E-Update for the Week of September 17, 2018

Highlights:

On September 25 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a full committee hearing titled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: States Leading the Way.” It is expected the hearing will focus on implementation of ESSA at the state level. Witnesses include state education chiefs from Nebraska, Delaware, and South Carolina, as well as a representative from Democrats for Education Reform.
On September 13, the conference committee for the fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations minibus (a combination of 2-3 bills) for the Department of Defense and the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Defense-Labor/HHS) released its committee report. Attached to the bill is a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will extend federal funding through December 7 for bills not passed by the end of the fiscal year on September 30. It is expected the Senate will vote on the package this week, with the House considering the package when they return from recess the week of September 24.
On September 7, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 10, 2018

Highlights:

The House and Senate have begun negotiations on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS). According to House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the conference negotiators, including Republican negotiators, support adopting the Senate’s total allocation of $179.3 billion, which is $2.2 billion more than the House version. The package is expected to be considered after the House finalizes its work on the Military Construction-VA, Energy-Water, and Legislative Branch minibus.
On September 5, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development hearing titled, “On-The-Job: Rebuilding the Workforce Through Apprenticeships.” The Subcommittee focused on how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has supported work-based learning, including on-the-job education and apprenticeships.
On September 5, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos delivered remarks at a meeting of G20 Education Ministers in Mendoza, Argentina. In her remarks, the Secretary described the relationship between the economy and education, and how a “dynamic and changing economy requires dynamic and […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 4, 2018

Highlights:

Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), in addition to 43 Senate Democrats, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to not consider allowing federal funds to be used to purchase guns for school personnel. Additionally, on August 28, House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and 172 House Democrats also sent a letter to USED Secretary DeVos with the same request.
The New York Times reported USED is proposing new rules in regards to on-campus sexual misconduct. The Department has not officially released any rules or regulations, nor has the Department commented on the article. Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) have already denounced the proposed changes.
The Senate confirmed the nomination of Lynn Johnson to serve as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Family Support. Johnson was confirmed with a vote of 67-28.

Congress:
Senate, House Democrats Urge DeVos to Reject Requests for […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 27, 2018

Highlights:

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) passed the Senate by a vote of 85-7.
The New York Times reported U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering issuing guidance on allowing for federal grants to be used to purchase guns for teachers and school personnel.
USED released a notice that it is rescinding regulations pertaining to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which, according to the Department, were either outdated or superseded due to changes made through the reauthorization process.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Rescinds ESSA Regulations Department Claims Outdated:  USED released a notice that it is rescinding regulations pertaining to ESSA. The regulations rescinded, according to the Department, were either outdated or superseded due to changes made in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), or programs had been defunded. Regarding Title I, the regulations that the Department rescinded are: Disaggregation of Data; State Accountability […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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