E-Update for the Week of January 28, 2019
- On January 24, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) announced the Committee’s Democratic members. Members of the Committee include Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), David Price (D-NC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Joe Morelle (D-NY), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
- On January 23, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced the Republican roster for the Committee. New Republican members of the Committee include: Reps. Mark Walker (R-NC), James Comer (R-KY), Ben Cline (R-VA), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Van Taylor (R-TX), Steve Watkins (R-KS), Ron Wright (R-TX), Dan Meuser (R-PA), William Timmons (R-SC), and Dusty Johnson (R-SD).
- On January 30, the public comment period ends for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) proposed changes to Title IX regulations regarding sexual harassment. The proposed rule, which would apply to all recipients of federal financial assistance, including institutions of higher education and elementary and high schools, narrows the definition of sexual harassment, limits to whom victims can report sexual harassment for an investigation to be opened, and narrows the responsibility of schools for investigating sexual harassment outside of school property or activities. For a brief overview of the changes and more information on how to submit comments, refer to the EducationCounsel’s analysis here. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted here.
Murphy, Bonamici call on USED, DOJ to reconsider school discipline guidance rescission: Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker regarding the decision to rescind the 2014 Obama-era school discipline guidance. The Congress members argued the guidance addressed the disparate impact that school discipline policies have on students of color and that the guidance helped maintain “school safety and improve school climate.” The letter explains the Congress members’ concerns that the rescission reflects the Departments’ lack of commitment to fully enforcing federal civil rights law. A press release is here. The letter is here.
January 24, 2019
Alexander argues all students should have “same choices that wealthier families have”: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement in recognition of National School Choice Week. The Chairman stated, in part, “Low-income families should have more of the same choices that wealthier families already have for their children.” The Chairman also described the expansion of 529 savings accounts and their now allowable use for paying tuition at an accredited religious or private school. The full statement is here.
January 22, 2019
DeLauro named chairwoman of House Labor/HHS appropriations subcommittee: Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was elected as chairwoman for the House Appropriations Subcommittee for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS). It was expected Chairwoman DeLauro would be named to this leadership position. A statement is here.
January 24, 2019
Yarmuth announces House Budget Committee Democrats: House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) announced the Committee’s Democratic members. Members of the Committee include Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), David Price (D-NC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Joe Morelle (D-NY), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN). A press release is here.
Additionally, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Steve Womack (R-AR) announced the Committee’s Republican members. Members of the Committee include Reps. Rob Woodall (R-GA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Jason Smith (R-MO), Bill Flores (R-TX), George Holding (R-NC), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Chip Roy (R-TX), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Rep. William Timmons (R-SC), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Kevin Hern (R-OK), and Tim Burchette (R-TN). A press release is here.
January 23 and 24, 2019
Foxx announces Education and Labor Committee Republican roster: House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced the Republican roster for the Committee. New Republican members of the Committee include: Reps. Mark Walker (R-NC), James Comer (R-KY), Ben Cline (R-VA), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Van Taylor (R-TX), Steve Watkins (R-KS), Ron Wright (R-TX), Dan Meuser (R-PA), William Timmons (R-SC), and Dusty Johnson (R-SD). The full Republican roster is here.
January 23, 2019
Castro, Trahan added to Education and Labor Committee: The House Democratic Steering Committee announced two additional nominations to the House Education and Labor Committee. Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) were nominated to the Committee. Their nominations will have to be confirmed by the full Democratic Caucus. An announcement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is here.
January 23, 2019
U.S. Department of Education:
DeVos to U.S. Mayors, “rethink CTE”: USED Secretary DeVos delivered remarks to the 87th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting. During her remarks, the Secretary described the disconnect between education and the economy as employers continue to report difficulties in finding qualified individuals to hire. Further, the Secretary called on mayors to help build relationships between employers and educators in attempts to address the skill gap. Additionally, the Secretary called on the mayors to rethink education in their communities and to begin by reconsidering what career and technical education (CTE) can mean for their individual cities and communities. The Secretary’s full remarks are here.
January 24, 2019
DeVos calls for more federal funding for vouchers, blames unions for slow choice expansion: USED Secretary DeVos provided remarks at a Heritage Foundation event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program is the only federally funded school voucher program in the country. During her remarks, the Secretary called for Congress to reauthorize the program and to include an “automatic growth piece” which would increase the funding levels of the program. Additionally, Secretary DeVos claimed teachers’ unions and those that have a “personal financial vested interest” are those that are preventing the expansion of school choice programs. POLITICO has more information here.
January 23, 2019
USED no longer pursuing restrictions on “closed school” discharges under borrower defense rewrite: POLITICO reported that Annmarie Weisman, the lead negotiator for the Department on the federal negotiated rulemaking committee, announced the Department is no longer considering the restriction on “closed school” discharges for students if schools offer students a “teach out.” The restriction would have been related to the borrower-defense rules, Obama-era rules that allowed for students to pursue federal loan forgiveness in the case of a school closing. Weisman stated, “That is no longer the policy direction we are going. That will not be in the next [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] that you see.” Weisman is referring to the Department’s plans to reissue a proposal to rewrite the borrower-defense rule after its initial July 2018 proposal expired.
January 18, 2019
Publications (Congressional and Administration):
- On January 24, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report titled, “Mental Health Staff in Public Schools, by School Racial and Ethnic Composition.” The report analyzed data from the 2015-16 National Teacher and School Principal Survey. Key findings of the report include identifying that in the 2015-16 school year, 94 percent of majority-minority and other schools (at least half of students are White and non-Hispanic) had at least one type of mental health staff member employed on at least a part-time basis; that both majority-minority and other schools had a student to mental health staff ratio of 260 students per staff member; and that in schools with counselors and school psychologists, the student to staff ratio was higher in majority-minority schools. The full report is here.
- On January 24, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report titled, “Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates (ACGR) for the 2016-17 school year.” Key findings of the report include identifying that the national ACGR for all students was 84.6 percent, which is an increase of 0.5 percent from the 2015-16 school year; that the ACGR increased for all student racial and ethnic groups; that black students had the highest increase of 1.4 percentage points to 77.8 percent overall; and that students with disabilities increased by 1.6 percentage points to 67.1 percent overall. The full report is here.
- On January 23, NCES released a report titled, “Barriers to Parent-School Involvement for Early Elementary Students.” The report examined parents’ involvement in activities at their children’s schools and describes the barriers to participation that parents face in being more involved. Key findings of the report include identifying that in the 2012-13 school year, 93 percent of parents reported going to a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference or meeting compared to 84 percent of parents attending an open house or back-to-school night; that only 52 percent of parents were able to volunteer in the classroom or in the school; that only 43 percent were able to attend a meeting of the PTA or PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization); that 48 percent of parents reported struggling to find time off work as the main barrier for not becoming more involved; and that 68 percent of parents who struggled to find time off work were in a household where two parents were employed full time and in 73 percent of households with a single, full time parent. The full report is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On January 23, the Data Quality Campaign released a report titled, “Growth Data: It Matters, and It’s Complicated.” The report analyzes state ESSA plans and their inclusion of measuring and reporting student growth. Key findings of the report include identifying that in all but two plans, states have committed to measuring student growth as an indicator of academic achievement; and that longitudinal data systems are critical for measuring student growth. The full report is here.
Upcoming Events (Congressional & Administration):
- On January 31 at 10:15 am, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a full committee hearing titled, “Consequences of the Government Shutdown: Endangering Students, Workers, Families, and Communities.” The hearing is expected to examine how the partial federal government shutdown is impacting food assistance programs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Witnesses have not yet been announced. More information is here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On January 31 at 9:00 am, that National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) will hold an event titled “Student Voice and Youth Engagement in the 2018 Midterm Elections and Beyond.” The event will examine the level of young people (18-31 year-olds) who voted in the 2018 midterm elections and the issues that motivated them to turnout. More information and registration are here.
- On January 31 at 2:00 pm, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) will hold a webinar titled, “2019: A Regulatory Reset for Higher Education.” The webinar will discuss President Donald Trump’s administration and its efforts to promote innovation in higher education through a regulatory process. The webinar will provide an update on the current negotiated rulemaking process and the opportunities and risks of the changes being considered. More information and registration are here.
- On February 4 at 2:30 pm, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is holding an event titled, “An agenda for higher education.” The panel discussion will feature Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) who will provide the keynote remarks on the HELP Committee’s agenda for reforming the Higher Education Act. The panel discussion to follow will focus on the proposal and expert insights. More information and registration are here.
A bill to end the use of corporal punishment in schools, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
A bill to establish a Commission on Securing our Nation’s Children, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. John Katko (R-NY)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to strengthen prevention and response measures for hate crimes on college campuses by establishing robust accountability measures, providing needs-based grants, and amending the Clery Act.
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)
A bill to amend title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to prohibit the provision of funds under such title to institutions of higher education that violate the immigration laws, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Hunter Duncan (R-CA)
A bill to distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
A bill to require the Secretary of Education to provide a deferment for certain student loans of Federal employees subject to a lapse in discretionary appropriations, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
A bill to amend the Mineral Leasing Act to require that a portion of revenues from new Federal mineral and geothermal leases be paid to States for use to supplement the education of students in kindergarten through grade 12 and public support of institutions of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO)
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for distributions from 529 programs to pay apprenticeship and qualified early education expenses, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)