E-Update for November 18, 2016

Highlights

On November 17, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced that House and Senate leadership has agreed to begin working immediately on a Continuing Resolution (CR) at the current rate of funding to extend federal government operations through March 31, 2017.  The current CR expires on December 9.
On November 18, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released a report entitled, “Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education,” which includes data showing continuing educational opportunity gaps for students of color and low-income students in higher education.

U.S. Congress
House Takes Action Related to Regulatory Review: The House passed H.R. 5982, the “Midnight Rules Relief Act,” by a vote of 240 – 179. The bill would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to consider a joint resolution to disapprove multiple regulations at one time. Prior to passage, the House Republicans on the Education and the Workforce Committee issued a press release that specifically cited concerns with a Department of Labor overtime rule and Department of Education K-12 regulations that, “completely ignore the letter and intent of the law at the […]

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E-Update for November 11, 2016

Highlights

On November 8, Donald Trump was elected president. The website for President-elect Trump and information on his education priorities can be found here.
On November 7, House and Senate Republicans wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary John King urging the withdrawal of USED’s proposed supplement, not supplant regulation.
On November 4, USED sent its final State Authorization regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Final regulations will likely be released before the end of the Obama Administration.

U.S. Congress
Chairman Alexander Reflects on Implications for Education Regulations under a Trump Presidency: During a conversation with the Chattanooga Rotary in Tennessee, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said that he hoped “the president-elect would review the regulations on healthcare in addition to education and labor that President Obama has put out exceeding legal authority and either repeal them, not enforce them or change them.”
November 11, 2016
Representative Virginia Foxx Announces Decision to Run for Chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) officially announced that she will run to […]

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E-Update for November 4, 2016

Highlights

On November 3, a letter was published to President Obama from 10 bipartisan Senators raising concerns with the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) proposed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulations for supplement, not supplant provisions and state accountability systems.
On November 2, USED Secretary John King delivered a speech on the importance of expanding access to quality preschool for children’s growth and development.
On November 1, House Democrats penned a letter advocating for the restoration of year-round Pell Grants and for the remainder of the Pell Grant surplus to be used solely for the Pell Grant Program.
Monday, November 7 is the deadline for public comment on USED’s ESSA regulations for supplement, not supplant provisions.

U.S. Congress
10 Bipartisan Senators Send Letter to the President Citing Concerns with ESSA Regulations: The Washington Post published a letter from a group of 10 bipartisan Senators (5 R, 4D, 1I), including Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to President Obama raising concerns with USED’s proposed ESSA regulations for supplement, not supplant provisions and state accountability systems. The letter urged […]

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E-Update for October 28, 2016

Highlights

On October 28, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced final regulations for borrower defense, which will help to protect student borrowers and clarify the process for loan forgiveness.
On October 28, the official notice for USED’s teacher preparation regulations was posted in the Federal Register as a pre-publication notice. The regulations had been previously posted by USED on October 12.
USED’s final regulations for Title I assessment provisions and for the Innovative Assessment Pilot have been sent to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

Administration
USED Announces Final Regulations for Borrower Defense: USED announced final regulations to protect student borrowers against misleading practices by postsecondary institutions and to clarify the process for loan forgiveness in cases of institutional misconduct. The final regulations will allow the Secretary to provide debt relief to borrowers without requiring individual applications if an institution has made widespread misrepresentations. USED also announced that it will restore semesters of Pell Grant eligibility for Pell recipients at closed institutions, among other provisions.
In a press release following the announcement, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking […]

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E-Update for October 21, 2016

Highlights

Congress is in recess until after the election.
On October 19, the final Presidential debate took place between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The debate only included passing references to education issues, with Secretary Clinton discussing the need to invest in education from preschool through college to improve the economy. She also briefly mentioned her debt-free and tuition-free college proposals, and noted the need to support technical education and apprenticeships.
On October 17, the Administration announced the release of new high school graduation rate data which showed record-high graduation rates nationally and in various subgroups of students.
This week, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released guidance on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) related to early learning and Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants.

Congress
Senator Carper Releases Report on Veterans and School Closures: Senate Oversight Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) released a staff report entitled, “Education Denied: The Importance of Assisting Veterans Harmed by School Closures.” The report highlights the negative impact that school closures, like the recent collapse of ITT Technical Institutes (ITT Tech) and Corinthian […]

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E-Update for October 14, 2016

Highlights

Congress is in recess until after the election.
On October 9, the second Presidential debate took place between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. While the debate did not include any substantive discussion on education issues, Secretary Clinton did discuss her previous experience working against segregation in schools and in support of children with disabilities. The final debate will be held on October 19.
On October 12, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released final regulations on teacher preparation programs. According to USED, the rules aim to increase transparency, increase flexibility for states, and ensure that prospective teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in the classroom.

U.S Congress
Congressman Urges USED to Restore Pell Grant Eligibility to ITT Tech Students: Representative Luke Messer (R-IN) sent a letter to USED urging the Department to restore Pell Grant eligibility to the approximately 16,000 students who attended the now-closed ITT Technical Institute. In the letter, Rep. Messer noted that many of these students relied on Pell Grants in order to be able to pursue a postsecondary education, and added that […]

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E-Update for October 7, 2016

Highlights

Congress is in recess until after the election.
On October 4, the Vice Presidential debate was held between Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) at Longwood University. Senator Kaine highlighted Secretary Hillary Clinton’s plan for the economy, including investment in the workforce from pre-K education to great teachers to debt-free college and tuition-free college for families that make less than $125,000. Governor Pence touted his record as Governor of Indiana of investing in education.
On October 4 and 5, respectively, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) sent final regulations on significant disproportionality and the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) Title I accountability and state plans provisions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

U.S. Congress
Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray Sends Letter to USED About Restoring Pell Grant Eligibility: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to USED Secretary John King urging the Department to restore Pell Grant eligibility to students who attended schools that have recently been closed, such as ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges. In the […]

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E-Update for September 30, 2016

Highlights

On September 29, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Schoolwide Guidance, which explains the benefits of operating a schoolwide program under Title I for school districts and schools.
On September 28, the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) to continue funding the government through December 9, which was then signed by the President on September 29. The bill includes a .496% across-the-board reduction to programs for the duration of the CR.
On September 27, USED released guidance on supporting educators and elevating the teaching profession through Title II-Part A in ESSA.
This week, EducationCounsel published new guidance entitled, “A Federal Legal and Policy Primer on Scholarships: Key Non-discrimination Principles and Actionable Strategies for Institutions of Higher Education and Private Scholarship Providers” in partnership with the National Scholarship Providers Association and the College Board. The primer provides guidance on legal standards that may apply to scholarships when multiple different personal characteristics are considered, includes action steps that institutions and private providers can take to help promote the effectiveness and legal sustainability of scholarships, and outlines […]

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E-Update for September 23, 2016

Highlights

On September 23, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule that makes regulatory changes to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).
On September 23, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released non-regulatory guidance to support English Learners and Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
On September 22, the text of a Continuing Resolution (CR), which if approved, will continue funding for government operations beyond September 30 through December 9 was released. A cloture vote on the substitute amendment is scheduled for Tuesday at 2:15 pm. CR summary here.
On September 22, USED terminated recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
On September 22, EducationCounsel released Getting Our House in Order: Clarifying the Role of the State in Higher Education Quality Assurance, a new chapter in our ongoing examination of the “triad” of quality assurance (the federal government, accrediting agencies, and states).  Guided by published research and the perspectives of leading state experts, stakeholders, and researchers, it aims to inform policy by: (1) discussing the triad today; (2) examining the […]

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E-Update for September 16, 2016

Highlights

On September 16, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released guidance to support the use of evidence-based activities, strategies, and interventions at the state, district, and school levels, particularly during implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
On September 14, the House passedR. 5587, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act,” by a vote of 405-5. On September 21, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to markup the Senate’s CTE reauthorization bill.
EducationCounsel Principal Sandi Jacobs penned this LatestCounsel blog entitled “Want Your ESSA Plan to Ensure Equal Access to Effective Teachers? Targeted Strategies Are Your Best Bet!” The post explains how ESSA places increased focus on the equitable distribution of teachers and offers guiding examples for states to consider when developing their ESSA plans to ensure that all students have great teachers.

U.S. Congress
New Democrat Coalition Releases Higher Education Priorities: The New Democrat Coalition in the House (which includes over 50 Democratic members), led by its 21st Century Education, Immigration, and Workforce Taskforce Co-Chairs Jared Polis (D-CO), Joaquin Castro (D-TX) […]

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