E-Update for the Week of April 29, 2019
- On April 30 at 4:00pm, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Subcommittee is holding a markup of the FY2020 Labor/HHS appropriations bill. The text of the draft bill is expected to be released on Monday, April 29.
- On April 23, POLITICO reported that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) is not currently processing any borrower defense claims made by student loan borrowers, at least not those that will unlikely result in a student’s full loan being forgiven. There is currently a backlog of over 158,000 claims.
- On April 22, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) sent a letter to USED Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding a recent publication by the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL). The Senator raised concerns with NCIL’s recent publication titled, “Screening for Dyslexia” in which he was concerned with the level of scholarship contained within the publication.
Budget and Appropriations:
House Labor/HHS Subcommittee to markup on FY2020 appropriations bill on Tuesday: On April 30 at 4:00pm, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Subcommittee is holding a markup of the FY2020 Labor/HHS appropriations bill. The text of the draft bill is expected to be released on Monday, April 29. The markup will be livestreamed here.
April 30, 2019
The Senate was in recess last week. The Senate will resume session today, Monday, April 29.
Kaine, Whitehouse call on USED to ‘correct missteps’ on Public Service Loan Forgiveness expansion: Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos urging the Department to “correct missteps” taken in implementing the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program. The Senators urged the Secretary to implement a comprehensive strategy that would result in an increase in approval rates for loan relief under the program. The Senators request that the Secretary, within 30 days of receiving the letter, inform Senate authorizing and appropriations committees of the plan the Department will take to improve the program. The full letter is here. A press release is here.
April 25, 2019
Cassidy to DeVos on NCIL dyslexia publication – ‘lacks serious scholarship’: Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) sent a letter to USED Secretary DeVos regarding a recent publication by the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL). NCIL was created under the Every Student Succeeds Act and is managed by USED. The Senator raised concerns with NCIL’s recent publication titled, “Screening for Dyslexia” in which he was concerned with the level of scholarship contained within the publication. “Furthermore, it lacks the serious scholarship that a $1.5 million center should produce on behalf of taxpayers…,” wrote the Senator. Particularly, Senator Cassidy was concerned with the number of outdated references used in the publication, and the lack of proper peer review. The Senator urged the Secretary to “go in a different direction” if the current grant recipients apply for another grant through the Comprehensive Centers Program. The full letter is here. A press release is here.
April 22, 2019
The House was in recess last week. The House will resume session today, Monday, April 29.
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
Judge to rule against USED on delay of Obama-era online college regulations: POLITICO reported that a federal judge indicated the attempt to delay the Obama-era “state authorization” regulations regarding governance of online colleges did not allow for appropriate review through a negotiated rulemaking committee. and could require the Department to implement the regulations as soon as next month. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler stated in court that the Department failed to conduct a negotiated rulemaking process before issuing a two-year delay of the regulations. A POLITICO article is here.
April 25, 2019
USED not processing borrower defense claims, waiting for judge ruling on attempted rewrite: POLITICO reported that USED is not currently processing any borrower defense claims made by student loan borrowers, at least not those that will unlikely result in a student’s full loan being forgiven. There is currently a backlog of over 158,000 claims. According to Diane Jones, principal deputy undersecretary, the Department is waiting to process claims until a federal circuit court judge rules on the Department’s earlier attempt to rewrite the Obama-era borrower defense rule. The POLITICO article is here.
April 23, 2019
USED exploring expansion of Federal Work-Study to apprenticeship programs: USED principal deputy undersecretary Diane Jones addressed an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center during which she described USED potentially experimenting with making Federal Work-Study funds available for use with apprenticeship programs. Jones explained that the expansion of eligible uses would allow for institutions to partner with more employers and would support students who may be at risk of losing eligibility for Pell Grants. Currently, Work-Study funding is not included in the calculation of need used to determine Pell Grant eligibility. A POLITICO article is here.
April 23, 2019
OCR to investigate Maryland school district for race discrimination in admissions: The Washington Post reported that USED Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is investigating Montgomery County Public School district in Maryland for discriminating against Asian Americans in admission to the district’s magnet schools. OCR is investigating the school district after finding that Asian American enrollment has declined significantly at two high-performing schools. The office is investigating whether the district “engaged in purposeful, racial discrimination by adopting a universal selection process to intentionally exclude Asian and Asian American students from its magnet middle schools.” The claim of discrimination is supported by the same organization – Asian American Coalition for Education – that brought suits against Harvard and Yale for their admissions practices. The Washington Post article is here.
April 22, 2019
Institute of Education Sciences (IES):
IES to limit page number on publications, greater focus on implementation: The director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Mark Schneider, published an online publication titled, “First Year Accomplishments.” In the publication, Schneider outlines what he has led IES in accomplishing over the first year of his service. Specifically, Schneider describes filling all senior leadership positions in IES for the first time in five years; enacting a 15-page limit on all IES reports and publications to increase accessibility and readership; adjusting the definition of intervention effectiveness to be described in terms of “expected change in percentile rank for an average comparison group student;” and placing a greater focus on the What Works Clearinghouse “practice guides” and how those suggestions can be “‘taken to market’ through connections with regional partners.” The full publication is here.
April 23, 2019
Publications (Congressional and Administration):
- On April 24, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report titled, “Special Education: Varied State Criteria May Contribute to Differences in Percentages of Children Served.” The report analyzes eligibility criteria for special education services across four states and found that there is a high-level of variability between the states. The degree of variability can result in a student being eligible for services in one state, but ineligible for special education services in another. The full report is here. A press release from the House Education and Labor Committee Democrats is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On April 25, the Center for Legal and Social Policy published a report titled, “Inequitable Access to Child Care Subsidies.” The report analyzed families’ access to Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)-funded child care centers and analyzes access by race and ethnicity. Key findings of the report include identifying that on average only 8 percent of eligible children receive subsidies based on federal income eligibility limits; that only 12 percent of potentially eligible children receive subsidies based on state income eligibility limits; and that Black children had the highest rates of access nationally, while Asian and Latinx children had the lowest rates. The full report is here.
- On April 25, the National Consumer Law Center published a report titled, “Inequitable Judgements: Examining Race and Federal Student Loan Collection Lawsuits.” The report analyzes the frequency of federal student loan collection lawsuits and the location of where these are most likely to happen. Key findings of the report include identifying that debt collection lawsuits brought against defaulted student loan borrowers are disproportionately concentrated in communities of color; that such lawsuits are specifically concentrated in Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Florida; that 85 percent of cases were filed against student loan borrowers by private law firms that contract with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); and that 60 percent of cases result in a default judgement against the borrower. The full report is here.
- On April 25, the Century Foundation published a report titled, “Recommendations for Providing Community Colleges with the Resources They Need.” The report examines state community college funding across the country and compares it to the level of funding needed in order to support the high concentration of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Key findings of the report include identifying that only 38 percent of entering students in community colleges complete a degree or certificate within six years; that private research universities spend three times as much per student as community colleges on non-research educational functions; and that a federal-state partnership could be developed to support two-year institutions. The full report is here.
- On April 24, Third Way published a report titled, “Credential hurdles: 6 things slowing workers down.” The report examined the challenges that many working adults face when attempting to earn new credentials to advance their skills. Key findings of the report include identifying that many credentials do not build upon one another; that there is a significant lack of opportunities for learners to earn income while completing a credential program; and that there are not enough employer-sponsored training programs. The full report is here.
Upcoming Events (Congressional and Administration):
- On April 30 at 10:15am, the House Education and Labor Committee is holding a full committee hearing titled, “Brown v. Board of Education at 65: A Promise Unfilled.” The hearing is likely to explore the current state of school integration and efforts that have and can be done to improve this. No witnesses have been announced yet. More information will be here.
- On April 30 at 4:00pm, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Subcommittee is holding a markup of the FY2020 Labor/HHS appropriations bill. The markup will be livestreamed here.
- On April 30 at 2:00pm, the National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics is hosting an event titled, “NAEP Results: Technology and Engineering Literacy.” The event will feature results from the NAEP, specifically the national levels for students in Grade 8. A livestream is here.
- On April 30 at 2:15pm, Afterschool Alliance and the Senate Afterschool Caucus are hosting a briefing titled, “21st Century Community Learning Centers: Supporting Student Success Afterschool and During the Summer.” The briefing will highlight recent research on and experiences of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. More information and registration are here.
- Not Official: On May 8, it is expected that the full House Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2020 House Labor/HHS bill and report.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On April 30 at 8:30am, the Institute for Student Achievement is hosting an event titled, “Equity + Social, Emotional, and Academic Development = Supportive Schools.” The event will examine what schools and school districts are doing to ensure that all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved, are prepared academically and emotionally for the world after graduating high school. Deb Delisle, of the Alliance for Excellent Education, is a featured panelist. More information and registration are here.
- On April 30 at 3:30pm, New America is holding an event titled, “The First 10 Years: School And Community Initiatives to Improve Teaching, Learning, and Care.” The event will focus on the importance of the first decade of a student’s life and education career and what schools and communities are doing to improve children’s early experiences. More information and registration are here.
- On May 1 at 11am, New America is hosting an event titled, “Exploring Hate Online.” The event will launch New America’s new interactive web-project that intends to explore how hate is spread online and how it can be stopped. New America president and CEO, Anne-Marie Slaughter, is a featured presenter. More information and registration are here.
- On May 1 at 3:30pm, EdSource is hosting a webinar titled, “Unaffordable housing and teacher shortages: What can be done?” The webinar will discuss the challenges of teachers in terms of salary and affordable housing in the California context, and will explore promising strategies that are being employed to address these challenges. More information and registration are here.
- On May 1 at 4:00pm, the Hoover Institution is hosting an event titled, “Education 20/20 Speaker Series with Rod Paige and Peter Wehner.” The event will feature the two named scholars as they explore and debate school reforms and the future of improving public education. More information and registration are here.
- On May 2 at 8:00am, POLITICO is hosting an event titled, “What’s Next in Education: Teaching Coping Skills in the Classroom.” The event will explore the tools, practices, and curricula that have been attempted in order to reduce trauma and stress among students. Further, the event will explore the challenges of implementing said tools, as well as implementing high-quality social-emotional learning. More information and registration are here.
- On May 2 at 9:30am, New America is hosting an event titled, “Exploring Diversity In The Early Care & Education Workforce.” The event will focus on the growing body of research that is illustrating students benefit from teachers that share their culture, racial, and linguistic backgrounds, and how such findings compare to the current state of the early education workforce. More information and registration are here.
- On May 2 at 10:00am, the Urban Institute is hosting an event titled, “Sixty-Five Years after Brown v. Board, Where Does School Integration Stand?” The event will examine what has been done in the 65 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board, and the current status of school integration. More information and registration are here.
- On May 2 at 5:30pm, NWEA is hosting an event titled, “Innovation, Research & Advocacy – Designed with Equity in Mind.” The event will explore how equity has influenced education research and how it continues to be a driving force in current and future research efforts. More information and registration are here.