E-Update for the Week of June 7, 2019

E-Update for the Week of June 7, 2019

Highlights: 

  • On June 5, the House Appropriations Committee announced the full House will be considering a five-bill minibus (a collection of multiple bills) beginning on June 12. The minibus will contain appropriations bills for the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Energy, Water Development, and the Legislative Branch. While some amendments may be considered on the House floor, it is unlikely any amendments will pass that will reduce funding overall for the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
  • On June 5, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S.1732, the “College Admissions Fairness Act.” The bill, which is in response to the recent college admission scandals, would strengthen tax code quid pro quo protections and would require that institutions establish a policy that prevents the consideration of a family’s donation into admission decisions. Without such a policy, colleges and universities would be limited to family donations of $100,000 over a six-year period.
  • On June 5, POLITICO published a series of documents related to USED’s deliberations in advance of proposing a regulation regarding Title IX, as it relates to sexual assault and harassment. The documents were released after a record request pertaining to the Department’s ongoing legal battle over its temporary Title IX guidance. The documents outline who the Department has met with and communicated with regarding Title IX sexual assault and harassment guidance and possible proposed regulations.

Budget and Appropriations:

House to consider first spending package Wednesday, 5 bill minibus likely to take multiple days to pass: The House Appropriations Committee announced the full House will be considering a five-bill minibus (a collection of multiple bills) beginning on June 12. The minibus will contain appropriations bills for the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Energy, Water Development, and the Legislative Branch. While some amendments may be considered on the House floor, it is unlikely any amendments will pass that will reduce funding overall for the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. It is likely the House will take several days to consider this appropriations package. A press release from the Committee is here.
June 5, 2019

Congress:

Warren, Pressley, Porter concerned with USED exploration of ISAs: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding the Department’s reported exploration of Income Share Agreements (ISA). The Members expressed their concern with ISAs and the possibility that the terms of such agreements can be predatory. “At a time when student debt stands at more than $1.5 trillion, it is deeply disturbing to see a Department official boosting novel forms of student debt instead of trying to stem the tide of indebtedness — and even more disturbing to hear the official propose using federal taxpayer dollars to do so,” wrote the Members. The Members request that the Department share details of any plan to possibly explore an ISAs experiment in order to ensure that the plans are in the best interests of students. The full letter is here. A press release is here.
June 4, 2019 

Senate:

Wyden introduces bill to address college admission scandals: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S.1732, the “College Admissions Fairness Act.” The bill, which is in response to the recent college admission scandals, would strengthen tax code quid pro quo protections and would require that institutions establish a policy that prevents the consideration of a family’s donation into admission decisions. Without such a policy, colleges and universities would be limited to family donations of $100,000 over a six-year period. “Colleges and universities would be able to preserve the tax deductibility of all donations if they simply bar their consideration in admissions decisions,” stated the Ranking Member. A press release is here. The bill text is here.
June 5, 2019 

House:

Education and Labor Committee explores USED response to natural disasters, USED announces new unit to improve response time and support: The House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing titled, “This Is Not a Drill: Education-Related Response and Recovery in the Wake of Natural Disasters.” The hearing focused on how U.S. Department of Education (USED) has responded to and supported areas affected by natural disasters, including the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on Puerto Rico in 2017. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan testified during the hearing. Democrats, led by Subcommittee Chairman Gregorio Killi Sablan (D-NMI), were focused on the delay facing schools and districts in receiving funds from the Department. “In response to these disasters, Congress has thrice approved funding to provide relief to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Yet, very little of the most helpful educational disaster relief funding has been spent and FEMA has not started rebuilding schools,” stated the Chairman. The full opening statement from Chairman Sablan is here. The full opening statement from Ranking Member Rick Allen (R-GA) is here. More information, including a recording of the hearing, is here.

During the hearing, Assistant Secretary Brogan announced that the Department would be creating a five-person Disaster Recovery Unit (DRU) to better support schools and districts in responding to the aftermath of natural disasters. “We ultimately believe that based on the number of natural disasters being identified and the amount of available dollars flowing to them through Congress that it was time that the Department of Education also install a full-time dedicated unit to be the nucleus of activities on these issues,” stated Brogan. The Assistant Secretary explained that the DRU will help ensure that schools and districts are able to draw on federal funds effectively and quickly and monitor how funds are being spent.
June 5, 2019 

House Blue Dogs wary of legislation that forgoes PAYGO rule, call on Leadership to ‘restore fiscal discipline’: Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) — co-chairs of the Blue Dog Coalition, which is a caucus of House Democratic members supportive of fiscally responsible policies — sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) regarding the House’s recent passage of bills waiving Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule. The PAYGO rule essentially requires that tax cuts and increases in mandatory spending be offset by tax increases or decreases in mandatory spending. The letter comes on the heels of the House passing H.R.6, the “American Dream and Promise Act of 2019,” which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would add $30 billion to the national deficit. The Members argue that the rule should not be disregarded for future pieces of legislation as the rule “helps reduce new deficit spending and restore fiscal discipline” and urges House leadership to “only advance legislation that is fully paid for.” The full letter is here.
June 5, 2019 

Education and Labor Committee explores USDA school nutrition guidance rescission: The House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil and Human Rights held a hearing titled, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.” The hearing featured testimony of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service administrator Brandon Lipps. Democrats, led by Subcommittee Chairwoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), focused on the Department’s recent rollback of an Obama era regulation pertaining to school meal nutrition standards, as well as the Administration’s efforts to impose work requirements for certain public benefit programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Chairwoman’s full opening statement is here. More information, including a recording of the hearing, is here.
June 4, 2019 

TANF extension passes House, Senate needs to consider bill before June 30: The House passed H.R.2940, a bill to extend funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The bill, which was introduced by House Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis (D-IL) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Jackie Walorski (R-IN), would extend funding through the end of FY2019, which ends on September 30. The bill was adopted on a 357-55 bipartisan vote. The bill will be sent to the Senate where its future is uncertain but will need to be considered before the program’s current extension expires on June 30. The bill is here.
June 3, 2019 

Ways and Means Republican Leader concerned with reports of immigrant children left overnight: House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) released a statement in response to reports that 37 unaccompanied immigrant children were kept in vehicles overnight, while waiting to be reunited with their families. The children were kept outside of a detention center in Texas. “To now learn that children as young as 5 years old were left in vans for more than 24 hours is simply indefensible. I support enforcement of our nation’s borders, but I want to make something very clear – I strongly believe that children should not be separated from their parents,” stated the Ranking Member. The full statement is here. The quoted news report from NBC is here.
June 4, 2019 

Administration:

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

Slew of internal USED documents on Title IX deliberation released: POLITICO published a series of documents related to USED’s deliberations in advance of proposing a regulation regarding Title IX, as it relates to sexual assault and harassment. The documents were released after a record request pertaining to the Department’s ongoing legal battle over its temporary Title IX guidance. The documents outline who the Department has met with and communicated with regarding Title IX sexual assault and harassment guidance and possible proposed regulations. The POLITICO article is here.
June 5, 2019 

Publications (Congressional and Administration):

  • On June 6, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report titled, “Algebra I Coursetaking and Postsecondary Enrollment.” The report summarizes findings of an analysis of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). Key findings of the report include identifying that students who took Algebra I during their ninth grade year are more likely to enroll in postsecondary education compared to those who took Algebra I in tenth or eleventh grade; and that Asian American students are more likely to take Algebra I before ninth grade compared to any other racial identity group. The full report is here.

Publications (Outside Organizations):

  • On June 6, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching published a report titled, “Investing in Teacher Leadership: A Better Way to Make Job-Embedded Professional Learning a Reality in Every School.” The report summarizes findings of a national landscape analysis of teacher-leadership pathways and programs and provides a series of recommendations for schools and districts. Key findings of the report include that schools and districts should develop formal teacher leadership roles; that professional learning is best accomplished in school buildings by teachers and school leaders; and that states and districts are encouraged to use Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I and Title II-A set asides to support these programs. The full report is here.
  • On June 5, ExcelInEd published a report titled, “Where Credentials Meet the Market: State Case Studies on the Effect of High School Industry Credentials on Educational and Labor Market Outcomes.” The report summarizes findings of a study that analyzes the credentials students earn in high school and their impact on students’ secondary completion, postsecondary enrollment and completion, and wage earnings. Key findings of the report include that earning a credential is associated with an increase in the probability of graduating from high school on time in Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky; that in Florida, earning a credential is associated with an increase in the probability of career and technical education students enrolling in and graduating from a community college and enrolling in an university; and that earning a credential is correlated with higher wages for workers who earn at least $20,000 annually and are at least 24 years old. The full report is here.
  • On June 4, the Fordham Institute published a report titled, “Student-Teacher Race Match in Charter and Traditional Public Schools.” The report summarizes a study that examined the probability of a student having a teacher that matches their racial identity, and compared the results between charter and traditional public schools. Key findings of the report include that traditional public schools and charter schools serve the same proportion of black students, but charter schools have about 35 percent more black teachers; that black students in charter schools are about 50 percent more likely to have a black teacher than their traditional public school counterparts; and that race-match effects are relatively constant across school locales, enrollments, and compositions. The full report is here.
  • On June 3, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) published a report titled, “Toxic stress and children’s outcomes.” The report summarizes findings of a study that examined the impact of toxic stress, which is stress that can impede children’s behavior, cognitive capacity, and emotional and physical health, on the academic outcomes of children who are subjected to such levels of stress. Key findings from the report include that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to have strong, frequent, or prolonged exposure to major traumatic events; that children from the lowest socioeconomic background are more likely to be exposed to frightening or threatening experiences than other children; and that children exposed to more frightening and threatening events are more likely to suffer from academic problems, behavioral problems, and health problems. The full report is here.

Upcoming Events (Congressional and Administration):

  • On June 10 at 5:00pm, the House Rules Committee will meet to consider amendments and a rule governing floor consideration of an initial minibus package, H.R.2740, the “FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act.” The Committee on Rules will continue consideration of H.R. 2740 on June 11, 2019 at 3:00pm. The full House is expected to consider H.R.2740 beginning on June 12. More information is here.
  • On June 11 at 10:00am, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is holding a hearing titled, “An Examination of State Efforts to Oversee the $1.5 Trillion Student Loan Servicing Market.” It is likely to explore how states have attempted to regulate the student loan industry, in light of USED actions attempting to prevent such regulation. No witnesses have been announced yet. More information is here.

Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):

  • On June 10 at 5:30pm, the Advancement Project National Office is holding an event titled, “Our Future: Race, Movement & Politics.” The event will focus on the need to consider a “multi-racial” vision for the future of our country. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is expected to attend. More information and registration are here.
  • On June 11 at 9:00am, the Alliance for Excellence Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic, and the Everyone Graduates Center are holding an event titled, “Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates.” The event will feature of panel discussion on the state of high school graduation across the country and what states and districts are doing to support homeless students. More information and registration are here.
  • On June 11 at 1:00pm, the Council for Economic Foundation is holding an event titled, “The State of Financial Education: Making the Case for College & Career.” The event will focus on the need for improved economic and financial literacy and the need for them both to be taught in K-16 education. More information and registration are here.
  • On June 11 at 5:30pm, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is holding an event titled, “The conservative sensibility: George Will in conversation with Robert Doar.” The event will feature the two named authors as they discuss the history and true meaning of American conservativism. More information and registration are here.
  • On June 12 at 9:30am, End Child Poverty, Comic Relief, and First Focus on Children are holding an event titled, “Spotlight on child poverty in America.” The event will focus on the large number of children who live in poverty and the implications that has on their development. The event is in collaboration with Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and will feature humanitarian and chef Jose Andres. More information and registration are here.
  • On June 13 at 8:30am, the Forum for Youth Investment’s Opportunity Nation is holding an event titled, “Where is Opportunity in America?” The event will release new findings of the Opportunity Index and how states rank by economy, education, health, and community life. More information and registration are here.
  • On June 13 at 12:00pm, the Fordham Institute is holding an event titled, “Education 20/20 Speaker Series: William J. Bennett.” The event will feature the former USED Secretary of Education as he discusses the need for conservatives to rally behind a unified vision of comprehensive content and curriculum reform. More information and registration are here.

Legislation:

H.R.3070
A bill to amend the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to establish a demonstration program to assist transition-aged youth with covered disabilities in obtaining customized, competitive integrated employment.
Sponsor: Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)

H.R.3071
A bill to address foreign threats to higher education in the United States.
Sponsor: Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL)

H.R.3086
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide students with disabilities and their families with access to critical information needed to select the right college and succeed once enrolled.
Sponsor: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

H.R.3089
A bill to provide grants to States to ensure that all students in the middle grades are taught an academically rigorous curriculum with effective supports so that students complete the middle grades prepared for success in secondary school and postsecondary endeavors, to improve State and local educational agency policies and programs relating to the academic achievement of students in the middle grades, to develop and implement effective middle grades models for struggling students, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

H.R.3090
A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to include ranching educational activities in the Farm to School Program.
Sponsor: Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD)

H.R.3095
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to provide each borrower with an individualized repayment guide.
Sponsor: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

H.R.3096
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for a percentage of student loan forgiveness for public service employment, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

H.R.3097
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to expand eligibility for public service student loan forgiveness to certain contractor employees of national laboratories.
Sponsor: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

H.R.3098
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the deduction allowed for student loan interest.
Sponsor: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

H.R.3099
A bill to provide for loan forgiveness for STEM teachers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

H.R.3101
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to increase the maximum Federal Pell Grant amount, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

H.R.3102
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to improve loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

H.R.3108
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for a teacher leader development program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Schneider (D-IL)

H.R.3112
A bill to revise the 90-10 rule under the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

H.R.3117
A bill to amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to establish a grant program to provide grants to local agencies and clinics to improve the health of mothers and infants, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC)

H.R.3119
A bill to award grants to States to establish or improve, and carry out a Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize high-level student proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in both English and a second language.
Sponsor: Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA)

H.R.3125
A bill to reverse declining milk consumption in schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)

H.R.3128
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to uphold freedom of association protections, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

H.R.3135
A bill to enable projects that will aid in the development and delivery of related instruction associated with apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs that are focused on serving the skilled technical workforce at the National Laboratories and certain facilities of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

H.R.3139
A bill to better support our early childhood educators and elementary school and secondary school teachers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ)

H.R.3149
A bill to allow a State to submit a declaration of intent to the Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)

H.R.3150
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for interest-free deferment on student loans for borrowers serving in certain medical or dental internships or residency programs.
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS)

S.1696
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to eliminate origination fees on Federal Direct loans.
Sponsor: Senator Mike Braun (R-IN)

S.1701
A bill to address foreign threats to higher education in the United States.
Sponsor: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

S.1704
A bill to provide grants to States to ensure that all students in the middle grades are taught an academically rigorous curriculum with effective supports so that students complete the middle grades prepared for success in secondary school and postsecondary endeavors, to improve State and local educational agency policies and program relating to the academic achievement of students in the middle grades, to develop and implement effective middle grades models for struggling students, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

S.1732
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide rules for the disallowance and recapture of certain charitable contributions to colleges and universities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Ron Wyden (D-OR)

S.1752
A bill to allow a State to submit a declaration of intent to the Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students.
Sponsor: Senator Steve Daines (R-MT)

Share this post