E-Update for July 21, 2017
- On July 18, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts” to hear from state and local representatives and other stakeholders about the progress and challenges of ESSA implementation thus far.
- On July 20, the House Budget Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution titled, “Building a Better America.”
- On July 19, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) bill and report by a party line vote of 28-22.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
House Education and the Workforce Committee Holds Hearing on ESSA Implementation: The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing titled, “ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts” to hear from state and local representatives and other stakeholders about the progress and challenges of ESSA implementation thus far. During the hearing, Chairwoman of the Committee Foxx emphasized the importance of maintaining a limited federal role in education, while Ranking Member of the Committee Scott noted that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) must play an important role in ensuring that states and districts comply with the civil rights guardrails established in ESSA. Chairwoman Foxx’s opening statement can be found here and the minority press release can be found here.
July 18, 2017
- In conjunction with the hearing, the Government Accountability Office released a report titled, “Early Observations on State Changes to Accountability Systems,” which details the perspectives of nine national stakeholder groups on states’ accountability systems under ESSA. The report can be found here.
House Budget Committee Approves its FY2018 Budget Resolution: The House Budget Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution titled, “Building a Better America.” The budget resolution instructs the House Education and the Workforce Committee to recommend $20 billion in savings. The FY2018 House Budget Resolution could be considered by the full House next week. Chairwoman of the Committee Diane Black’s statement can be found here and Ranking Member John Yarmuth’s (D-KY) statement can be found here.
July 20, 2017
FY2018 House Labor/HHS Bill Approved by Full House Appropriations Committee: The full House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) bill and report by a party line vote of 28-22, during which approximately 45 amendments were considered with only three amendments being adopted. Specific to education and early childhood education issues, amendments were offered to restore funding for Title II-Part A, Education, Innovation and Research Grants, and Teacher Quality Partnerships, as well as to increase funding for afterschool programs. Amendments were also offered to ensure Pell Grant funding is used to increase Pell Grant awards, to address concerns related to the awarding of TRIO Upward Bound Grants, and to make clear school districts are best suited to decide the use of their Title I-Part A grants. No amendments were adopted. Full video of the markup is available here.
July 19, 2017
House Democrats Send Letter to the House Appropriations Committee Opposing Proposed Cuts to Pell Grants: Over 120 House Democrats, including Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA), sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee expressing their concern with the proposed cuts to the Pell Grant program in the FY2018 House Labor/HHS bill. In the letter, the members state, “This proposed cut imperils the affordability of college for low-income students both now and in the future” and they note that this will have implications for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Press release and letter here.
July 19, 2017
House Democrats Send Letter to the House Appropriations Committee Opposing the Elimination of Title II-Part A: 115 House Democrats, including House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Scott, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee regarding their opposition to the elimination of the Supporting Instruction State Grant Program or Title II-Part A in the FY2018 House Labor/HHS bill. This program supports teacher professional development and class size reduction. In the letter, the members write, “ESSA implementation is now in full-swing, but implementing ESSA without adequate federal funding threatens the civil rights legacy of the law, undermines the intent of Congress, and jeopardizes the ability of states, territories, and school districts to deliver on the promise of an excellent education for more than 50 million students.”
July 19, 2017
Chairwoman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott Discuss Employing Opportunity Youth: Chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Ranking Member of the Committee Scott held a panel discussion on opportunity youth who have become disconnected from school and work. During the discussion, participants spoke about the return on investment for hiring these youth, barriers to hiring and employer-led solutions to youth unemployment.
July 19, 2017
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY2018 Subcommittee Allocations: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the allocations for each of its Subcommittees, including the Senate Labor/HHS Subcommittee for FY2018. The Senate Appropriations Committee set a cap for overall non-defense spending at $518.5 billion, which is $7.5 billion above the non-defense spending level set by the House Appropriations Committee for FY2018 and $3.1 billion above the allowed non-defense spending level under the Budget Control Act of 2011. For the Senate Labor/HHS Subcommittee, the allocation for its FY2018 bill is $164.07 billion, which is $3.04 billion above the final FY2017 level and $8.02 billion above the FY2018 House level. The Senate Appropriations Committee also notes that this increase is necessary to offset a significant reduction in available savings from mandatory programs for the Labor/HHS bill in FY2018.
July 20, 2017
- Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) proposed alternative allocations for the Subcommittees that would have increased defense spending in FY2018 by $54 billion above the caps in the Budget Control Act of 2011, and provided an equal increase in non-defense spending caps. The alternative allocations were not accepted. The press release is available here.
Senators Graham and Durbin Introduce DREAM Act of 2017: Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) held a press conference to highlight the introduction of the DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children with the opportunity to become legal permanent residents and apply for citizenship.
July 20, 2017
Ranking Member Murray Calls for Removal of the Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights: Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) called on USED Secretary Betsy DeVos to remove Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson from her position after Jackson made remarks about campus sexual assault survivors and due to her efforts to rollback civil rights protections at the Department. In the letter, Ranking Member Murray also called on USED Secretary DeVos to work with Congress to ensure that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights has the staff and resources it needs to fulfill its mission.
July 17, 2017
- On July 19, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter on the same topic, asking USED Secretary DeVos to remove Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson from her position. The letter can be found here.
- On July 18, USED Secretary DeVos stated her continued support for Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson, noting that she is “a valuable part of the administration and an unwavering advocate for the civil rights of all students.”
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
Former USED Secretaries of Education Duncan and King Author Op-Ed Opposing Changes to Gainful Employment and Borrower Defense Rules: The Hill published an op-ed written by former U.S. Secretaries of Education John King and Arne Duncan regarding the Trump Administration’s plans to make changes to the gainful employment and borrower defense rules, which are intended to protect student loan borrowers. In the op-ed, U.S. Secretaries King and Duncan highlight the importance of ensuring that students are protected from predatory practices and note, “Doing away with these regulations amounts to nothing more than a giveaway to programs and schools where the bottom line rarely includes what’s best for students.”
July 18, 2017
- On July 26, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development will hold a hearing titled, “Expanding Opportunities for Employers and Workers Through Earn-and-Learn Opportunities” at 10:00 am. More information can be found here.
- On July 27, the House Oversight Subcommittees on Intergovernmental Affairs and Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules will hold a hearing titled, “Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses” at 9:00 am. More information is available here.
- On July 18, the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report titled, “Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017.” The report details current conditions and trends in education for students of different racial and ethnic groups. The report spans from early childhood to postsecondary outcomes and includes data on student behaviors and persistence in education and student achievement. Report here.
- On July 18, NCES released a report titled, “Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2016-17; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2015-16; and 12-Month Enrollment: 2015-16: First Look (Preliminary Data),” which presents updated data on the cost of attendance, degree attainment, and postsecondary enrollment. The report can be found here.
- On July 18, the Alliance for Excellent Education released a report titled, “School Interventions That Work: Targeted Support for Low-Performing Students.” The report outlines significant steps in the school identification and improvement process, and focuses on diagnosis of school needs, a plan to improve schools, and evidenced-based interventions that work. The report can be found here.
- Results for America released a report titled, “ESSA Leverage Points: 64 Promising Practices from States for Using Evidence to Improve Student Outcomes.” The report outlines states that included promising practices for building and using evidence to improve student outcomes in their ESSA consolidated state plans. The report can be found here.
A bill to enhance the transparency, improve the coordination, and intensify the impact of assistance to support access to primary and secondary education for displaced children and persons, including women and girls, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
A bill to provide for youth jobs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a Teacher Advisory Committee and a Parents and Families Advisory Committee.
Sponsor: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to authorize certain students in retain financial aid eligibility while completing a drug rehabilitation program.
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)
A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a grant program to provide Veteran Student Centers at institutions of higher education to assist veterans in the pursuit of higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)
A bill to direct the National Science Foundation to award grants to encourage young girls to participate in computer science and other STEM activities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV)