E-Update for the Week of August 20, 2018

Highlights:

Last week, the Senate began consideration of an appropriations minibus (a combination of 2-3 bills), including the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Senate Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill and the FY2019 Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Bill. Amendments to the package will begin to be considered this week.
On August 16, the Federal Commission on School Safety held its fifth meeting, with a focus on school building security, active shooter training for schools, and practitioner experience with school-based threat assessment. All four members of the Commission were in attendance at the meeting. During the meeting, US. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the commission will hold its last field visit in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week and will visit the Miley Achievement Center.
On August 16, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing titled “Oversight of Efforts to Protect Unaccompanied Alien Children from Human Trafficking and Abuse.” Additionally, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of August 13, 2018

Highlights:

On August 10, USED announced it plans to rescind Obama-era “gainful employment” regulations, which require the elimination of federal aid to career education and certificate programs, including those specifically offered at for-profit institutions if the graduates of said programs maintained large amounts of student loan debt relative to their earnings.
On August 8, Education Week reported that Arizona’s Roosevelt School District #66 is the only school district to apply by the July 15 deadline to use Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) flexibility in the 2019-2020 school year under the weighted student funding pilot.
On August 3, a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Trump Administration to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Issues Guidance on Serving Homeless Students: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) published a letter that was addressed to McKinney-Vento and Title I, Part A state coordinators. The letter provides responses to common questions states have raised about changes made to the requirements for the reservation of Title I funds to serve homeless […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of August 6, 2018

Highlights:

On July 27, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced the Louisiana Department of Education is the first state to be approved to use the Innovative Assessment pilot. The state will be piloting five exams over five years, with a focus on its English and Social Studies exams.
On July 30, USED announced in the Federal Register its intent to establish a Negotiated Rulemaking committee which will prepare proposed regulations for Federal Student Aid programs. The proposed topics for negotiation relate to the core function of accreditation, state authorization issues, the definition of a credit hour, direct assessment programs and competency-based education, and the clarification of requirements for and improvement of outcomes for Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant recipients, among other topics.
This week a budget analysis of the USED proposal to rescind the Obama-era “gainful employment” rule estimates the move would cost the federal government approximately $4.7 billion over the next 10 years.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Approves Louisiana to Pilot Innovative Assessments: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced the Louisiana Department […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of July 30, 2018

Highlights:

On July 25, Congress passed and sent to President Donald Trump H.R. 2353, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” to reauthorize Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. The Senate passed its version of the bipartisan bill on July 23, which was then quickly adopted by the House. It is expected President Trump will sign the bill soon.
On July 24, all 17 Democratic members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee released the “Aim Higher Act,” which is their version of a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA).
On July 25, USED proposed a new package of higher education regulations regarding the Obama-era “borrower defense to repayment” rules. The rules previously allowed student borrowers to seek relief from student loan payments due to fraud or other misrepresentation by their college or university. The newly proposed regulations would still allow for these claims but would make the standards more strict for student borrowers. The notice will be officially posted in the Federal Register on July 31 and will accept public comment for 30 days.

Budget […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of July 23, 2018

Highlights:

On July 17, the Senate confirmed Jim Blew as the Assistant Secretary of Education for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education (USED) by a party line vote of 50-49. On July 16, the Senate confirmed Scott Stump as the Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at USED by a vote of 85-0.
On July 24, the House Democratic leadership of the Education and the Workforce Committee is expected to introduce the Aim Higher Act, which will be the Democratic version of a comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The Aim Higher Act is intended to contrast the HEA reauthorization proposal authored by House Republicans that was considered in committee in December – H.R. 4508, the “PROSPER” Act.
On July 19, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) that establishes a National Council for the American Worker, which will create a national strategy to train and retrain workers for high-demand industries. Further, the EO forms an advisory board to help implement a results-driven job-training program in classrooms and workplaces across […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of July 16, 2018

Highlights:

On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee conducted a full committee markup of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations bill for the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS). The appropriations bill was approved by the Committee by a party line vote of 30-22.
On July 13, POLITICO reported the U.S. Department of Education (USED) plans to move ahead with its discontinuation of the use of private companies for collections on defaulted federal student loans. Both House and Senate appropriators previously raised objections to the Administration’s plans to proceed in this manner.
On July 6 and 11, two complaints were filed against USED – one by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) and the other by the National Student Legal Defense Network. COPAA argues USED Secretary DeVos’s delay of the significant disproportionality rule violates federal law. The National Student Legal Defense Network is seeking a court order requiring USED Secretary Betsy DeVos to release materials that Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) submitted to the Department in May 2018 […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of July 9, 2018

Highlights

On June 29, the U.S. Department of Education announced on the Federal Register that the Department would delay, for two years, the Equity in IDEA/Significant Disproportionality Rules until July 1, 2020. The regulations address disproportionate identification, placement, and disciplinary treatment of students of color in special education. The Federal Register notice is here.
On July 2, the USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan for Oklahoma. Press release from Secretary DeVos is here. Press release from the Oklahoma Department of Education is here.
On July 3, the New York Times reported that USED is rescinding Obama-era policy guidance and illustrations on affirmative action admission decisions for colleges and universities. The full New York Times article is here. A joint USED and Department of Justice letter is here. Statement by the American Council on Education (ACE) is here.

ESSA
USED Approves Oklahoma ESSA State Plan: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of the ESSA state plan for Oklahoma. The Secretary stated, “I am pleased to approve Oklahoma’s plan, which complies with the requirements of the law. I encourage states to use their plans as a starting point, rather than […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of June 25, 2018

Highlights:

On June 26, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriation Subcommittee conducted a markup of its fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor/HHS Appropriations bill. Bill is here and report is here.
On June 26, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee reported out a reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the nomination of Scott Stump to be Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education (USED). More information here.
On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in the Janus v. AFSCME case that public-sector unions may not charge non-members mandatory fees. The case was decided 5-4.

Budget & Appropriations:
House Appropriations Committees Postpones Consideration of the FY2019 House Labor/HHS Bill: The House Appropriations Committee announced it was again postponing the markup of the FY2019 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations bill. There has been no announcement as to when this markup will be rescheduled, but it will most likely be sometime after the July 4th recess. […]

Read more...

E-Update for the Week of June 18, 2018

Highlights:

This update includes information for the period of June 19 through June 22, 2018.
On June 20, the Senate rejected by a vote of 48-50, a motion to discharge from the Appropriations Committee a bill based on the White House’s budget rescissions package.
On June 21, the White House announced President Trump’s plan to reform and reorganize the federal government, including merging the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor into a single agency.
On June 21, the House took up two immigration bills but no progress was made on either. The more conservative bill — H.R. 4760, the “Securing America’s Future Act” — was defeated by a vote of 193-231, while a vote on a “compromise bill” — H.R. 6136, the “Border Security and Immigration Reform Act” — was delayed.

Budget & Appropriations:
House Budget Committee Approves FY2019 Budget Resolution: On June 21, the House Budget Committee approved along a party-line vote of 21-13 its FY2019 Budget Resolution titled, “Budget for a Brighter American Future.” The proposed plan expects $8.1 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years. The budget also provides instructions to […]

Read more...

E-Update for June 8 through June 19, 2018

Highlights:

On June 14, the House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee released the fiscal year (FY) 2019 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations bill. The bill was approved by the Subcommittee along party lines on June 15 and will receive full committee consideration on June 26 (full committee markup was originally scheduled for June 20, but was postponed).
On June 13, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “The Power of Charter Schools: Promoting Opportunity for America’s Students.”
On June 15, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released a notice announcing that the Department will allow additional time, until July 1, 2019, for institutions to comply with certain disclosure requirements under the gainful employment regulations.

Budget & Appropriations:
House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Releases FY2019 Appropriations Bill: The House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee released the FY2019 House Labor/HHS Appropriations bill. The overall allocation for the FY2019 House Labor/HHS bill across the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education is $177.1 billion, which is the same as the FY2018 level.  The FY2019 House Labor/HHS bill provides […]

Read more...