E-Update for March 24, 2017

Highlights

On March 23, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a unanimous decision in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. The court ruled against the school district and in favor of students with disabilities.
This week, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy Devos and House and Senate Education Committee leaders addressed state education chiefs.On March 21, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing to discuss the complexities of the federal financial aid system, and how to improve it.

U.S. Congress & Administration
Congressional and Administration Officials Address State Chiefs: Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), and USED Secretary DeVos addressed chief state school officers to discuss President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal. In his comments, Chairman Alexander emphasized his commitment to funding the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) Title IV Enhanced Academic Enrichment Grants. USED Secretary DeVos noted that President Trump’s FY2018 budget proposal would support underserved communities by increasing funding […]

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E-Update for March 17, 2017

Highlights

This E-Update includes information for the weeks of March 13 and 20.
On March 16, the Trump Administration released its first budget proposal, America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again. The budget proposal includes $59 billion for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and proposes additional funding for school choice programs.
On March 13, USED released a new template for states to use in submitting their ESSA consolidated plans for federal peer review and approval.
On March 8 and 9, the Senate passed resolutions to disapprove of two USED regulations under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The Senate passed H.J. Res 57, a resolution to disapprove of USED’s regulations on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)’s accountability and state plans provisions under the CRA by a vote of 50-49 and passed H.J. Res 58, a resolution to disapprove of USED’s regulations on teacher preparation issues under the CRA by a vote of 59-40.

U.S. Congress
Budget and Appropriations:
Trump Administration Releases Budget Proposal: The Trump Administration released its first budget proposal, America First: A Budget Blueprint to […]

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E-Update for March 3, 2017

Highlights

This E-Update includes information for the weeks of February 20th and 27th as we did not publish last week due to the Congressional recess.
On February 28, President Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, during which he stated that education is the civil rights issue of our time.
On February 28, President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing for his administration the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which will now be housed in the Executive Office of the President.
On February 28, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing entitled, “Providing More Students a Pathway to Success by Strengthening Career and Technical Education.”
On February 23, the House Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee posted instructions for members to submit requests to the Subcommittee for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.  The member deadline to submit requests to the Subcommittee is April 6.

U.S. Congress
Budget and Appropriations:
House Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee Holds Members’ Day: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) held […]

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Making the Most of the Opportunity to Engage

One of the most common criticisms and downfalls of education reforms is that they feel like they are “done to” rather than “created by” the very communities they are intended to support.  Yet, at this very moment, we have a golden opportunity to raise the voices of teachers, leaders, parents, students, and their communities and meaningfully include their priorities in state and local planning for reform through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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E-Update for February 13, 2017

Highlights

Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos to be the U.S. Secretary of Education by a vote of 51-50. The Senate also confirmed Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to be U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services by a party-line vote of 52-47.
On February 7, the House passed two resolutions to allow for disapproval of the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulation on accountability and state plans (J. Res 57) and USED’s regulation on teacher preparation issues (H.J. Res 58) under the Congressional Review Act.
On February 10, USED Secretary Betsy DeVos sent a letter to Chief State School Officers, confirming that the Department will maintain the current timeline for submitting ESSA state plans to the Department for review and approval in April and September.

U.S. Congress
Nominations:
Senate Confirms Besty DeVos to be U.S. Secretary of Education: The U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos to be the U.S. Secretary of Education by a vote of 51-50.  Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) opposed the nomination resulting in a 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice […]

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E-Update for February 3, 2017

Highlights

On February 3, the Senate invoked cloture by a vote of 52-48 on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Education. The Senate is now debating the nomination for 30 hours following cloture being invoked with a vote likely on Tuesday.
On February 2, two resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) were introduced in the House related to the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) regulations. The resolutions would disapprove of regulations on the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) accountability and state plan provisions and regulations on teacher preparation issues.
On February 1, the nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) was reported to the full Senate by a vote of 14-0.

U.S. Congress
Nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education Progresses: The Senate invoked cloture today by a vote of 52-48 on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Education. A simple majority was needed to invoke cloture. Under Senate Rules, the Senate is now debating the nomination for 30 hours […]

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E-Update for January 27, 2017

Highlights

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) is seeking individuals to serve as state plan peer reviewers as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The multi-disciplinary peer review teams will consist of educators, state and local educational agency (SEA and LEA) personnel, and researchers. Applications are due today.
On January 26, DeVos sent a letter to Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) vowing to enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
On January 24, Senate Democrats introduced a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes funding for school construction and modernization projects and reauthorizes the Qualified Zone Academy Bonds program.
During the week of January 22-28, advocates of school choice recognized National School Choice Week, highlighting school choice as a vehicle for providing parents with a diversity of education options for their children.

U.S. Congress
Legislative Outlook:
Congressional Republicans Discuss Legislative Agenda: House and Senate Republicans attended a retreat in Philadelphia to discuss their legislative agenda. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) outlined three major issues that Republicans are planning to act on this year: (1) a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act […]

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E-Update for January 13, 2017

Highlights

Both the House and Senate passed their FY2017 Budget Resolutions this week by a vote of 227-198 and 51-48, respectively. The budget resolutions in the House and Senate include reconciliation instructions for the repeal of Obamacare.
On January 10, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released a notice seeking state plan peer reviewers as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
On January 5, USED Secretary John King released his cabinet exit memo which highlights the progress made by the outgoing Administration from preschool through college.

U.S. Congress
Confirmation Hearing for USED Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos Postponed: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a joint statement announcing the postponement of the confirmation hearing for USED Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos. The confirmation hearing will now take place on January 17 at 5:00 pm. More information and full webcast of the hearing will be available here.

Chairman Alexander released a statement in support of Secretary-designate DeVos, affirming his belief that DeVos will be confirmed quickly and will be a successful Secretary. Ranking Member Murray […]

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E-Update for December 16, 2016

Please note that this will be the final EducationCounsel E-update for 2016. Publication will resume on January 6, 2017.
Highlights

On December 9, the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in the Senate by a vote of 63-36 and became law providing federal funding through April 28, 2017. A summary and section-by-section analysis of the Senate CR here. A summary of the House CR here.
On December 12, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which address the significant disproportionality of children of color in special education and discipline.
On December 16, USED released final regulations on State Authorization of Postsecondary Distance Education programs. The final regulations clarify the State authorization requirements an institution must comply with in order to be eligible to participate in Title IV programs.
On December 12, USED Secretary John King sent a letter to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) announcing that he will uphold the decision to terminate federal recognition of the for-profit accrediting agency. In conjunction with the decision, USED announced new provisions […]

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E-Update for December 9, 2016

Highlights

On December 7, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released final regulations on implementing the academic assessment requirements under Title I, Part A and the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
On December 8, the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed the House and could be voted on by the Senate today.
On December 6, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) released its 2015 results for science, reading, and math.

U.S. Congress
Rep. Bobby Scott Re-elected as Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee: House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats re-elected Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) to serve as Ranking Member of the Committee. Ranking Member Scott released a statement noting that he looks forward to fighting for students and families across the country.
December 6, 2016
CR Passes the House: On December 6, the CR was released to provide federal funding after December 9. The CR would extend federal government funding through April 28, 2017, and includes an across the board cut at a rate of .1901%. On December 8, the CR passed the House by […]

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