E-Update for the Week of January 14, 2019
- On January 10, the House Democratic Steering Committee announced new nominations for the House Appropriations Committee. The nominations include Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ed Case (D-HI), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
- On January 8, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (USED) announced the recipients of the Preschool Development Birth through Five Grant awards (PDG B-5). Of the 47 “state” applicants, 45 received awards for a total distribution of $241.5 million. Individual awards ranged between $538,000 and $10.6 million.
- On January 7, USED released draft regulatory proposals to overhaul several aspects of programs authorized under the Higher Education Act (HEA). It also announced 15 primary and 15 alternate negotiators selected to serve on the negotiated rulemaking committee and additional negotiators to serve on three issue-specific subcommittees. The first of three negotiated rulemaking session will occur January 14 – 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at USED headquarters
Budget & Appropriations:
Whitehouse, Blunt introduce bill to establish two-year budget cycle, remove president budget request from timeline: Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced legislation, the “Bipartisan Budget and Appropriations Reform Act of 2019.” The bill would create a budget cycle requiring Congress to pass a budget every two years, remove the President’s budget request from the budget timeline, require an annual hearing on the “fiscal state of the nation,” and add the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance and Appropriations panels to the Senate Budget Committee. The bill comes after the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform failed to provide any clear actions last Congress. The bill is here. A joint statement by Senators Whitehouse and Blunt is here.
January 9, 2019
Murray, DeLauro call for USED to extend Title IX regulation comment deadline: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting she extend the deadline for comments on the proposed regulation for Title IX, as it relates to investigations of sexual assault, by an additional 30 days. Currently, the deadline is January 28, 60 days after the regulation was published on November 29, 2018. The Congresswomen argue the regulation was released in the midst of final exams and winter break for many college students, who could be largely impacted by the regulation changes. A joint press release is here. The full letter is here.
January 9, 2019
Shelby, Leahy re-elected as Appropriations Chair, Ranking Member: Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) was re-elected by the Republican caucus to serve as chairperson for the Senate Appropriations Committee. Chairman Shelby will serve alongside Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who will serve as ranking member of the Committee. A press release is here.
Relatedly, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced the leadership of the Appropriations Subcommittees. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) will serve as the chairman for the Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) will serve as ranking member. A press release is here.
January 9, 2019
Alexander, Murray re-elected as HELP Chair, Ranking Member: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was re-elected by the Republican caucus to serve as chairperson for the Senate HELP Committee. Chairman Alexander will serve alongside Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), who will serve as ranking member of the Committee. A press release is here.
January 9, 2019
Eight new Democratic appropriators nominated: The House Democratic Steering Committee announced new nominations for the House Appropriations Committee. The nominations include Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ed Case (D-HI), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ). Rep. Case is the only freshman member to be nominated for the Committee. It is expected these nominations will be in addition to the currently seated Democratic members of the Committee. All nominations must be approved by the full Democratic caucus. A press release from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is here.
January 10, 2019
Nine new Democratic members nominated to Ways and Means Committee: The House Democratic Steering Committee announced new nominations for the House Ways and Means Committee. The nominations include Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Tom Suozzi (D-NY). The only freshman member to be nominated is Rep. Horsford. These nominations will also have to be approved by the full Democratic caucus and are likely to join the currently seated Democratic members of the Committee. A press release from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is here.
January 10, 2019
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
USED adds 26 new hires, Robert King to be senior advisor pending nomination confirmation: USED announced 26 new hires to the Department. Key hires include Casey Sacks to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Dan Currell as the Deputy Under Secretary; Anna Raymond Bartlett as the Director of the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs; Laurie VanderPloeg as the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs; and Chris Rinkus as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Use of Evidence. Additionally, Robert King, the nominee for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, was hired as a senior advisor in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. His nomination is still pending with the Senate. The full list of hires is here.
January 8, 2019
USED releases negotiated rulemaking proposal, list of negotiators: USED released draft regulatory proposals to overhaul several aspects of programs authorized under the Higher Education Act (HEA). It also announced 15 primary and 15 alternate negotiators selected to serve on the negotiated rulemaking committee and additional negotiators to serve on three issue-specific subcommittees. Key highlights of the proposal include: reducing regulatory requirements pertaining to accreditors, giving them more autonomy in their oversight roles and making it easier for new accreditors to be recognized by the Secretary; eliminating the Obama-era credit-hour definition; allowing non-institutional providers to deliver the entirety of an academic program, removing the 50 percent cap on outsourcing academic programs to non-accredited partners; reversing an Obama-era rule on requiring distance education providers to be authorized in each state in which they enroll students; allowing accreditors to define who qualifies as an instructor; providing extended access to federal aid funds for closing institutions; and reducing restrictions on religious colleges’ participation in certain student aid programs, such as federal work study and TEACH grants. The stated goal of USED’s rulemaking efforts is to streamline regulations and provide room for institutions to innovate on existing educational models. The first of three negotiated rulemaking session will occur January 14 – 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at USED headquarters (400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.)—all full committee rulemaking sessions are open to the public and will be livestreamed, which can be viewed here. USED’s regulatory proposals and a list of the negotiators can be found here. An Inside HigherEd article is here.
January 7, 2019
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
PDG grantees announced: The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (USED) announced the recipients of the Preschool Development Birth through Five Grant awards (PDG B-5). Of the 47 “state” applicants, 45 received awards for a total distribution of $241.5 million. Individual awards ranged between $538,000 and $10.6 million. The PDG B-5 award is intended to assist states in improving their statewide early care and education programs for children from birth through age five. Specifically, the funds should be used to complete a comprehensive needs assessment and strategic planning process based on the findings of the needs assessment. Further, the grants will support states in increasing efficiency of using federal, state, local, and non-governmental resources to align and strengthen the delivery of existing programs; encouraging partnerships between Head Start programs, child care, and pre-k providers, state and local governments, private entities, and school systems; improving transitions between early childhood and school systems; and maximizing parental choice and knowledge about existing programs and delivery systems. States have until December 30, 2019 to complete the activities within their grant, with an opportunity to apply for renewal grants prior to the end of 2019. A joint press release from HHS and USED is here. A statement by House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member-designate Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is here.
January 8, 2019
Publications (Congressional & Administration):
- On January 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled, “Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits.” The study examined college student use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) compared to student eligibility. The report found that less than half of the 3.3 million students who are eligible for SNAP benefits used the program. The GAO highlighted the need for improved education about the program and students’ eligibility. Additionally, the report recommended the Food and Nutrition Service coordinate with regional offices to review SNAP flexibilities and work with state agencies to assist in students accessing SNAP benefits. The full report is here. A statement by Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) is here.
- On January 8, the National Center for Education Statistics released a report titled, “Parent and Student Expectations of Highest Education Level.” The report analyzes information from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to examine student and parent perceptions of educational attainment. Key findings of the study include identifying that there was an increase in the percentage of parents who expected their child would achieve a bachelor’s degree (31 percent in 2012, 20 percent in 2009); and the percentage of students who expected they would receive a bachelor’s degree also increased (18 percent in 2009, 28 percent in 2012). The full study is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On January 10, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR) sent a letter to USED and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in regards to their decision to rescind the 2014 Obama school discipline guidance, which stated schools and districts could be investigated for discrimination based on the disparate impact of school discipline policies. The letter, signed by 119 organizations, argues the departments’ rescission will make schools less safe for students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities. “Students deserve, and the law requires, a Department of Education a Department of Justice that are working to protect all students from discrimination and to provide an excellent education for all students,” the letter reads in part. The letter calls for the Departments to recommit to the 2014 guidance. The full letter is here.
- On January 10, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a policy brief titled, “11 Ways New Governors Can Lead on Education Through Executive Actions.” The brief outlines how newly elected governors can use their ability to issue executive orders in order to advance education policy initiatives. These initiatives include establishing a school infrastructure task force; convening a funding formula commission; creating a commission charged with modernizing and elevating the teaching profession; issuing a declaration of students’ right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression; issuing a directive to redesign high schools and improve workforce readiness; forming a task force to align school schedules and services; initiating an investigation of the for-profit and virtual charter school sectors; setting up a task force on school safety and positive school climate; establishing a commission on the status of civics education; launching a task force on sexual health and education in schools. The full brief is here.
- On January 10, GLSEN released 41 state snapshots, which include information on school climate from their 2017 National School Climate Survey. The snapshots provide state-specific data for advocates, educators, administrators, and policymakers in order to evaluate school climate for LGBTQ students. The snapshots are here.
- On January 9, the American Educational Research Association released a report titled, “School Teasing and Bullying After the Presidential Election.” The study examined instances of bullying in Virginia schools in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Key findings of the report include identifying that in districts who favored President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, there were higher adjusted rates of students who reported some form of bullying; and higher rates of bullying based on race or ethnicity. The full study is here.
Upcoming Events (Congressional & Administration):
- On January 14-16, February 19-22, and March 25-28, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the USED Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Building Barnard Auditorium. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
- On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Distance Learning and Educational Innovation Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the USED Potomac Center Plaza (PCP) Auditorium. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
- On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Faith-Based Entities Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the USED Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Building Barnard Auditorium. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
- On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the TEACH Grants Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. USED will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register to announce the location of the meeting. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On January 15 at 9:00 am, the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) will release its final report titled, “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope.” The event will feature guest speakers and will profile communities that are committed to educating the whole learner. For more information and registration for the livestreamed event are here.
- On January 16 at 10:00 am, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will host a panel discussion titled, “Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships: Spotlighting Early Successes Across America.” The discussion will feature Linda Smith, director of the BPC Early Childhood Initiative; Deborah Bergeron, director of the HHS Office of Head Start; Cynthia Jackson, executive director of the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s Educare Learning Network; Shannon Christian, Director of the HHS Office of Child Care. More information and registration are here.
A bill to direct the Secretary of Education to establish the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award Program recognizing excellence exhibited by classified school employees providing services to students in prekindergarten through high school.
Sponsor: Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV)
A bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to support the development of pre-apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades that serve underrepresented populations, including individuals from low income and rural census tracts.
Sponsor: Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ)
A bill to establish a program that enables college-bound residents of outlying areas of the United States to have greater choices among institutions of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI-At Large)
A bill to promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science, and scientific research, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans may attend pre-apprenticeship programs using certain educational assistance provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC)
A bill to authorize the Attorney General to establish a five-year pilot program to make grants to local educational agencies for the hiring of school resource officers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)