E-Update for the Week of January 7, 2019

E-Update for the Week of January 7, 2019

Highlights:

  • On January 3, both the House and the Senate began the first session of the 116th In the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected to serve as Speaker of the House with 220 votes. Fifteen Democrats did not vote for the Speaker.
  • On January 3, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the Republican committee assignments for the 116th Congress. The assignments are subject to ratification by the Republican Conference and the full Senate, which will take place the week of January 7. Notably, Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is no longer serving on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Senator Young is replaced by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT).
  • On January 2, POLITICO reported that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will officially reorganize the Department on January 6. Major changes to the Department include the consolidation of the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the Deputy Secretary; the consolidation of the Office of Innovation and Improvement into the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; the merge of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer with the Office of Management to create the Office of Finance and Operations.

Budget & Appropriations:

House restores “PAYGO” rule in new rules package: The House voted 234-197 to support a proposed rules package, H.Res 6, for the 116th Congress. The rules package includes a variation of the “Gephardt rule” which allows the House to suspend the debt limit once it adopts a budget resolution. Currently, the debit limit is expected to be reached on March 1 after a temporary suspension of borrowing authority expires. Additionally, the rules package includes the “pay-as-you-go” rule which requires that any increase in mandatory spending or tax cut that increases the deficit or reduces a surplus be offset by other spending cuts or revenue increases. This rule has been suspended since Republicans gained control of the House in 2010. A joint press release from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern is here. A statement from House Rules Committee Ranking Member Steve Womack (R-AR) is here. The proposed rules package is here.
January 3, 2019

Congress:

Senate:

Senate begins 116th Congress: The Senate began the first session of the 116th Congress. Remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are here.
January 3, 2019

Republican committee assignments announced, Romney on HELP: On January 3, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the Republican committee assignments for the 116th Congress. The assignments are subject to ratification by the Republican Conference and the full Senate, which will take place the week of January 7. Notably, Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is no longer serving on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Senator Young is replaced by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). The full list of Republican assignments is here. A list of Democrat assignments, released by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is here.

House:

Scott elected as Education and Labor Chairman: The House Democratic Caucus elected House Education and Labor Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) to serve as the Committee’s Chairman. “As Chairman, I will work to expand access to the building blocks of a strong middle class – a quality education, a rewarding job, and affordable health care. These goals not only reflect the values of our Caucus, they have the overwhelming support of the American people,” stated the Chairman. The Chairman’s full statement is here.
January 4, 2019

House begins 116th Congress, Committee assignments undetermined: The House began the first session of the 116th Congress. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected to serve as Speaker of the House with 220 votes. Fifteen Democrats did not vote for the Speaker. The Speaker’s full remarks are here.

Relatedly, with the House now in session and Speaker Pelosi elected, committee assignments will be released within the coming days. Full membership could be finalized as early as mid-January.
January 3, 2019

Foxx calls for end to use of “vocational” education: House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member-designate Virginia Foxx (R-NC) published an opinion-editorial piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Stop Calling It [That]: How we speak about education reflects class prejudice.” In the piece, the Ranking Member argues for an end to using “descriptors” such as “vocational” and “technical” in front of the word education, as doing so “generate[s] misleading thoughts about the types of people who enroll in such programs.” The Ranking Member goes on to state, “We need to think about the words we use and why we use them if we are to break the stigma around all forms of education. If we don’t, we will never overcome the abiding sense of inequality and unfairness that so many Americans feel.” Ranking Member Foxx’s full piece is here.
January 2, 2019

Administration:

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

USED reorganizes department offices: POLITICO reported that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will officially reorganize the Department on January 6. According to USED Spokesperson Liz Hill, the reorganization will help “reduce redundancy in our work, maximize employee and organizational efficiency, and better leverage our staff’s substantial knowledge and expertise. Major changes to the Department include the consolidation of the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the Deputy Secretary; the consolidation of the Office of Innovation and Improvement into the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; the merge of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer with the Office of Management to create the Office of Finance and Operations. POLITICO has more information here.
January 2, 2019

Publications (Outside Organizations):

  • On January 4, the RAND Corporation published a study titled, “Can Restorative Practices Improve School Climate and Curb Suspensions? An evaluation of the impact of restorative practices in a mid-sized urban school district.” The study examined the implementation of restorative practices in the Pittsburgh Public Schools district between 2015 and 2017. Key findings of the study include identifying that the implementation of restorative practices improved teachers’ perception of improvements in overall school climates; implementation reduced the average suspension rates; suspensions of African American students and low-income students decreased; and academic outcomes did not improve during implementation and worsened for grades 6-8. The full study is here.
  • On January 2, the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute released a study titled, “Coverage for Children Under 6 Reversed Course Between 2016 and 2017.” The study examined the rate of uninsured children under 6 years-old in the United States. The study found that the rate of uninsured children increased to 4.2%, reversing a trend of decreasing rates since 2008. The increase brings the level of uninsured children higher than 2015 rates. The full study is here.

Upcoming Events (Congressional & Administration):

  • On January 14-16, February 19-22, and March 25-28, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the USED Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Building Barnard Auditorium. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
  • On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Distance Learning and Educational Innovation Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the USED Potomac Center Plaza (PCP) Auditorium. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
  • On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Faith-Based Entities Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the USED Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Building Barnard Auditorium. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
  • On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the TEACH Grants Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. USED will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register to announce the location of the meeting. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.

Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):

  • On January 8 at 8:00 am, Inside Higher Ed and the Gallup Organization are co-hosting an event titled, “Global Higher Ed in Changing Times.” The event will focus on how globalization is impacting the American higher education system. The event will examine questions being raised about globalization and strategies for response, how students are moving around the world more frequently, how globalization impacts collaboration among scholars, and more. More information and registration are here.

Legislation:
H.R.62
A bill to amend the Head Start Act to authorize block grants to States for prekindergarten education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

H.R.63
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to develop a plain language disclosure form for borrowers of Federal student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

H.R.65
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow section 529 education accounts to be used for homeschooling expenses.
Sponsor: Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

H.R.69
A bill to amend part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow States, in accordance with State law, to let Federal funds for the education of disadvantaged children follow low-income children to the public school, charter school, accredited private school, or supplemental educational service program they attend, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

H.R.103
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish fair and consistent eligibility requirements for graduate medical schools operating outside the United States and Canada.
Sponsor: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

H.R.126
A bill to direct the Election Assistance Commission to carry out a pilot program under which the Commission shall provide funds to local educational agencies for initiatives to provide voter registration information to secondary school students in the 12th grade.
Sponsor: Rep. Al Green (D-TX)

H.R.231
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide loan deferment and loan cancellation for founders and employees of small business start-ups, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

S.5
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit against tax for qualified elementary and secondary education tuition.
Sponsor: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

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