E-Update for July 16, 2014

E-Update for July 16, 2014

E-Update for July 16, 2014


On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission approved, along a strict party line vote, important regulatory changes designed to update the E-rate program. The programmatic changes include a new focus on using WiFi to deliver high capacity broadband to every classroom. Among other improvements to the program, the Order:

  • Establishes an annual funding target of $1 billion for Funding Years 2015 and 2016
  • Adopts clear broadband goals to measure overall program success
  • Incentivizes consortia and bulk purchasing.
  • Increases transparency on how E-rate dollars are spent and on prices charged for E-rate services.
  • Aims to make the administration and application process faster/simpler

When published later this month, the FCC’s E-rate Order will be paired with a new public notice inviting public comment on the program’s long-term funding needs. Interested parties will have 30 days from the date of notice’s publication in the Federal Register to file comments.

EducationCounsel News

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), through its Digital Learning Now initiative, today released a new white paper in collaboration with EducationCounsel highlighting Course Access as the next step in delivering advanced and personalized education to students. “Leading in an Era of Change, Making the Most of State Course Access Opportunities” profiles states that are using innovative policy and technology to expand educational choices for schools and students, focusing on collaborative opportunities for efficiently delivering quality programs. Course Access provides public school students with expanded course offerings across learning environments from diverse, accountable public and private providers. Students select from a broad range of courses, in various formats – including online, face-to-face, or blended. Placing a strong focus on student outcomes, participating students receive both state funding and full class credit for completing a state-approved Course Access program. Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary Richard Riley each contributed a foreword to the paper.


The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) hosted a webinar entitled “Designing and Aligning Assessments for Next Generation Science Standards” on Tuesday, July 15.The webinar focused on a report recently released by the National Research Council recently called Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standard that outlines an approach to developing science assessments that align to the vision of standards such as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics hosted a webinar on educational technology on Wednesday, July 16. This webinar is part of a monthly series, designed to share information and foster peer networking around key education topics of interest to the Hispanic community. As the Hispanic student population continues to grow, it is important that students have access to the latest cutting-edge technologies and digital content in the classroom. The webinar will include a presentation from Richard Culatta (Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education), who will discuss the Department’s focus on leveraging technology to create personalized learning experiences for all students. In the second half of the webinar, Misa Gonzales (a teacher from Alta Vista High School in Tucson, Arizona) will share her experiences using advanced technology in the classroom.

The First Five Years Fund will host a poll briefing and conversation on early childhood education on Thursday, July 17from 8:30 to 10:15 at the National Press Club. The First Five Years Fund will release the results of a new bipartisan poll on early childhood education and host a conversation between two high-profile former campaign opponents. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign manager and former White House deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, will discuss the political path for increasing federal investments in early childhood education with Kevin Madden, who served as senior advisor to former Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. All are welcome to register for the event here.

The Alliance for Excellent Education and the New Teacher Center will host a discussion on improving the effectiveness of beginning teachers on Thursday, July 17 at 10AM. The discussion will focus on longstanding concerns about students’ access to effective teaching as states gear up to implement rigorous college- and career-ready standards. Panelists will highlight current trends in the teaching workforce, the research on induction programs, and a systems approach to creating supportive teaching and learning conditions. A new Alliance report will be released at the event—On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers—that examines research on teacher turnover and performance and the implications for designing induction supports and professional learning as part of a coherent teacher development system. Panelists will include Andrea Giunta (Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association), Mariana Haynes (Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education), Terry Holliday (Commissioner of Education, Kentucky Department of Education), Richard Ingersoll, ( Professor of Education and Sociology, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania), and Ellen Moir (Executive Director, New Teacher Center).

U.S Department of Education

Statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the FCC’s Vote to Modernize the E-Rate Program: “Today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission to update the E-rate program is an important milestone on the path toward realizing President Obama’s ConnectED vision. Because of this vote, an additional $2 billion will be made available to provide 20 million more students with high-speed Wi-Fi in their classrooms and libraries over the next two years. We commend the FCC on this key vote and for its continued commitment to increasing vital school and library Internet connectivity, which we believe will help more students get a great education, train them for the jobs of the future and continue to build a more competitive U.S. economy.”
July 11, 2014

Departments of Education and Justice Reach Settlement Agreement with Jefferson Parish Public School System Ensuring Equal Access and Non-Discrimination in Schools: The Departments of Education and Justice announced today that they have reached a comprehensive agreement with the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana (JPPSS) to ensure that all students can enroll in school regardless of their own national origin or immigration status, or that of their parents or guardians. The agreement also resolves complaints regarding JPPSS’ policies and practices for communicating with parents who have limited English proficiency (LEP) and JPPSS’ response to alleged harassment of Latino students based on their national origin.
July 9, 2014

Congressional Headlines

Alexander Tells Nation’s Governors: “We Need to Stop Washington’s National School Board”: U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee and former Tennessee governor, today called on the nation’s governors to support legislation that would “end the trend toward a national school board and stop Washington from making it harder for governors to improve their public schools, raise standards, and recruit and keep good teachers.”
July 11, 2014

House Education Committee Clears Three Higher Ed. Bills: The Education and the Workforce Committee Thursday morning cleared the first three of what will be several small, targeted bills aimed reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. All three of the measures passed on a voice vote with support from members on both sides of the aisle, a rare occurrence that followed Wednesday’s passage of the bipartisan workforce development bill by the full U.S. House of Representatives.
Education Week
July 10, 2014

Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress: Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the president’s desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation’s workforce development system.
July 9, 2014

New Legislation

H.R.5031 : STEM Education Act of 2014
Sponsor: Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] (introduced 7/8/2014)
Committees: House Science, Space, and Technology
Latest Major Action: 7/14/2014 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
Latest Action: 7/14/2014 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

H.R.5100 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to report revenue generated by each sports team, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] (introduced 7/14/2014)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 7/14/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.5092 : To amend the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act to expedite civil actions, claims, and appeals under that Act, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Young, Don [AK] (introduced 7/11/2014)
Committees: House Natural Resources
Latest Major Action: 7/11/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R.5090 : To prohibit providing Federal funds for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sponsor: Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] (introduced 7/11/2014)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 7/11/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

S.2584 : Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act of 2014
Sponsor: Sen Kaine, Tim [VA] (introduced 7/10/2014)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 7/10/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.RES.662 : Expressing support for designation of October 2014 as “National Principals Month”.
Sponsor: Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] (introduced 7/9/2014)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 7/9/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.RES.658 : Expressing support for a whole child approach to education and recognizing the role of parents, educators, and community members in providing a whole child approach to education for each student.
Sponsor: Rep Bonamici, Suzanne [OR-1] (introduced 7/8/2014)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 7/8/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

National and State Headlines

Common Core Repeal Faces Test at Okla. Supreme Court: A lawsuit that challenges the legislature’s repeal of common core education standards for English and math is being scrutinized by Oklahoma’s highest court just one month before public school students are scheduled to return to the classroom. Parents, teachers and four members of the seven-member Oklahoma Board of Education accuse lawmakers of violating the board’s constitutional authority over the “supervision of instruction in the public schools” when they repealed common core standards scheduled to go into effect in the upcoming school year. Some fear Oklahoma students will fall behind because of the change.
Education Week
July 15, 2014

AFT Resolution on Secretary Duncan: The American Federation of Teachers approved a resolution this afternoon calling for Education Secretary Arne Duncan to resign if he does not improve under a plan to be implemented by President Barack Obama. The “improvement plan” would include the requirement that Duncan enact the funding and equity recommendations of the Equity Commission’s “Each and Every Child” report; change the No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top “test-and-punish” accountability system to a “support-and-improve” model; and “promote rather than question” teachers and school staff.
Education Week
July 14, 2014


Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics Report: America’s Young Adults, Special Edition 2014: American young adults are more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to graduate from high school, and attend college, and less likely to smoke than previous generations, according to a report by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. However, the young adults have more student debt than generations past, earn less than their counterparts in the year 2000, and more than 1 in 5 are obese, the report says.
June 15, 2014

National Center for Education Statistics Report:  Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2013–14; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred, 2012–13; and 12-Month Enrollment, 2012–13: This First Look presents preliminary data findings from the IPEDS fall 2013 collection, which included three survey components: Institutional Characteristics for the 2013-14 academic year, Completions covering the period July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, and data on 12-Month Enrollment for the 2012-13 academic year.
July 10, 2014

The Institute for College Access & Success Report: At What Cost? How Community Colleges that Do Not Offer Federal Loans Put Students at Risk: In 2013-14, nearly one million community college students across the nation were denied access to federal student loans, the safest and most affordable way to borrow for college. This issue brief includes national and state-by-state analyses of loan access by race/ethnicity and urbanicity, and takes an in-depth look at North Carolina, California, and Georgia.
July 2014

New America Foundation Report: High School Exit Exams Hinder Common Core Implementation: As states launch new, more challenging tests that are aligned to the Common Core standards, test scores across the country are expected to drop as students are assessed on the more rigorous content. Given that over twenty states use these tests as exit exams and require students to pass them in order to graduate from high school, state policymakers face a dilemma: how can they motivate and hold students accountable for meeting college-ready standards without jeopardizing their ability to access college by earning a high school diploma? This report recommends that states abandon, or modify, their exit exam policies in favor of alternatives that provide many of the potential benefits of exit exams, without the costs and risks for vulnerable students. The report also discusses effective strategies for states that do decide to maintain their exit exams that will help them ensure that neither test quality and rigor, nor the pipeline of students from high school to college, are compromised during the transition to more challenging standards and tests.
July 2014

The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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