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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E-Update for October 13, 2017

Highlights:

Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution. The budget resolution includes reconciliation instructions related to tax reform.
As of this week, all ESSA consolidated state plans have been posted on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. The plans will now undergo a peer review process. Plans can be found here.
On October 10, President Donald Trump announced the designation of Eric Hargan to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The press release can be found here.

Congress:
House:
House Passes Emergency Hurricane and Wildfire Relief Funding: The House passed H.Res.569 to provide $36.5 billion in emergency funding for hurricane and wildfire relief and recovery efforts by a vote of 353-69. The resolution will now be considered by the Senate. Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden’s (D-VT) statement is available here.
October 12, 2017
CHIP Reauthorization Discussions Continue: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released a statement regarding the extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other public health programs. In the […]

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E-Update for October 06, 2017

Highlights

On October 4, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Eric Hargan to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by a vote of 57-38. It is expected that Mr. Hargan may take on the role of Acting Secretary of HHS after the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price. This week, the White House also announced nominations for various USED positions.
On October 5, the Senate Budget Committee approved the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution, which would allow tax reform legislation to advance with the support of a simple-majority. The full Senate is expected to consider the budget proposal the week of October 16.
On October 5, the House passed H.Con.Res. 71, the FY2018 Budget Resolution, which also includes instructions allowing fast track consideration of deficit-neutral tax reform.
On October 3, 2017, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing titled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: Unleashing State Innovation,” to highlight state use of flexibilities in their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
Senate HELP Committee Holds ESSA Hearing […]

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Using ESSA to Improve School Climate and Social and Emotional Development

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which passed in December 2015, laid the groundwork for two significant shifts in education reform in that it (1) shifted significant authority and responsibility for designing key education systems from the federal level to states and districts; and (2) prioritized college and career ready outcomes for all students – allowing for a broader focus than the strictly academic nature of its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) – and required that all systems be aligned toward those outcomes.

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Colleges must protect free speech, but not when students feel unsafe

The new academic year is now well upon us with the return of hundreds of thousands of students to college this fall. And it’s a time unlike any in recent memory. The nation’s political divide is stark and conspicuous on campuses across the country where protests centering on issues of race, religion and free speech are rampant.

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E-Update for September 29, 2017

Highlights:

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price offered his resignation earlier today, and President Trump has accepted.
On September 27, the Trump Administration, House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee released a unified framework for tax reform.
On September 25, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum on Creating Pathways to Jobs by Increasing Access to High-Quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, directing the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to establish promotion of high-quality STEM education as one of the Department’s priorities.

Tax Reform:
Unified Framework for Tax Reform Released: The Trump Administration, House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee released a unified framework for tax reform. According to House Speaker Ryan (R-WI), the framework aims to, “deliver a 21st century tax code that is built for growth, supports middle-class families, defends our workers, protects our jobs, and puts America first.” A summary of the tax plan can be found here and the full framework can be found here.
While specific details of the plan related to changes to education tax policies have yet to be […]

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