E-Update for October 20, 2017

E-Update for October 20, 2017

Highlights:

  • On October 17, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that all ESSA consolidated plans submitted in the fall are complete and are ready for peer review.
  • On October 19, the Senate passed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget resolution, which includes reconciliation instructions for tax reform.
  • On October 17, 18 attorneys general filed a lawsuit against USED Secretary DeVos regarding her delay of the gainful employment rule developed under the Obama Administration, arguing that the decision to delay the rule is illegal.
  • Next week, the Senate is expected to consider a second emergency supplemental appropriations bill to provide additional funding to areas impacted by the recent hurricanes.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):

USED Secretary DeVos Announces ESSA State Plans Ready for Peer Review: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that all ESSA consolidated state plans submitted for the fall deadline have been deemed complete and are ready for peer review. The plans will now be reviewed by experts and stakeholders through the peer review process to ensure that they comply with the law.
October 17, 2017

Tax Reform:

Senate Passes FY2018 Budget Resolution: On October 19, the Senate passed H. Con. Res 71, the Senate’s FY2018 budget resolution, by a vote of 51-49. The budget resolution includes reconciliation instructions for tax reform and allows for up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over ten years. A number of amendments to the budget resolution were agreed to, including an amendment from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund related to increasing per-child Federal tax relief, which may include amending the child tax credit. An amendment from Tom Udall (D-NM) regarding payment in lieu of taxes, which often supports school funding, was also approved. The House and Senate will now need to resolve the differences between their respective budget resolutions. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) statement can be found here and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden’s (R-OR) statement here.
October 19, 2017

President Trump Meets with Senate Finance Committee on Tax Reform: President Donald Trump met with a bipartisan group of Senators from the Senate Finance Committee to discuss tax reform with a focus on providing tax relief to the middle class and simplifying the tax code. President Trump’s remarks are available here. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden’s statement is available here.
October 18, 2017

Congress:

House:

House Energy & Commerce Committee Leadership Releases Statements on CHIP: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released a statement regarding negotiations to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In the statement, Chairman Walden criticizes Democrats for delaying negotiations and stresses the importance of CHIP and other public health programs. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) also released a statement on the reauthorization of CHIP, criticizing Republicans’ priorities for the program’s reauthorization. Ranking Member Pallone’s statement can be found here.
October 16, 2017

Chairwoman Foxx Sends Letter on WIOA to U.S. Department of Labor: House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta regarding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). In the letter, Chairwoman Foxx and Chairman Guthrie note the reforms that Congress made to WIOA to make the workforce development system more effective and stress the importance of state and local private sector leadership.
October 12, 2017

Senate:

Senate HELP Committee Advances Nomination for USED General Counsel: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to advance the nomination of Carlos Muniz to serve as USED General Counsel by a party-line vote of 12-11. The nomination will now be considered by the full Senate. Mr. Muniz currently works as an attorney and consultant at McGuireWoods and previously served as Deputy Attorney General of the State of Florida.
October 18, 2017

Administration:

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

USED Announces Winner of EdSim Challenge: On October 19, USED announced the winner of the EdSim Challenge, which is intended to promote the design of next-generation simulations to improve career and technical education. The winner, Osso VR, has developed a surgical training platform that allows users to practice surgical techniques through virtual reality.
October 19, 2017

Attorneys General File Lawsuit on USED’s Delay of Gainful Employment Rule: 18 attorneys general filed a lawsuit against USED Secretary DeVos regarding her delay of the gainful employment rule developed under the Obama Administration. In the lawsuit, the attorneys general claim that the decision to delay the regulations is illegal and that the Secretary is required to put the rule into effect. In response, USED spokeswoman Liz Hill criticized the intentions of the lawsuit and noted that the Department is working to replace the rule to better protect students.
October 17, 2018

USED Responds to CRDC Public Comments: USED responded to previously submitted public comments regarding the upcoming 2017-2018 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), noting that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights will continue to collect data on a number of issues, including bullying, access to resources, and discipline.
October 2017

U.S. Department of Labor:

U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta Announces Apprenticeship Task Force Members: U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta announced the members of the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The Task Force will work to identify methods to promote apprenticeships so that more Americans can obtain the skills needed to participate in the workforce.

  • USED Secretary DeVos released a statement regarding the Task Force, stating, “As a Vice Chair of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, I am excited to be part of this Administration’s efforts to strengthen workforce readiness and increase the number of postsecondary pathways available to students.” Statement here.

October 16, 2017

Upcoming Events:

  • On October 24, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development and the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies will hold a joint hearing titled, “Public-Private Solutions to Educating a Cyber Workforce” at 2:00 pm. More information can be found here.
  • On October 24, the House Oversight Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules and the Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold a hearing titled, “Regulatory Reform Task Forces Check-In” at 10:00 am. More information is available here.
  • On October 25, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled, “Down Syndrome: Update on the State of the Science and Potential for Discoveries Across Other Major Diseases” at 10:00 am. More information here.
  • On October 26, the Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Exploring Free Speech on College Campuses” at 10:00 am. More information can be found here.
  • On October 26, the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs & Federal Management will hold a hearing titled, “Improving Oversight of the Regulatory Process: Lessons from State Legislatures” at 10:00 am. More information here.

Publications:

  • On October 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the Student Loan Ombudsman’s Annual Report which details complaints by student loan borrowers. The report finds that, in the past year, these complaints have led to over $750 million in relief for student loan borrowers and have resulted in an improved student loan repayment process for many. The report is available here.

Legislation:

H.R.4074
A bill to strengthen and expand proven anti-poverty programs and initiatives.
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

S.1964
A bill to encourage kinship guardianship placements and support payment rate equity for such placements, to improve oversight of State child welfare programs funded under the Social Security Act, to strengthen national data on child fatalities from maltreatment, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

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