E-Update for January 15, 2016

E-Update for January 15, 2016


On January 12, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union (SOTU) address. In the speech, he highlighted the work that the Administration has been doing to advance educational opportunity for Americans, and noted the continued work to be done. He highlighted the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), record graduation rates, and increased early childhood education funding. The President also noted initiatives that he will continue to push for moving forward, such as Pre-Kindergarten for all; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; and increasing college access and affordability. The full text of the President’s remarks can be accessed here.

On January 14, House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) signaled that he will not challenge the agreed upon FY2017 budget cap. He also emphasized that he hopes to bring the FY2017 budget resolution to the floor by early March, which would in turn accelerate the appropriations schedule for subcommittees. House Appropriations Labor/HHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) likewise signaled his interest in reaching a budget resolution early this year.


U.S Congress

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander Announces 2016 Committee Priorities: Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced his 2016 priorities for the Committee. Of the five, three were education related. Those priorities included: (1) continued oversight of the implementation of ESSA; (2) an expedient confirmation process for a Secretary of Education, should President Obama nominate one; and (3) higher education priorities, including simplifying and increasing the effectiveness of regulation.  Video of Chairman Alexander’s comments is available here.
January 14, 2016


U.S Department of Education

Acting Secretary of Education John King Launches “Opportunity Across America” Tour: U.S. Department of Education (USED) Acting Secretary John King kicked off his “Opportunity Across America” tour, to meet with students, teachers, and members of the community to discuss ESSA and his top priorities for 2016. Secretary King’s tour began in Texas and will continue through Washington, D.C., Florida, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
January 14, 2016

USED Begins Negotiations to Establish New Rules Governing Debt Relief for Federal Borrowers: College students, USED officials, and college representatives began the first of three rounds of negotiations to set a new standard for when USED will cancel federal student loans as a result of a college’s misconduct. USED is also eyeing an additional set of rules to mitigate against risky colleges that may cost the government money with debt relief claims. Issue briefs sent from USED to negotiators are available here.
January 12, 2014

USED Hosts Hearing on ESSA Implementation: USED hosted the first of two hearings on ESSA implementation. The hearing was an opportunity for the public to comment and provide recommendations for Title I and other regulations, or areas for USED to provide guidance without regulation. Commenters included representatives from civil rights groups, teachers unions, nonprofit organizations, and individual educators. The first hearing was held in Washington, DC at USED.  More information on the second hearing is below.  Video recording of the Washington, DC event is available here.
January 11, 2016

White House FY2017 Budget Release Slated for February 9: White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Shaun Donovan announced that the White House will roll out its budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on February 9, one week after the budget deadline. The budget will likely include some of the initiatives highlighted in the President’s SOTU address, continuing priorities from prior budgets under this administration.
January 7, 2016



On January 19, USED will host a regional meeting for the public to provide advice and recommendations concerning issues in ESSA for which regulations may be helpful to clarify statutory ambiguities or provide appropriate flexibility. This is the second of two meetings for this purpose.  The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of California-Los Angeles’ Carnesale Commons.

On January 20, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a business meeting to markup Committee Print: Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016. The meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. in room 328A of the Russell Senate Office Building. The meeting will be webcast live on the committee webpage.


New Legislation

H.R.4385 : College for All Act
Sponsor: Rep Grayson, Alan [FL-9] (introduced 1/13/2016)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.4386 : Pathways to an Affordable Education Act
Sponsor: Rep Kilmer, Derek [WA-6] (introduced 1/13/2016)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce; House Ways and Means

H.R.4390 : Johnson-O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act
Sponsor: Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] (introduced 1/13/2016)      Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce



Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems: This report from Learning First illustrates how four high-performing systems – British Columbia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore – developed their teacher professional learning. The report is accompanied by authentic tools used by these high-performing systems and schools, and is intended to be used as a resource for teachers, school leaders, and policymakers wanting to improve professional learning in their schools.
January 14, 2016

What Are Students Demanding?: This report from the American Council on Education (ACE) analyzes the demands from student organizers across 76 higher education institutions and coalitions. This is the first article in a series sparked by recent student protests and the national dialogue on diversity and inclusion.
January 13, 2016

Persistence and Attainment of 2011-12 First-Time Postsecondary Students After 3 Years: This publication from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) provides descriptive findings from the 2012/14 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:12/14) focusing on attainment, persistence, and retention in postsecondary education. BPS:12/14 is a nationally representative longitudinal sample survey of students who began postsecondary education for the first time during the 2012–13 academic year; this first follow-up represents students’ experiences about 3 years after their initial enrollment. Among 2011–12 first-time postsecondary students, 7 percent had completed a certificate, 7 percent had completed an associate’s degree, and 1 percent had completed a bachelor’s degree at any institution within 3 years. Another 39 percent had not earned a credential and were enrolled at a 4-year institution, 16 percent were enrolled at a less-than-4-year institution, and 30 percent were not enrolled at any institution by the spring of 2014.
January 12, 2016

Lessons from State Performance on NAEP: Why Some High Poverty Students Score Better Than Others: This report from the Center for American Progress examines low-income students’ scores on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) over the past decade to attempt to identify a link between standards-based reform and improved student outcomes.
January 14, 2016

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