E-Update for September 15, 2017

Highlights:

On September 14, the House voted to pass H.R. 3354, the “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act,” by a vote of 211-198.
On September 14, Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced H.R.3773/S.1806, the “Child Care for Working Families Act.”
This week, USED Secretary Betsy DeVos began her “Rethink School” tour in the West and Midwest to “showcase creative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education.” The tour involves visits to a number of different types of schools, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and community colleges, among others.

Budget & Appropriations:
Omnibus Bill Approved by the House: The House voted to pass H.R. 3354, the “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act,” by a vote of 211-198. This Omnibus bill combines the remaining House-drafted Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 bills into one bill. The bill as approved includes an overall three percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education […]

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E-Update for September 08, 2017

Please note, this week’s E-Update includes important updates from the week of August 28th.
Highlights:

On September 8, the House voted to pass H.R. 601 (115) to temporarily lift the country’s debt ceiling and deliver $15.25 billion in emergency aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma by a vote of 316-90. The Senate passed the same legislation the previous day by a vote of 80-17. The bill also includes a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until December 8th.
On September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a markup of the Fiscal Year (FY) 18 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations bill. The Committee approved the Labor-H bill by a vote of 29-2.
On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration has decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was established under the Obama Administration.

Budget & Appropriations:
House Approves Bill Lifting Debt Ceiling and Providing Emergency Aid: The House voted to pass H.R. 601 (115) to temporarily lift the country’s debt ceiling and deliver $15.25 billion in emergency […]

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E-Update for August 25, 2017

Please note, we will not be publishing on Friday, September 1 due to Labor Day weekend.
Highlights:

Congress is currently on recess until Tuesday, September 5.
On August 24, U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced in the Federal Register that it will hold two public hearings regarding postsecondary education regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified.
Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) will hold two bipartisan hearings on health care in September.

Congress:
House and Senate Democrats Send Letter to Attorney General Sessions and USED Secretary DeVos Regarding Campus Racial Diversity: A group of House and Senate Democrats, including Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Patty Murray (D-WA), sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding a recent U.S. Department of Justice memo which demonstrated an intent to reevaluate the federal government’s process for ensuring racial diversity on college campuses. […]

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E-Update for August 18, 2017

Highlights

Congress is currently on recess until September 5.
On August 15, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Connecticut and Louisiana’s ESSA consolidated state plans.
On August 17, USED announced that the Department has set a new deadline of October 6 for higher education institutions to file appeals of graduates’ earning data under the gainful employment rule. The submission date is now February 1.
On August 17, USED Secretary DeVos sent an internal memo to Department staff regarding the events in Charlottesville, VA. In the memo, USED Secretary DeVos reiterated the Department’s commitment to ensuring all students have a safe and high-quality learning environment free from discrimination.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Takes Action on ESSA Consolidated State Plans: U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Connecticut and Louisiana’s ESSA consolidated state plans. The press release is available here. Also this week, USED Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Jason Botel provided feedback on Colorado’s ESSA state plan. In the feedback letter, USED Acting Secretary Botel noted that the state needs […]

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E-Update for August 11, 2017

Highlights

On August 9, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico’s ESSA consolidated state plans.
Congress is currently on recess and will return on September 5.
On August 10, USED announced in the Federal Register that USED is extending the comment period to provide input on existing regulations and guidance that could be repealed, replaced, or modified from August 21, 2017 to September 20, 2017.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Secretary DeVos Approves Three ESSA Consolidated State Plans: U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico’s ESSA consolidated state plans. Regarding the announcement, USED Secretary DeVos stated, “The efforts put into these plans by chief state school officers, governors and others is evident, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with each of them as we work to expand and improve educational opportunities for all students.” The New Jersey determination letter is available here, New Mexico here, and Nevada here.
August 9, 2017
Several States Receive Feedback from USED on ESSA Consolidated State […]

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The Magic of College and Career Ready Approaches for Greater Equity, and 20 Ways to Advance Them through ESSA

Does the state set a clear “North Star” of the full array of college and career ready knowledge and skills through rigorous standards, goals, and high quality assessments? Does the state have multiple accountability measures, data reporting, and deeper diagnostic review processes that surface fuller college and career ready knowledge and skills, informed by things like performance assessments and portfolios across many subject areas, school climate measures, and accelerated coursework? Do the state’s school improvement strategies and direct student services priorities foster, for each and every student, the full range of college and career readiness and opportunities for them to direct and personalize their own learning?

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E-Update for August 4, 2017

Highlights:

On August 1, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department has approved Delaware’s ESSA consolidated state plan.
On August 3, the Senate unanimously confirmed Peter Oppenheim to serve as USED Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs.
On August 1, USED Secretary DeVos announced her decision to cancel plans to award the Department’s student loan servicing contract to a single company.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Posts Feedback on ESSA Consolidated State Plans: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) posted feedback on ESSA consolidated state plans for Washington, D.C. and Illinois. Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, and Vermont have yet to receive feedback on their plans. The feedback letter for Washington, D.C. can be found here and the feedback letter for Illinois can be found here.
August 4, 2017
USED Approves Delaware’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department has approved Delaware’s ESSA consolidated state plan after the state’s plan went through a revision process based on USED feedback. Delaware is the first state to have its plan approved. Regarding the decision, USED […]

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Reflecting on What We Know About Diversity in Higher Education and the Consideration of Race in Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court’s near 40-year history on the consideration of race- and ethnicity in higher education admissions (going all the way back to the landmark Bakke case in 1978) has shaped action by the U.S. Department of Justice and Education for decades–including in federal regulations, policy guidance, and enforcement resolutions (from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights).

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E-Update for July 28, 2017

Highlights

On July 27, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced that it will change its process for providing feedback to states on their ESSA consolidated state plans.
On July 27, 59 Democratic members sent a letter to USED Secretary Betsy DeVos asking her to reverse the decision to delay gainful employment disclosure provisions.
On July 27, the Trump Administration and congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, released a joint statement calling on tax-writing committees to draft tax reform legislation that can be considered in committee in the fall.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Announces Changes for ESSA Feedback Process: It was announced that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will change its process for providing feedback to states on their ESSA consolidated state plans. The changes will include working with states to address concerns with their plans before posting feedback publicly, including through phone calls with each state.
July 27, 2017
Congress:
Democratic Members Send Letter Urging USED Secretary DeVos To Reverse Gainful Employment Disclosure Provisions Delay: 59 Democratic […]

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