E-Update for August 25, 2017

Please note, we will not be publishing on Friday, September 1 due to Labor Day weekend.
Highlights:

Congress is currently on recess until Tuesday, September 5.
On August 24, U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced in the Federal Register that it will hold two public hearings regarding postsecondary education regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified.
Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) will hold two bipartisan hearings on health care in September.

Congress:
House and Senate Democrats Send Letter to Attorney General Sessions and USED Secretary DeVos Regarding Campus Racial Diversity: A group of House and Senate Democrats, including 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), sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding a recent U.S. Department of Justice memo which demonstrated an intent to reevaluate the federal government’s process for ensuring racial diversity on college campuses. […]

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E-Update for August 18, 2017

Highlights

Congress is currently on recess until September 5.
On August 15, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Connecticut and Louisiana’s ESSA consolidated state plans.
On August 17, USED announced that the Department has set a new deadline of October 6 for higher education institutions to file appeals of graduates’ earning data under the gainful employment rule. The submission date is now February 1.
On August 17, USED Secretary DeVos sent an internal memo to Department staff regarding the events in Charlottesville, VA. In the memo, USED Secretary DeVos reiterated the Department’s commitment to ensuring all students have a safe and high-quality learning environment free from discrimination.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Takes Action on ESSA Consolidated State Plans: U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Connecticut and Louisiana’s ESSA consolidated state plans. The press release is available here. Also this week, USED Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Jason Botel provided feedback on Colorado’s ESSA state plan. In the feedback letter, USED Acting Secretary Botel noted that the state needs […]

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E-Update for August 11, 2017

Highlights

On August 9, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico’s ESSA consolidated state plans.
Congress is currently on recess and will return on September 5.
On August 10, USED announced in the Federal Register that USED is extending the comment period to provide input on existing regulations and guidance that could be repealed, replaced, or modified from August 21, 2017 to September 20, 2017.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Secretary DeVos Approves Three ESSA Consolidated State Plans: U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the approval of Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico’s ESSA consolidated state plans. Regarding the announcement, USED Secretary DeVos stated, “The efforts put into these plans by chief state school officers, governors and others is evident, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with each of them as we work to expand and improve educational opportunities for all students.” The New Jersey determination letter is available here, New Mexico here, and Nevada here.
August 9, 2017
Several States Receive Feedback from USED on ESSA Consolidated State […]

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The Magic of College and Career Ready Approaches for Greater Equity, and 20 Ways to Advance Them through ESSA

Does the state set a clear “North Star” of the full array of college and career ready knowledge and skills through rigorous standards, goals, and high quality assessments? Does the state have multiple accountability measures, data reporting, and deeper diagnostic review processes that surface fuller college and career ready knowledge and skills, informed by things like performance assessments and portfolios across many subject areas, school climate measures, and accelerated coursework? Do the state’s school improvement strategies and direct student services priorities foster, for each and every student, the full range of college and career readiness and opportunities for them to direct and personalize their own learning?

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E-Update for August 4, 2017

Highlights:

On August 1, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department has approved Delaware’s ESSA consolidated state plan.
On August 3, the Senate unanimously confirmed Peter Oppenheim to serve as USED Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs.
On August 1, USED Secretary DeVos announced her decision to cancel plans to award the Department’s student loan servicing contract to a single company.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Posts Feedback on ESSA Consolidated State Plans: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) posted feedback on ESSA consolidated state plans for Washington, D.C. and Illinois. Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, and Vermont have yet to receive feedback on their plans. The feedback letter for Washington, D.C. can be found here and the feedback letter for Illinois can be found here.
August 4, 2017
USED Approves Delaware’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department has approved Delaware’s ESSA consolidated state plan after the state’s plan went through a revision process based on USED feedback. Delaware is the first state to have its plan approved. Regarding the decision, USED […]

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Reflecting on What We Know About Diversity in Higher Education and the Consideration of Race in Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court’s near 40-year history on the consideration of race- and ethnicity in higher education admissions (going all the way back to the landmark Bakke case in 1978) has shaped action by the U.S. Department of Justice and Education for decades–including in federal regulations, policy guidance, and enforcement resolutions (from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights).

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E-Update for July 28, 2017

Highlights

On July 27, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced that it will change its process for providing feedback to states on their ESSA consolidated state plans.
On July 27, 59 Democratic members sent a letter to USED Secretary Betsy DeVos asking her to reverse the decision to delay gainful employment disclosure provisions.
On July 27, the Trump Administration and congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, released a joint statement calling on tax-writing committees to draft tax reform legislation that can be considered in committee in the fall.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
USED Announces Changes for ESSA Feedback Process: It was announced that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will change its process for providing feedback to states on their ESSA consolidated state plans. The changes will include working with states to address concerns with their plans before posting feedback publicly, including through phone calls with each state.
July 27, 2017
Congress:
Democratic Members Send Letter Urging USED Secretary DeVos To Reverse Gainful Employment Disclosure Provisions Delay: 59 Democratic […]

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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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