E-Update for July 10, 2015

E-Update for July 10, 2015

EducationCounsel E-Update for July 10, 2015

U.S. Congress

House Passes the Student Success Act: The House passed H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, on a very close recorded vote of 218-213. The process began this week with the House Rules Committee meeting on July 7 to establish the rules and amendments in order for debate, and concluded a day later with the final passage of the bill. Of the 14 amendments in order, 5 were agreed to, 9 were not agreed to, and 1 was withdrawn. Notably, an amendment allowing parents to opt their students out of federal testing without a penalty to the school’s assessment participation rate was agreed to. Also, Senator Walker’s (R-NC) “A-PLUS” amendment, which sought to grant states greater flexibility in their use of federal education funds, was not agreed to.
July 8, 2015

Senate Begins Debate on the Every Child Achieves Act: The Senate began debate on S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), on July 7. This is the first time the full Senate has attempted reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with broad bipartisan support since the passage of No Child Left Behind. Notably, Sen. Alexander’s (R-TN) Scholarships for Kids amendment, which would have allowed federal funds to follow low-income children to the accredited or otherwise state-approved public school, private school, or supplemental educational service programs they attend, was not agreed to.  Also, an “A-PLUS” amendment introduced by Sen. Steve Daines (R-IL) was not agreed to. The amendment, like its House counterpart, would have granted states a very high level of flexibility in their use of federal funds.
July 7, 2015

Rep. Scott, Sens. Baldwin and Booker Introduce the America’s College Promise Act of 2015: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, introduced the America’s College Promise Act of 2015 (H.R. 2962), a bill to make 2 years of community or technical college affordable or tuition-free for eligible students. On July 8, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the companion bill in the Senate (S. 1716). The legislation comes after President Obama spoke in his State of the Union Address in 2015 about a goal to make 2 years of community college “as free and universal in America as high school.”
July 8, 2015

U.S Department of Education

Secretary Duncan Responds to House Passage of the Student Success Act: On July 8, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a statement after the House passed the Student Success Act in which he criticized the bill for failing to ensure that states and districts improve struggling schools and effectively serve all students. He also argued that the bill shifts resources away from students who need it the most.
July 8, 2015

Administration Issues Statement on the Every Child Achieves Act: The Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy for the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177). The statement praised the bipartisan effort that produced the legislation, but urged Senators to strengthen accountability measures to ensure supports for the lowest-performing schools. Also, the statement called for changes that would require states to develop plans to address resource inequities. The Administration did not issue a veto threat, which it had done during the consideration of the House Republican bill earlier this year.
July 7, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Grants Five States Waiver Renewals: The U.S. Department of Education announced that five states and Puerto Rico received ESEA flexibility renewals, also known as waivers. The five states receiving the extended flexibility are: Delaware, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. In total, 42 states have received flexibility from key provisions in the existing law. “The last six years have seen dramatic progress for America’s school children. The high school dropout rate is down, and graduation rates are higher than they have ever been,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
July 9, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Announces Plans to Expand Access to Income-Based Loan Repayment: The U.S. Department of Education announced plans to provide an additional six million federal student loan borrowers access to  loan payments capped at 10 percent of income (or income-based repayment). “A college education is one of the most important investments that Americans can make in their futures. Unfortunately, for too many hardworking families, it feels like a higher education is simply slipping out of reach,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “This proposal is an investment in our economy’s future that provides targeted benefits to even more borrowers, so they can stay current on their loans and furthers our commitment to lifting the burden of crushing student loan debt.”
July 7, 2015

Events

On July 15, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will host a webinar that will share findings from a newly released report assessing anti-bullying policy efforts across the United States. Specifically, the webinar will discuss results from a first-of-its-kind analysis of the anti-bullying policies from all U.S. school districts (over 13,000) – providing an in-depth view of the national landscape of anti-bullying policy efforts from the state to the district level. Register here.

On July 16, the Institute for Education Sciences will host a webinar entitled, “The ERIC Thesaurus – A Key to Finding Education Resources.” The webinar will explain methods to utilize the Thesaurus for search and discovery, the changes ERIC has undergone in recent years, and the work that goes on behind the scenes to maintain the Thesaurus. Register here.

On July 17, CLASP will host its annual forum on boys and young men of color entitled, “Investing in Youth of Color as Community Assets.” The forum aims to highlight effective practices and policies that can close the gaps in education, employment, and health outcomes for boys and young men of color. RSVP here.

On July 21, the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy will host a release event for a report entitled, “Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape.” The event will feature both the release of the report’s key findings and a series of conversations with experts on ensuring diversity in higher education. EducationCounsel’s own Art Coleman will moderate a discussion on the current policy and legal landscape at 11am. Register here.

New Legislation

H.R.2958 : Dine College Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 7/7/2015)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.2960 : TALENT Act
Sponsor: Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] (introduced 7/7/2015)      Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce; House Science, Space, and Technology

H.R.2962 : America’s College Promise Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [VA-3] (introduced 7/8/2015)      Cosponsors (65)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.2965 : Building on Local District Flexibility in IDEA Act
Sponsor: Rep Walberg, Tim [MI-7] (introduced 7/8/2015)      Cosponsors (4)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.2973 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require for purposes of education tax credit that the student be lawfully present and that the taxpayer provide the social security number of the student and the employer identification number of the educational institution, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Black, Diane [TN-6] (introduced 7/8/2015)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means

H.R.2988 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a grant program to fund additional school social workers and retain school social workers already employed in high-need local educational agencies.
Sponsor: Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] (introduced 7/8/2015)      Cosponsors (4)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

S.1708 : A bill to improve certain provisions relating to charter schools.
Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 7/7/2015)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.1710 : A bill to authorize a grant-matching program that strengthens and accelerates interventions in the lowest-performing elementary schools and secondary schools.
Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 7/7/2015)      Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.1716 : A bill to provide access to higher education for the students of the United States.
Sponsor: Sen Baldwin, Tammy [WI] (introduced 7/8/2015)      Cosponsors (11)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Publications

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014: A joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics, this annual report examines crime occurring in schools and colleges. This report presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources. The report covers topics such as victimization, bullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, the presence of security staff at school, and many others.
July 9, 2015

Identifying and Supporting English Learner Students with Learning Disabilities: Key Issues in the Literature and State Practice: This report aims to inform policymakers interested in developing procedures, including the use of guidelines and protocols, for identifying, assessing, and placing English learner students who may or may not have learning disabilities. The report describes 1) the key issues discussed in the research literature, and 2) current state procedures for the 20 states with the largest English learner populations.
July 9, 2015

Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics: This report summarizes the results of applying a methodology for mapping state proficiency standards onto the NAEP scales by using state public school data for the 2012–13 school year and the 2013 NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics for grades 4 and 8. The report also includes analyses of the results using the 2011 NAEP and state assessment data and revised estimates for 2009 reported in NCES 2011-458. The key finding is that the variation among state achievement standards continues to be wide.
July 9, 2015

The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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