Inmates serving time at San Quentin prison learn how to code. Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

A bipartisan bill ending a ban on prisoners' access to Pell Grants was introduced after several studies came out earlier this year that show higher education can reduce incarceration costs and recidivism, NPR reports.

The big picture: Members of both parties, including 2020 candidates Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker, have shown support for prison reform this year. The Trump administration has stressed financial aid for incarcerated students as a top priority, Deputy Secretary of Education Mitchell Zais said on Monday.

Why it matters: Expanding postsecondary education would save $365 million per year in state spending on incarceration, according to a January report from the Vera Institute. Expenditures on prisons in 45 states comes to a grand total of $43 billion, Vera’s 2015 data shows.

Background: Inmates have been banned from applying for Pell Grants since 1994, during the Clinton administration. In 2015, President Obama tested the program again with more than 10,000 inmates across 64 schools, called the Second Chance Pell.

  • The Trump administration will keep the pilot program going until 2020. Lawmakers are now debating whether to repeal the ban in an update to the Higher Education Act.

The other side: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), ranking member on the Education and Labor committee, said she doesn't support a repeal of the ban because there are better alternatives.

"We believe it's work-force development programs, not Pell, that can do the most good for incarcerated Americans, and that's where we should be looking."
— Marty Boughton, press secretary for the Committee on Education and Labor Republicans

Be smart: There aren't a finite number of Pell Grants, so expanding eligibility wouldn't prevent other students from receiving them.

Go deeper: First Step Act offers second chance to ex-con job seekers

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,288,573 — Total deaths: 693,805 — Total recoveries — 10,916,907Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,562 — Total deaths: 155,469 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Education — Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots should remain closed
  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.
Updated 3 hours ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias lashes the Carolinas

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities said they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Exclusive: Trump declines to praise John Lewis, citing inauguration snub

President Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” saying only that Lewis made a “big mistake” by not coming to his inauguration.

The big picture: Trump's comments were a glaring contrast with the praise Republicans and Democrats showered upon Lewis this week, and a default to personal grudges during a week of mourning for a civil rights hero.