E-Update for January 19, 2018

Highlights:

On January 16, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos approved 11 consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
On January 18, the House approved by a party-line vote of 230-197 the latest Continuing Resolution (CR), which would provide funding beyond the current expiration on January 19 through February 16. The Senate voted to proceed to consideration of the CR on the same day by a vote of 97-2. It is unclear if the Senate will have enough votes to pass the CR prior to a midnight deadline tonight.
On January 17, the Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Alex Azar to serve as HHS Secretary. The full Senate will now be required to consider and approve the nominations. A vote has yet to be scheduled on the nomination.

Budget & Appropriations
Congress Continues to Discuss CR: On January 18, the House approved by a party-line vote of 230-197 the latest Continuing Resolution (CR), which would provide funding beyond the current expiration […]

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Mid-Week E-Update for January 17, 2018

Highlights:

On January 10, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos approved Minnesota and West Virginia’s consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Additionally, on January 16, Secretary DeVos approved 11 more consolidated state plans, including: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
On January 17, the Senate Finance Committee is conducting an executive session to consider the nomination of Alex Azar to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to determine Subcommittee assignments.
On January 16, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary DeVos delivered the keynote address at an event hosted by American Enterprise Institute (AEI) titled, “Bush-Obama school reform: Lessons learned.” During the event, Secretary DeVos discussed lessons learned from federal education reforms enacted under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Approves ESSA Plans: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has approved Minnesota and West Virginia’s consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Of the consolidated state plans that were submitted in the fall, these are […]

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E-Update for December 19, 2017

Highlights

The current Continuing Resolution (CR) will expire on December 22. The House is expected to consider a CR as early as Wednesday, which will likely need to be amended to ensure Senate passage.
Today, the House passed the final tax reform bill by a vote of 227-203 with a vote in the Senate expected to follow.
On December 13, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce reported out by a party line vote of 23 to 17 H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” which is a comprehensive re-write of the Higher Education Act drafted by committee Republicans.

Higher Education
Higher Education PROSPER Act Reported out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce: On December 13, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce reported out by a party line vote of 23 to 17 H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” which is a comprehensive re-write of the Higher Education Act drafted by committee Republicans. During the committee markup, the committee considered over 60 amendments, including rejecting an amendment […]

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E-Update for December 12, 2017

Highlights

On December 7, the House of Representatives passed a two-week Continuing Resolution (CR) to continue federal funding until December 22.
Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee began a markup of R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
On December 4-7, a Negotiated Rulemaking committee convened to debate the rewrite of  gainful employment regulations. More information is available here.

Higher Education
House Committee on Education and the Workforce Begins Markup of PROSPER Act: Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee began a markup of  H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” which was introduced by the Chairwoman of the Committee Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. On December 11, the committee released an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the PROSPER Act, which is available here. A number of amendments are expected to be considered at the markup.
December 12, 2017
Budget & Appropriations
CR Passes House and Senate Continuing Federal Funding Through December 22: On December 7, the […]

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E-Update for December 1, 2017

Highlights

On November 29, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing for Alex Azar to serve as Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
On November 28, the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Examining Proposals to Simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).”
On December 1, the Chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced a proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act – H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act.”
On November 28, USED Secretary DeVos announced the approval of Michigan’s consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Secretary DeVos’s statement is available here. Michigan’s approval letter is available here.

Tax Reform
Senate Continues Tax Reform Plan Debate: As of December 1, the Senate was continuing debate of its tax reform plan with vote-a-rama still expected to take place this evening, which will likely be followed by a vote on final passage in the Senate. On November 29, The Senate approved […]

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E-Update for November 17, 2017

Highlights

On November 17, the White House requested $44 billion in additional supplemental disaster relief funding, including $1.2 billion for an education recovery fund. The supplemental proposal is partially offset with a rescission of $3.9 million from the Pell Grant surplus.
On November 15, the House passed H.R. 4174, the “Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2017” by voice vote.
On November 14, the White House announced the nomination of Alex Azar to be the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.
On November 15, Acting Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Jason Botel announced that states that submitted their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans in the fall should anticipate receiving feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) in the next two weeks.

Budget and Appropriations
White House Requests Additional Disaster Funding; Pell Grant Surplus to Partially Offset Cost: The White House sent a request to Congress for $44 billion in additional supplemental disaster relief funding to support hurricane recovery efforts, including $1.2 billion for an education recovery fund.  The funding request includes a proposal to rescind $3.9 million from the […]

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E-Update for November 10, 2017

Highlights

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee debated the tax reform plan over four days and adopted two substitute amendments. On November 9, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the House tax reform bill (H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”) by a partisan vote of 16-24.
On November 9, Senate Republican leadership and the Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee released the Senate tax reform proposal. A markup of the Senate tax reform proposal has been scheduled for November 13.
On November 3, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released for comment the reporting tool that states will use to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Tax Reform
House Committee Approves Tax Reform Plan; Senate Introduces its own Tax Reform Plan: This week, both the House and Senate were focused on advancing tax reform legislation.  Senate Republican leadership and the Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee released the Senate tax reform proposal on November 9, while the House Ways and Means Committee approved the House tax reform bill (H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs […]

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E-Update for November 3, 2017

Highlights:

On November 2, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which proposes changes to the U.S. tax code and impacts early childhood education through postsecondary education.
On November 3, the House passed H.R. 3922, the “Championing Health Kids Act,” by a vote of 242-174, which reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years.
On November 1, President Trump announced the nomination of Douglas Webster to serve as Chief Financial Officer of USED. Dr. Webster currently serves as the Director of Risk Management at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Tax Reform:
House Ways and Means Committee Introduces Tax Plan: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which proposes changes to the U.S. tax code. Overall, the tax reform proposal impacts early childhood education through postsecondary education with benefits for parents and families related to the child tax credit being increased, while certain credits and deductions for college students are consolidated or eliminated and some institutions of higher education are […]

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E-Update for October 27, 2017

Highlights

On October 26, the House passed H. Con. Res. 71, the Senate-approved Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget resolution which includes reconciliation instructions for tax reform. This sets up a process for tax reform legislation to be considered more quickly.
On October 27, USED announced that it will withdraw close to 600 out-of-date subregulatory guidance documents, as these documents are either superseded by current law or no longer in effect.
On October 26, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Kenneth L. Marcus of Virginia to be the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education.

Congress:
Former Congressmen Hold Event Supporting Early Childhood Development: Former Senator Rick Santorum and former Congressman George Miller held an event with the Bipartisan Policy Center to discuss the child tax credit and other early childhood issues. During the event, the former lawmakers announced their proposal to increase the child tax credit to a $1500 refundable tax credit for families with children ages 0-5. Senator Santorum and Congressman Miller emphasized that research has shown how important ages 0-5 are in a child’s life, demonstrating how increased […]

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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 […]

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