E-Update for July 21, 2017

Highlights:

On July 18, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts” to hear from state and local representatives and other stakeholders about the progress and challenges of ESSA implementation thus far.
On July 20, the House Budget Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution titled, “Building a Better America.”
On July 19, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) bill and report by a party line vote of 28-22.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
House Education and the Workforce Committee Holds Hearing on ESSA Implementation: The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts” to hear from state and local representatives and other stakeholders about the progress and challenges of ESSA implementation thus far. During the hearing, Chairwoman of the Committee Foxx emphasized the importance of maintaining a limited federal role in education, while Ranking Member of the Committee Scott noted that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) must play […]

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E-Update for July 14, 2017

Highlights:

On July 13, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a markup of the FY2018 LHHS Appropriations bill, during which the Subcommittee reported out its draft bill by a party line vote of 9-6.
On July 13, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing titled, “Opportunities for State Leadership of Early Childhood Programs” to discuss the effectiveness of federal and state investments in early childhood programs.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Provides Feedback on Massachusetts ESSA Plan: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) provided feedback to Massachusetts regarding their ESSA consolidated state plan. Feedback has already been provided to Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon, Delaware, New Mexico, Nevada, and Tennessee. USED will continue to release feedback on the remaining state plans submitted in May in the coming weeks.
July 7, 2017
Congress:
Democratic Members Send Letter to USED on Student Loan Debt Collection: A group of Democratic members, including Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), sent a letter to USED Secretary Betsy […]

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E-Update for July 07, 2017

Highlights:

Congress was on recess this week and will be back in session on Monday, July 10.
On July 5, a letter by Ivanka Trump to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was published in support of the Administration’s paid family leave proposal.
On July 6, 18 states and the District of Columbia sued U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding her decision to delay the Borrower Defense.

Every Student Succeeds Act:
USED Posts Feedback on Five ESSA Consolidated State Plans: This week, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) posted feedback on ESSA consolidated state plans for Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon, and Tennessee. USED plans to provide feedback on the remaining nine state plans in the coming weeks.
Congress:
House:
Chairwoman Black Discusses Budget Priorities on Fox News: Chairwoman of the House Budget Committee Diane Black (R-TN) spoke to Fox News about her budget priorities, including tax reform and cutting mandatory spending to reduce the country’s debt. Chairwoman Black has also said this week that she is hoping a budget resolution will be considered by the Committee as early as next week. The press release […]

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E-Update for June 30, 2017

Highlights:

Congress will be on recess from July 3 to July 7.
This week, the Senate delayed a vote on its draft health care bill.
On June 28, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing titled, “Exploring Opportunities to Strengthen Education Research While Protecting Student Privacy,” which focused on the value of data and research and the need for clear guidance on ways to protect student data, among other topics.
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia vs. Comer, ruling that the government cannot prohibit an entity from receiving a generally available benefit due to religious identity. The case is said to have important implications for states’ school choice policies.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Provides Feedback on ESSA State Plans: This week, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) provided feedback on ESSA consolidated state plans to an additional 5 states: Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon, and Tennessee. States will respond to the feedback – which has not yet been posted publicly […]

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E-Update for June 23, 2017

Highlights:

On June 22, the House of Representatives passed by voice vote H.R. 2353, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” to reauthorize career and technical education programs.
On June 22, Senate Republicans unveiled their health care overhaul proposal.
On June 19, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Year Round Pell grants will be available to students beginning July 1, 2017.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Releases FAQ on State ESSA Plans: U.S. Department of Education (USED) released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on ESSA Consolidated State plans.  The release of the document follows the Department’s posting initial feedback on ESSA state plans to New Mexico, Delaware, and Nevada. Some questions answered in the FAQ include information on how the Department is determining what to include in the initial feedback it is providing to each state and what are the common requests for clarification that the Department has made to states, among other questions. The FAQ document is available here.
June 16, 2017
Congress:
Democratic Members Raise Concerns With AMC Sale of For-Profit Colleges: A group of House and Senate […]

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E-Update for June 16, 2017

Highlights:

This week, Delaware, Nevada, and New Mexico received feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated state plans.
On June 15, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to promote apprenticeships and effective workforce development programs and reduce regulatory burdens for these programs.
On June 14, USED Secretary DeVos announced that the Department will establish rulemaking committees on Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment Negotiated Rulemaking regulations. The Department is also postponing the effective date of the Obama Administration’s borrower defense regulations due to pending litigation.

Every Student Succeeds Act
USED Provides Feedback on Three ESSA Consolidated State Plans: This week, Delaware, Nevada, and New Mexico received feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated state plans. USED plans to provide feedback on the remaining 14 state plans in the coming weeks. Delaware feedback is available here, Nevada feedback here, and New Mexico feedback here.
Congress:
Members Send Letter Regarding Student Loan Servicing Contract Process to USED Secretary DeVos: Over 150 members, led by Reps. Bobby Scott […]

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E-Update for June 9, 2017

Highlights:

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on the FY2018 U.S. Department of Education’s budget request.
The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on the FY2018 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ budget request.
The U.S. Department of Education announced that it is seeking comments on a Weighted Student Funding and School-Based systems study.

Congress:
House:
House Ways and Means Committee Holds a Hearing on the FY2018 HHS Budget Request: The House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on the Fiscal Year (FY)  2018 President’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Committee members questioned HHS Secretary Tom Price about his commitment to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and the budget’s proposed cuts to social service programs that benefit children, such as Medicaid, the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), the Community Services Block Grant, and childcare support programs. […]

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E-Update for June 2, 2017

Highlights:

Congress was out of session this past week and will return on June 5th.
A group of Democratic Senators sent a letter to Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee regarding Title II funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 LHHS appropriations bill.
USED announced the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is now available for borrowers applying for an income-driven repayment plan.

Congress:
Democratic Members Send Letter to USED Secretary DeVos Regarding ESSA State Plan Peer Review Process: A group of Democratic members, led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) consolidated state plan peer review process. In the letter, the members expressed concerns that the Department’s peer review process is not the robust quality control process that Congress intended. The members requested an explanation for how USED will ensure that the process improves the quality of states’ plans.
May 25, 2017
Senate:
Ranking Member Murray Sends Letter Regarding USED Secretary DeVos’ Speech at American Federation for Children Event: […]

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E-Update for May 26, 2017

Highlights:

On May 24, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing entitled, “Empowering Students and Families to Make Informed Decisions on Higher Education.”
On May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing to examine the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 full budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) during which USED Secretary Betsy DeVos testified.
On May 23, President Trump released his full budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which builds off the “skinny” budget proposal that was released in March 2017.

Congress:
House:
House Oversight Subcommittees Hold a Joint Hearing on Improper Student Aid Payments: The House Oversight Subcommittees on Government Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs held a joint hearing entitled, “Improper Payments in the Federal Government: Student Aid” to discuss the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) process for accurately estimating improper payments and preventing future improper payments. Prior to the hearing, USED’s Office of Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer James Runcie announced his resignation due to his concerns with […]

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E-Update for May 19, 2017

Highlights:

On May 17, the House Education and the Workforce Committee unanimously passed H.R. 2353, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.”
On May 15, Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development Susan Davis (D-CA) launched the “Aim Higher” campaign to put forth higher education policy solutions to better support all students.
On May 17, the Washington Post reported that it had received a leaked copy of the full Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal for U.S. Department of Education (USED) that is set to be officially released next week on May 23rd. The leaked budget proposal includes new information that was not included in the FY2018 “Skinny” budget proposal that was released in March 2017.

Congress:
Democratic Members Introduce “Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act:” Rep. Susan Davis, Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee Patty Murray introduced […]

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