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Former Ohio Attorney General and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Cordray in Warren, Ohio, in 2018. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Education Department announced Monday that former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray has been appointed chief operating officer of federal student aid.

Why it matters: The former Ohio gubernatorial candidate will oversee the $1.6 trillion portfolio of student loans and other financial aid programs in the high-profile role. His appointment was cheered by progressives who are pushing for the federal government to cancel student debt.

The big picture: President Biden has proposed canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt for every borrower, but some Democrats want to go further.

  • Cordray has close ties to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who drove the establishment of the CFPB during the Obama administration and has been leading progressives' calls for an overhaul of the student loan system.

What they're saying: Warren tweeted that Cordray "was a fearless" CFPB "who forced big financial institutions to return $12 billion to people they cheated."

  • "I'm very glad he’ll be protecting student borrowers and bringing much-needed accountability to the federal student loan program," she added.
  • Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement, "Cordray has a strong track record as a dedicated public servant who can tackle big challenges and get results.
"I am confident that under his leadership, Federal Student Aid will provide the kind of service that our students, families, and schools deserve."
— Cardona

Go deeper

Iowa schools say federal pandemic relief distributed inequitably

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Some Iowa schools will get a tiny fraction of what others get in federal COVID-19 relief and have called on elected officials to find a more equitable way to distribute hundreds of millions of dollars, district officials said at a taxpayer association meeting last week.

  • Waukee schools estimates DSM's share is 49 times greater than Waukee's cut — a nearly $140 million difference.

Driving the news: A formula used to allocate the money is intended to help provide all children with a fair and equitable education, but some districts say it has missed the mark.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
55 mins ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

2 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.