the former presidential candidate suggested that Donald Trumps false claims serve a purpose to push the United States toward authoritarianism

Bernie Sanders has launched a withering attack on Donald Trump, accusing him of being a pathological liar who is driving America towards authoritarianism.

In an interview with the Guardian, the independent senator from Vermont, who waged a spirited campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, gave a bleak appraisal of the new White House and its intentions.

He warned that Trumps most contentious outbursts against the media, judiciary and other pillars of American public life amounted to a conscious assault on democracy.

Trump lies all of the time and I think that is not an accident, there is a reason for that. He lies in order to undermine the foundations of American democracy.

Sanders warning comes 50 days into the Trump presidency at a time when the country is still reeling from the shock elevation of a real estate businessman and reality TV star to the worlds most powerful office. In that brief period, the new incumbent of the White House has launched attacks on former president Barack Obamas signature healthcare policy; on visitors from majority-Muslim countries, refugees and undocumented immigrants; and on trade agreements and environmental protection programs.

Speaking to the Guardian in his Senate office in Washington DC, Sanders said that he was concerned about what he called Trumps reactionary economic program of tax breaks to billionaires and devastating cuts to programs that impact the middle class. But he reserved his most excoriating language for what he believes are the presidents authoritarian tendencies.

He charged Trump with devising a conscious strategy of lies denigrating key public institutions, from the mainstream media to judges and even the electoral process itself, so that he could present himself as the sole savior of the nation. The aim was to put out the message that the only person in America who stands for the American people, the only person in America who is telling the truth, the only person in America who gets it right is the president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Trumps fragile relationship with the truth has been one of the distinguishing features of his fledgling administration. He astonished observers by calling a judge who issued a legal ruling blocking his travel ban a so-called judge, accused Obama without producing any evidence of wiretapping Trump Tower, and claimed falsely that up to 5 million votes had been cast illegally in the November election.

Sanders, however, suggested the lies all serve a purpose. To underline his point, Sanders compared the 45th president with the 43rd. George Bush was a very conservative president, I opposed him every single day. But George Bush did not operate outside of mainstream American political values.

While the media spotlight remains firmly on Trump and the daily bombardment of his Twitter feed, quietly and largely unmarked, Sanders, the self-styled democratic socialist senator, is spearheading a nationwide resistance to the new administration. The Brooklyn-born politician is working in tandem with, though at arms length from, former senior advisers in his presidential campaign to rouse for a second time the vast army of young people who flocked to his cause in 2016.

He said that despite what he sees as the virulent threat of Trump, he finds comfort in the evidence that the resistance is already in full swing. You are seeing a very active progressive movement. Our Revolution a group which came out of my campaign other groups, the spontaneous Womens March, thats all an indication of the willingness of the American people to fight back for democracy.

Trumps end goal was to end up as the leader of a nation which has moved in a significant degree toward authoritarianism, he said. The only way to defeat that trend is for massive grassroots resistance, and clearly we are seeing that right now.

As examples of what he meant, Sanders pointed to the 150 rallies in 130 congressional districts that were held in one recent weekend alone. The events mobilized tens of thousands of people demanding meetings with their members of Congress to protest against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Sanders made a specific appeal to his Republican colleagues in Congress to join him in this resistance. He addressed himself directly to those Republicans who believe in democracy, who do not believe in authoritarianism. It is incumbent upon them, in this moment in history, to stand up and say that what Trump is doing is not what the United States is about, its not what our constitution is about. They have got to join us in resistance.

He added: I hope in the coming months to be working with some conservative Republicans, who I disagree with on every economic and environmental issue you can imagine, to say to this president that you are not going to undermine American democracy.

The Vermont senator also remarked on the ongoing inquiry into alleged connections between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government under Vladimir Putin. Intelligence agencies have accused the Kremlin of trying to distort the presidential election in Trumps favour by hacking into Democratic email accounts.

Russia played a very heavy role in attempting, successfully, I think, to impact our election. That is unacceptable, Sanders said.

We need to know what kind of influence the Russian oligarchy has over Trump. Many people are astounded. Here he is, seemingly in strong disagreement with Australia, with Mexico, with long-term allies; but he has nothing but positive things to say about Mr Putin who is an authoritarian leader.

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The 10 Americans who didn’t have a terrible 2016

From Samantha Bee and Bernie Sanders to Simone Biles and Beyonc, some figures made a big mark in the worlds of politics, sport and entertainment

For some people in the US, 2016 wasnt all bad. While the news cycle around them projected prominent incidents of death and despair, they managed to do their best work in spite of 2016s worst fortune, and in many cases, because of it.

Here are some of Americas winners of 2016.

Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee, the only female host on late-night TV, revealed herself as one of the sharpest and funniest tongues criticizing Donald Trump.

After years as a Daily Show correspondent, Bee launched Full Frontal With Samantha Bee in February this year. Her show is known for having one of the most diverse writing teams in television, and instantly began telling stories not just from a white dudes perspective.

Her monologues and stories on the election dominated Facebook and Twitter feeds, from questioning whether Trump can read, to interviewing his pearl-wearing young supporters and calling out white people for voting for him.

A furious Bee called bullshit on white male TV executives and hosts who tacitly supported Trump with TV appearances. Theyre not gonna live under a president who thinks of them as a collection of sex toys, she declared.

Michelle Obama

The first lady is the most popular person on the American political stage, according to a WSJ/NBC poll in October, which found 59% of people had a favourable opinion of her. She was the Hillary Clinton campaigns go-to surrogate in 2016, giving speech after speech in key swing states in an effort to shore up the vote and offering a warm, open contrast to Clintons more reserved personality.

Before she took to the trail, Obamas speech at the Democratic national convention was every bit as soaring and memorable as her husbands breakthrough address in 2004. Many in the crowd wept as Obama recapped the strides made as a result of her husbands election and looked ahead to what Clintons election would do for the country.

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The Guardian view on the US presidency: the time is right for a female leader | Editorial

Editorial: Hillary Clinton failed to take account of the populist anger and lost ground to the rightwing demagoguery of Donald Trump. But in belatedly recognising widespread frustration with elites she deserves to win

The final presidential debate, thankfully the last set piece in a wretched campaign, revealed what is admirable and loathsome in American politics. Hillary Clinton displayed a razor-sharp intelligence and a quick wit. Her facility with facts trumped Donald Trumps lack of them. Americans finally saw on Wednesday why Secretary Clinton had got rich from giving lectures after leaving office. Her fluency with words, which has earned her $22m in speaking fees, appeared to silence her opponent. Mr Trump, a boastful, thin-skinned billionaire who trades in racism and misogyny, was left squawking on the sidelines of the debate. His jibes revealed aman out of his depth. His answer was to plunge down deeper. By disgracefully refusing to rule out calling this a rigged election he gave up a fight he had by then lost.

Americans should vote for Secretary Clinton as an able and proven politician. A Trump presidency would be bad for America and dangerous for the world, so a vote for Secretary Clinton is the most effective way of preventing it. Mr Trump has been exposed for questionable tax arrangements, outrageous business practices and irregularities at his charity. The billionaire is a grabber and kisser of women who he presumed gave consent because he was famous. There are numerous allegations of sexual assault by Mr Trump. He has demonstrated that he has neither the conscience, training nor sense of history and the desire to be judged well by it to occupy the White House. Secretary Clinton possesses such attributes. She has a serious and sustained commitment on issues like education, healthcare and equality, and she has stood consistently for the rights of women, ethnic minorities, children and the disabled through her long career.

However, there are fewer reasons to vote for Secretary Clinton than one would have hoped. For more than two decades she has been part of a political establishment that shaped a dysfunctional country. She has been unable to escape being tarnished by the most damaging policies notably around criminal justice ofher husbands administration. There are well-founded concerns, highlighted by transcripts of her speeches, that she is too close to Wall Street to be an effective check onits excesses ifelected.

The mood for change

Even so, as the first female president she would represent a symbolic transformative change in American politics. In some ways what Secretary Clinton has had to deal with are ingrained cultural attitudes about what success and leadership look like. These were exposed by the finding that Mr Trump would win if only men voted and Secretary Clinton would win if only women voted. That most men favor MrTrump over Secretary Clinton demonstrates at some level a more insidious sexism than the one Mr Trump peddles: that centred on the mind, not the body. It is a hostility deeply embedded but rarely conceded against seeing women as genuinely equal.

There is little doubt that the 2016 presidential campaign has been one of the most confrontational contests of the modern era. The mood for change has been more pervasive and volatile, and has been supercharged by Mr Trump, a braggart with tyrannical instincts. The backdrop to this election has been genuine and understandable public anger about economic insecurity, growing inequality and frustration with elites. Mr Trump on the right and Bernie Sanders on the left have reflected that mood in their very different ways. That is not going to disappear after 8 November. The election has also raised real questions about the crisis of American democracy. Mr Trump encouraged violence against opponents and threatened to jail Secretary Clinton if he took office.

The civility that has marked out US democracy as ordered and restrained appears dead. The next president will have to resurrect it. The political topography of a polarized and resentful nation has been obscured by the preternatural equanimity of Barack Obama. Mr Trump has in some ways skilfully exploited these divisions. On social security he has moved to the left on the campaign trail, telling jobless Americans that he would not touch their benefits. Mr Trump also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the landmark measure that increases health coverage for low-wage workers and benefits large numbers of immigrants and minorities. This contrasts with the real estate magnates offer to expand the US health programme for the elderly Medicare which benefits overwhelmingly older, whiter voters.

These dog whistles have been part of American politics for decades. But they come at a time when there is a sense that there are too many losers from economic growth in the country. Driving discontent in the US is a system that no longer defuses high levels of inequality with opportunities for all. Themiddle classes are poorer today than in 2000. Since the Great Recession the top 1% of families in the US have captured 52% of the income growth. Theres understandable anger that the wealthy were bailed out while ordinary Americans were hollowed out. Voters rage that, in the current incarnation of globalization, jobs that disappeared when the US decided to import rather than manufacture did not come back they simply popped up elsewhere, usually in China.

The Sanders effect

Nowhere has this fury been more keenly felt than in the countrys former manufacturing heartlands, tapping into Americas long history of resistance to free trade and making protectionism a potent political force once again. The politician who has shaped the politics of the country and accounted for populist anger is Senator Sanders. The man from Vermont understood, earlier than most, that voters see the economy as rigged against them by a political system that has been corrupted by big money. His campaign was backed three to one by millennials in the Democratic primaries. This month his favorability ratings in opinion polls are only bettered by MichelleObama.

Senator Sanders insurgent campaign has transformed Democratic politics forcing Secretary Clinton to adopt, albeit sotto voce, key planks of his program such as a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour, tuition-free public college and opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership President Obamas big trade deal. Until this week, Secretary Clinton failed to outline enough of a bold reform program. Tellingly, she offered signs of one in the final televised debate, making unprompted promises to push immigration reforms, a key Sanders point, within the first 100 days of her presidency.

Although domestic politics has framed the campaign, Secretary Clintons election would be greeted with relief and optimism in most world capitals other than Moscow and Damascus. Despite her hawkish outlook, she will have no alternative but to recognize that the 21st century no longer always looks to the United States as an indispensable hegemon, whether benign or threatening. Secretary Clinton should focus on US soft, not hard, power dealing with climate change and working out fairer global trade arrangements.

If Secretary Clinton is elected she must recognize the mood without pandering to its demons. She needs to bring the bold ambition about the role of government to this era that Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt each did in earlier times. She has the intelligence, the seriousness and the experience to do this. TheUS presidency is hugely powerful: 10% of all posts in federal government are allocated on the basis of political patronage. Secretary Clinton offers the best chance of ensuring those jobs go to competent people. Her choice of Treasury secretary in the aftermath of the banking crisis will be watched with special care, as will an olive branch appointment to Senator Sanders of the kind that president Obama made to her in 2008. She offers the greatest hope that the supreme court defends abortion rights and looks again at issues like campaign finance as well as background checks on gun owners. Yet America will soon find itself weakened at home and abroad if the new president is as badly served by congress as Mr Obama has been for most of his tenure.

There is a danger, if Mrs Clinton wins, thatthe Republicans will relapse into the Hillary-hatred that has marked them for a quarter century. The tragedy of this election isthat, to become president, Secretary Clinton has had to talk more radically than she actually felt; to be an effective president she may be compelled to act more conservatively than shenow says she wants to do.

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Bernie Sanders goes to bat for Clinton in her fight to win over young voters

Former rivals star power palpable as he campaigns for Hillary Clinton at University of New Hampshire, in a state he won in the Democratic primary

Hillary Clinton turned to the magnetic power of Bernie Sanders on Wednesday as her battle continued to persuade younger voters to rally to her cause.

For months, Sanders and Clinton were often irascible rivals, as she edged towards the Democratic nomination and he continued to inspire a movement of millennials.

And on campus in the battleground state of New Hampshire, Sanders star power was still there for all to see as hundreds of young voters formed a line snaking across campus, which left many to make do with a spot in an overflow room as he spoke.

But while Sanders has appeared in the past to be a reluctant cheerleader, with the race now entering its final six weeks, he left the audience in no doubt it was imperative Americans elect Clinton as their next president.

All of you know that this is a very tight election. And in fact, New Hampshire could decide the outcome, he said. So I am asking you here not only to vote for Secretary Clinton, but to work hard, to get your uncles and your aunts, to get your friends to vote.

His words were delivered with genuine passion in the state where he chalked up his first primary win, setting off his remarkable underdog run.

Audience members wear campaign buttons at the Durham, New Hampshire, rally. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Clinton and Sanders campaigned together at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, where they detailed a plan on college affordability before a crowd of roughly 1,200. The event marked their second joint appearance on the campaign trail, following Sanders endorsement of Clinton at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in July.

The Vermont senator, whose grassroots campaign for the Democratic nomination drew crowds of tens of thousands of people across the country, emphasized the importance of the election by invoking the names of billionaire Republican donors who were dedicating a combined total of more than $1bn on the 2016 race.

If anybody tells you that this election is not important, you ask them why the Koch bothers and Sheldon Adelson and other billionaires are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect their candidates, Sanders said.

This election is enormously important for the future of our country. It is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as our next president.

Sanders then joined Clinton for a discussion on their joint proposal, which would provide free tuition to public universities and colleges for middle- and working-class families.

The staying power of Sanders as a powerful voice among young voters has remained a palpable factor in the election. While the majority of Sanders voters have rallied behind Clinton, polling has found millennials still uneven in their support for the former secretary of state. One recent survey found that a third of voters under the age of 30 said they planned to vote for third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

Sanders has increased his presence on the campaign trail, along with other high-profile surrogates such as first lady Michelle Obama and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, with a focus on courting college students whose priorities include issues such as student loans, campaign finance reform and climate change.

The boost Sanders can help to bring was evident on Wednesday, and in her own remarks, Clinton praised Sanders and his campaign as having energized so many young people. Although the contest was at times bitter, the Democratic nominee sought to draw a contrast between the dynamics within the two parties.

Im proud of the primary campaign that Bernie and I ran, Clinton said. We ran a campaign about issues, not insults.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders acknowledge the audience a campaign stop at the University Of New Hampshire. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP

She added that Sanders was one of the most passionate champions for equality and justice who I have ever seen, and referred to the senator as her friend.

Clinton shared her own personal experience with student loan debt, but noted she was fortunate to have found a job after college and did not face the same circumstances as families today who grapple with rising tuition costs. Declaring Sanders as absolutely right on college affordability, Clinton said she looked forward to working with the senator to pass and implement their plan if elected president.

Under the proposal, families earning less than $125,000 a year would be eligible for free tuition from public colleges and universities. Clintons platform, dubbed revolutionary by Sanders, would also enable students to refinance their college debt and make community college free.

To those perhaps reticent to embrace her, Clinton urged them not simply to consider her name but the issues on which she has campaigned.

Highlighting climate change as an example, Clinton said she never thought in her July acceptance speech at the Democratic national convention that she would have to include the sentence: I believe in science.

Its not just my name on the ballot, Clinton said. Every issue you care about it think about it, because in effect its on the ballot, too.

The next 40 days will determine the next 40 years.

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Bernie Sanders: the upstart who pointed the way toward a political revolution

His campaign was appealing for its unconventional vibe, but it was his message about the economic injustices of modern America that resonated with millions

He thinks hes running for mayor of America, whispered an exasperated campaign aide as Bernie Sanders attempted to slip quietly into a well-known Chicago diner for breakfast.

The morning of the Illinois primary in March was pregnant with anticipation, one of the several moments in the past 14 months when the presidency of the United States was conceivably up for grabs. The night before, thousands of euphoric supporters had shaken the fabric of the citys Auditorium Theatre with their stomping and cheers. Yet, here the former of mayor of Burlington was doing his best Larry David impersonation, awkwardly curbing the enthusiasm of those around him by trying to make as little fuss as possible about eating an omelette in front of a dozen cameras.

Gruff and avuncular, Sanders inspires affection and respect among those who work for him but, occasionally, frustration too. The breakfast at Lou Mitchells was intended as a photo opportunity, designed to show their candidate chatting with ordinary people and indulging in the sort of retail political theatre that the Clintons, Bushes and Barack Obama have made an indispensable hallmark of power.

When Sanders chose instead to walk briskly to his table and get on with his eggs, it summed up why millions of voters were drawn to him: despite, and often, due to this lack of polish, they were attracted to the campaign of a cranky old man who many had barely heard of previously, who was unafraid to describe himself as a democratic socialist and who, most of all, refused to play by the rules.

Over the course of this unlikely campaign, I covered more than 50 Sanders events for the Guardian. It was a only a fraction of the several hundred rallies that this 74-year-old and his wife Jane clocked up, but it was enough to encounter a remarkably consistent explanation for his ultimate victory in 22 states as he fought Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president. Many voters were excited about someone willing to rail against an economic and political system that was rigged against them and unafraid of dreaming big about an alternative vision of America. But all of them, critics included, were agreed that here was a rare breed in public life: an authentic.

Eventually, Sanders himself began to realise there was power in this anti-charisma. During walkabouts in New York and California like Illinois, two more primaries where expectations of Sanders performance briefly ran far ahead of the eventual reality a political rock star began to look comfortable with his fame. The adulation he received from fans during all those packed rallies helps partly explain why he was reluctant to let it go, long after those around him had privately conceded the delegate arithmetic was insurmountable. But another factor was that he had only just gotten used to the idea that he stood a chance at all.

On a cold February night in Iowa, the unthinkable became thinkable. After a stunning start to a presidential primary season that would soon smash all the conventional rules, Sanders finally began believing he could become the first self-proclaimed socialist in the White House.

Earlier that evening, the independent senator from Vermont had held Hillary Clinton tantalizingly close to a tie in the Iowa caucuses. As a presidential candidate, she was deemed so inevitable that few serious Democrats even considered running against her for the partys nomination. Yet the former secretary of state and first lady came within a few votes of losing her first encounter with the unpredictable 2016 electorate. This time it was not the charismatic Barack Obama rewriting the script, but an even more unknown outsider who was promising, and now threatening to deliver, a political revolution.

More election earthquakes were to follow. Within a week, Sanders would win New Hampshire by a record landslide. Soon after that, he would defy a 20-point deficit in opinion polls to take the primary in Michigan too. A string of successive victories in states out west would lead to dreams of even pulling off an upset in California.

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Jane Sanders’ former college closes doors citing burden of land deal she orchestrated

Washington (CNN)Burlington College, the small private liberal arts school in Vermont once headed by Jane Sanders — wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — has announced it will close its doors permanently at the end of this month due to the “crushing weight” of debt incurred from a real estate deal during her time as president.

In a statement provided to CNN, the college said that all of its current students will be able to “continue their education at a neighboring college and graduate as scheduled.” As far as students who were planning on attending the school in the fall, they will be “welcomed to colleges within Vermont, of their choosing.”
    Jane Sanders was president of the school from 2004 to 2011 — a tumultuous and highly contentious period in the college’s history.
    Sanders’ plan to raise the small school’s profile and attract more students was to purchase land for a new campus, 33 acres on the shores of Lake Champlain. The college of approximately 200 students planned on using the new buildings as “offices, labs, kitchens, library, gym, caf, and lounges” in addition to housing for 17 students and undeveloped lake front property.



      Jane Sanders urges Hillary Clinton to release speeches


    Documents obtained by CNN showed that the school applied for a $6.7 million loan in order to purchase the property from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. The school also borrowed $3.5 million from the Diocese itself.
    A Sanders campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs, told CNN that the campaign has “no comment at the moment.”
    Sanders’ time at the school, in particular this land deal, has come under close scrutiny as her husband’s presidential campaign gained steam. A local Vermont publication, “VT digger”, reported that Sanders overstated pledged donation amounts when the school applied for the loan.
    The loan application, provided to CNN by the Vermont Educational and Health Building Financing Agency (VEHBFA), showed that the school claimed that it would take in $2.6 million in pledged donations, and up to almost $6 million in possible donations, to help pay off their debts.
    In its application, the college claimed to have managed all its debt and “demonstrated a strong financial position that steadily trended upward over the last several years.”
    In the loan document, signed by Sanders, People’s United Bank requires that the college “receive commitments of a minimum of $2.27 million of grants and donations prior to closing.” Audits obtained by VT digger show that the school only took in $676,000.
    Jim Foley, general counsel of the VEHBFA, told CNN that “as far as the agency is concerned the loan documentation was fine” but that “hindsight is always 20/20. It looks like the college didn’t have the cash flow or the student enrollment” to maintain the financial burden of the loan.
    In 2011 alone, Sanders reported on the loan application that they had over $1.3 million in confirmed donations. An audit of the school’s finances posted online by a news organization showed contributions of only $127,655.
    The college has since sold the property, but in April they were told that their lender would not be renewing their line of credit — cutting off the cash flow the school needed to operate.
    The college has also been on probation with its accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, after failing to meet it’s “financial resources standard.” In their statement, the college said that they expected to lose their accreditation due to their finances in January.
    The combination of financial pressures and impending loss of accreditation lead the Board of Trustees to announce that they were closing the doors of school, saying that “there hurdles are insurmountable at this time.”

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