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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E-Update for September 22, 2017

Highlights:

On September 18, the remaining states who had not yet submitted their ESSA consolidated state plans sent their plans to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for approval.
On September 22, USED Secretary DeVos announced the decision to rescind a 2011 Dear Colleague letter and related Questions and Answers document providing guidance on how schools should handle investigations of campus sexual assault.
On September 19, 66 members of Congress sent a letter to USED Secretary Betsy DeVos criticizing her decision to suspend the implementation of the gainful employment rule.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
Remainder of ESSA State Plans Due to USED; MA ESSA Plan Approved: States that had not already submitted their ESSA consolidated state plans in spring 2017 for approval were required to submit their plans for approval to USED on September 18. As of today, state plans have been posted for the following states: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Ohio, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Posted plans can be found here. Additionally, USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Massachusetts’ ESSA consolidated state plan on September 21. In the announcement, […]

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E-Update for September 15, 2017

Highlights:

On September 14, the House voted to pass H.R. 3354, the “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act,” by a vote of 211-198.
On September 14, Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced H.R.3773/S.1806, the “Child Care for Working Families Act.”
This week, USED Secretary Betsy DeVos began her “Rethink School” tour in the West and Midwest to “showcase creative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education.” The tour involves visits to a number of different types of schools, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and community colleges, among others.

Budget & Appropriations:
Omnibus Bill Approved by the House: The House voted to pass H.R. 3354, the “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act,” by a vote of 211-198. This Omnibus bill combines the remaining House-drafted Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 bills into one bill. The bill as approved includes an overall three percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education […]

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E-Update for September 08, 2017

Please note, this week’s E-Update includes important updates from the week of August 28th.
Highlights:

On September 8, the House voted to pass H.R. 601 (115) to temporarily lift the country’s debt ceiling and deliver $15.25 billion in emergency aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma by a vote of 316-90. The Senate passed the same legislation the previous day by a vote of 80-17. The bill also includes a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until December 8th.
On September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a markup of the Fiscal Year (FY) 18 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations bill. The Committee approved the Labor-H bill by a vote of 29-2.
On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration has decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was established under the Obama Administration.

Budget & Appropriations:
House Approves Bill Lifting Debt Ceiling and Providing Emergency Aid: The House voted to pass H.R. 601 (115) to temporarily lift the country’s debt ceiling and deliver $15.25 billion in emergency […]

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