E-Update for the Week of May 20, 2019
- On May 17, the House passed H.R. 5, the “Equality Act.” The 236-173 vote was largely partisan, with eight Republicans voting in favor of the bill. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by including “sexual orientation and gender identity” in the law’s protections from discrimination based on sex.
- On May 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director, Kathy Kraninger, sent a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in which the CFPB director stated “student loan servicers have declined to produce” any documents that the CFPB requested to supervise the actions of the servicers
- On May 13, President Donald Trump sent a letter to Congress requesting that his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request be amended. Included in his amendments are a restoration of approximately $18 million in funding for the Special Olympics and a rescission to the Pell Grant surplus of $3.87 billion.
Budget and Appropriations:
New CBO director announced: The Chairs of the Senate Budget Committee and House Budget Committee, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) respectively, announced that Phillip L. Swagel has been appointed as the new Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Swagel, prior to the appointment, was a professor of international economic policy at the University of Maryland. Swagel will serve as Director from June 3, 2019 to January 3, 2023. A press release from the House Budget Committee is here. A press release from the Senate Budget Committee is here.
May 15, 2019
President requests amendments to FY20 budget, proposes $3.8 billion Pell surplus rescission: President Donald Trump sent a letter to Congress requesting that his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request be amended. Included in his amendments are a restoration of approximately $18 million in funding for the Special Olympics and a rescission to the Pell Grant surplus of $3.87 billion. The amendment request asserts that enrollment of Pell Grant recipients in higher education has declined since 2011, due to improvements in the economy, to justify the rescission. The proposed rescission would be used to primarily offset funding increases outside of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) included in the amendments. A POLITICO article is here.
May 13, 2019
Murray, Warren support DOD/USED data sharing agreement: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to acting U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Patrick Shanahan expressing their support for a proposed data matching agreement between DOD and USED. The matching agreement will allow for military student loan borrowers, who are in combat zones, to automatically receive a zero percent interest rate on their student loans. The Senators submitted the letter as part of a public comment period on the proposed data matching agreement. The full letter is here. A press release is here.
May 16, 2019
Higher education LGBTQ anti-harassment bill reintroduced: Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) reintroduced S. 1492, the “Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act.” The bill is intended to prevent bullying and harassment of LGBTQ individuals in colleges and universities. The bill requires institutions to adopt anti-bullying and harassment policies, as well as provides additional federal funding to support anti-harassment activities and programs. A press release is here. The bill is here.
May 15, 2019
Grassley reintroduces CONNECT Act for child welfare, juvenile justice programs: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced S.1465, the “Childhood Outcomes Need New Efficient Community Teams (CONNECT) Act.” The bill would provide for increased federal funding to improve data collection on dual status youth – those who are involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems – and support better collaboration between the two sectors. “Too often, these state agencies don’t interact enough. Child welfare and juvenile justice experts need to work together to keep vulnerable youth safe, off the streets, and away from crime,” stated the Chairman. A press release is here. The bill is here.
May 14, 2019
Wyden introduces student loan, retirement plan contributions bill: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S.1428, the “Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act.” The bill would allow employers to make matching contributions to a retirement plan while employees make student loan repayments. “The sooner workers start to save for retirement the better, and paying down student loans shouldn’t stop them from building their nest egg,” stated the Ranking Member. A press release is here. The bill is here.
May 13, 2019
House passes LGBTQ non-discrimination bill, eight Republicans vote with Democrats: The House passed H.R. 5, the “Equality Act.” The 236-173 vote was largely partisan, with eight Republicans voting in favor of the bill. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by including “sexual orientation and gender identity” in the law’s protections from discrimination based on sex. The bill would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, education, jury service, and federal financing. The bill will be sent to the Senate, where it is unlikely to be considered. A press release from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is here. The bill is here.
May 17, 2019
Education and Labor Committee advances school integration, civil rights bills: The 65th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Case decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the House Education and Labor Committee held a markup of two bills – H.R.2639, the “Strength in Diversity Act of 2019,” and H.R.2574, the “Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act.” Both bills were reported favorably out of Committee on a partisan vote of 26-20. The Strength in Diversity Act would create a grant program for schools and districts to apply for in order to voluntarily attempt to improve the racial and socioeconomic integration of their student populations. The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act would restore a private right of action to file disparate impact claims of discrimination based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Republicans, led by Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) offered two amendments – both of which were intended to reduce “undue bureaucratic influence” and to “ensure policy that has long-lasting, positive impact.” The bills are here. A recording of the markup is here. A press release from Committee Democrats is here. The full opening statement from Ranking Member Foxx is here.
May 16, 2019
Bonamici calls on DeVos to reinstall Obama era transgender student guidance: Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) led a group of Democratic members in sending a letter to USED Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to reinstate the Obama era guidance on supporting protections for transgender and gender nonconforming students. The letter was inspired by the Secretary’s admission during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing that she was aware of the risk of harm for transgender students by rolling back the guidance. “The Department must do all it can to make sure that all schools create safe environments where students can learn free from harassment and discrimination. Students and families need and deserve to know that they can count on you and the Department to protect their civil rights,” states the letter. A press release is here. The letter is here.
May 13, 2019
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
CFPB director says student loan servicers not responding to document requests per USED guidance: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director, Kathy Kraninger, sent a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in which the CFPB director stated “student loan servicers have declined to produce” any documents that the CFPB requested to supervise the actions of the servicers. According to Kraninger, the servicers declined requests based on a December 2017 directive from the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The directive ordered federal student loan servicers to refuse requests for information from third parties such as state attorneys general or the CFPB. The Department has asserted that servicers should not respond to requests so that the Department can ensure that borrower privacy will not be violated by the request. The letter is here. A press release from Senator Warren is here.
May 16, 2019
Publications (Congressional and Administration):
- On May 15, the National Center for Education Evaluation (NCEE) published a report titled, “Evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years.” The report evaluated the impact on student achievement of students who used the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship, which is the only federally funded school voucher program. Key findings of the study include identifying that the program has no impact on math or reading achievement of students who transfer from public to private schools; that the scholarship program did have positive effects on students’ perceptions of school safety; and that the scholarship program did not have any effect on parents’ perceptions of school safety. The full report is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On May 16, the Georgetown University Law School Center on Poverty and Inequality published a report titled, “Listening to Black Women and Girls: Lived Experiences of Adultification Bias.” The report summarized findings from a qualitative study of adults’ perceptions of young Black girls in various age categories. Key findings of the study include identifying that Black girls routinely experience adultification bias, meaning they are likely to be perceived as less innocent and more adult-like regardless of their age; that adultification is correlated with harsher treatment and higher standards for Black girls in school; and that negative stereotypes of Black women are transferred onto Black girls. The full report is here.
- On May 15, the Manhattan Institute published a report titled, “Quality Control? How School Performance Varies Within American Cities. The report summarizes findings of a study that examined 68 of the largest public-school districts to determine the level of quality of a school and how school quality varies within districts. Key findings of the report include identifying that school quality not only varies between districts, but also within districts; that in 44 percent of the districts, school quality varied by 15-20 percentage points; and that there is no correlation between quality variation and a district’s proportion of students of color or students from low income backgrounds. The full report is here.
- On May 14, the Heckman Institute published a report titled, “Intergenerational and Intragenerational Externalities of the Perry Preschool Project.” The report summarizes a study that examined the impact of the Perry Preschool Project on the children and siblings of the original participants of the project. Key findings of the report include identifying that children of original participants had fewer school suspensions, higher levels of education attainment, and higher levels of employment; that children of male original participants had higher positive impacts; and that the siblings of original participants also had positive impacts. The full report is here.
- On May 13, the Center for American Progress (CAP) published a report titled, “The Danger Private School Voucher Programs Pose to Civil Rights.” The report summarizes findings of an analysis of school vouchers, education savings accounts, and tax credit scholarships across the country to determine which have discrimination protections and which do not. Key findings of the report include identifying that there are 26 voucher programs, 5 education savings accounts, 22 tax credit scholarships, and 9 individual tax credit programs; that only 26 states include anti-discrimination protections based on race for students in private schools or for those using the voucher programs; that only seven states protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation; and that only three states protect against discrimination based on gender identity. The full study is here.
Upcoming Events (Congressional and Administration):
- On May 22 at 10:15am, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment will hold a hearing titled, “Engines of Economic Mobility: The Critical Role of Community Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions in Preparing Students for Success.” The hearing will likely focus on the impact that community colleges, HBCUs, and MSIs have on students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, as well as the need for greater federal investments in such institutions. No witnesses have been announced yet. More information can be found here.
- On May 22 at 2:00pm, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Examining For-Profit College Oversight and Student Debt.” The hearing will likely focus on efforts USED is taking to oversee and monitor for-profit institutions, as well as oversight of student loan servicing companies. No witnesses have been announced yet. More information can be found here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On May 21 at 9:00am, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is holding an event titled, “Elevating Student Voices: Advancing Equity Through College Affordability.” The event will feature a series of panel discussions to highlight the financial barriers may students face when progressing through higher education programs. More information and registration are here.
- On May 21 at 9:00am, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is holding an event titled, “The theft of a decade: How the baby boomers stole the millennials’ economic future.” The event will explore the millennial “complaints” of a struggling job market, vast student debt, and the lack of security from benefit programs. More information and registration are here.
- On May 21 at 2:00pm, Future Ready Schools is holding a webinar titled, “Collaboration + Calibration = Transformation.” The webinar will discuss the importance of collaboration between principals and instructional coaches as a driving factor for school improvement. More information and registration are here.
- On May 21 at 3:00pm, EdSource is holding a webinar titled, “Avoiding the fiscal cliff: How adequate school funding can close equity gaps.” The webinar will focus on how much school funding is needed to address the deficit in high-quality education opportunity and what California is attempting to do to address this. More information and registration are here.
- On May 23 at 2:00pm, Future Ready Schools is holding a webinar titled, “Teaching & Reaching the Future Ready Student: Nurturing Connections with Social and Emotional Learning.” The webinar will discuss the effects of developmental changes and how they impact a student’s learning. More information and registration are here.
A bill to increase Federal Pell Grants for the children of fallen public safety officers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA)
A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to clarify that charitable organization officials may receive food donations from schools under the food donation program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
A bill to establish a grant program within the Department of Labor to support the creation, implementation, and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in cybersecurity.
Sponsor: Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV)
A bill to clarify the requirements of authorized representatives under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to authorize borrowers to separate joint consolidation loans.
Sponsor: Rep. David Price (D-NC)
A bill to provide fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
A bill to prevent harassment at institutions of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
A bill to amend the General Education Provisions Act to allow the release of education records to facilitate the award of a recognized postsecondary credential.
Sponsor: Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO)
A bill to amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to ensure protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and their families.
Sponsor: Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL)
A bill to amend title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education that participate in programs under such title to distribute voter registration forms to students enrolled at the institution, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to strengthen the future workforce and reduce the cost of postsecondary education by reducing rates of postsecondary remediation.
Sponsor: Senator Doug Jones (D-AL)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for institutional ineligibility based on low cohort repayment rates and to require risk sharing payments of institutions of higher education.
Sponsor: Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)