E-Update for June 5, 2015

E-Update for June 5, 2015

EducationCounsel E-Update for June 5, 2015

U.S Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education Invites Scale-Up and Validation Grant Applications: The U.S. Department of Education published two documents in the federal register: the Notices Inviting Applications for the 2015 Scale-up and Validation competitions. Scale-up grants provide funding to support expansion of projects supported by strong evidence of effectiveness to the national level, while validation grants provide funding to support expansion of projects supported by moderate evidence of effectiveness to the national level or regional level. Applications are due 60 days from June 5. 
June 5, 2015

National Center for Special Education Research Announces FY2015 Grant Recipients: The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) recently made a total of 31 awards to applications considered under two FY 2015 competitions: Research Training Program in Special Education: Early Career Development and Mentoring and Special Education Research Grants Program.
June 3, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Grants Miccosukee Indian School Flexibility to Meet Students’ Academic and Cultural Needs: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced on June 1 that the Miccosukee Indian School received flexibility from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to use a different definition of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) that meets their students’ unique academic and cultural needs. This is the first tribal school to be approved to use a definition of AYP that is different from the state in which it is located, and the flexibility is the first of its kind from the Department of Education.
June 1, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Congratulates Schools, Districts, and Postsecondary Institutions for Environmental Achievements: White House Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss and NOAA Director of Education Louisa Koch joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on June 3 to congratulate the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on their achievements at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. At the event, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their leadership in reducing environmental impact and costs, promoting better health, and ensuring effective environmental education. In addition, 9 colleges and universities were honored with the first-ever Postsecondary Sustainability Award.
June 3, 2015

Congressional Headlines

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Holds Hearing on College Affordability: Chairman Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) held a hearing on the current level of college affordability for students. The Chairman noted that it is easier to pay for college than many think, noting that with federal grants, community college can be free for many students, and with state aid and federal loans, 4-year colleges can be affordable. On the other hand, Sen. Murray highlighted how the high costs of college create challenges for students wanting to advance their education and gain a foothold into the middle class. Read witness testimony and watch the hearing here.  
June 3, 2015

Senator Lamar Alexander Hosts Roundtable on Every Child Achieves Act:

Sen. Alexander (R-TN) hosted a roundtable in Jackson, TN, with area education leaders, college presidents, and state officials to discuss the Every Child Achieves Act, as well as his plan to simplify the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. He explained that his priorities were to restore responsibility to states and local government by eliminating “Washington red tape.” The Every Child Achieves Act passed the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in a unanimous vote last month and could come to the Senate floor as early as June.
May 29th, 2015

Congressional Delegation Concludes Trip to Northern Europe: House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and a bipartisan delegation of House members concluded a trip this week to Northern Europe. The purpose of the trip was to exchange ideas on ways to improve education and workforce competitiveness. Following earlier visits to Norway and Sweden, the congressional delegation participated in a number of meetings with senior government officials and education and business leaders in Finland and Estonia. Members of the congressional delegation reaffirmed the strong relationship between the United States and its transatlantic allies and discussed a broad range of policies affecting schools and workplaces.
May 30, 2015

EducationCounsel News

On May 29, the Foundation for Excellence in Education published a report entitled, “New Research: Data Privacy State Regulations Snapshot,” which aims to serve as a resource for policymakers and advocacy organizations that are working to create balanced student data privacy protections. The snapshot provides an overview of state student privacy data laws and regulations. It also highlights state specific student data privacy practices from around the country that attempt to balance using student data to improve learning, while guarding student privacy. Access the report here.


On June 9, the American Institutes for Research and National Association of State Boards for Education (NASBE) will host a conversation on the importance of racially and socioeconomically diverse schools and the increasing segregation of Black and Latino students across the country. RSVP here.

On June 9, National Journal will host a forum discussing to what extent we have succeeded in fulfilling the goals of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Key stakeholders and experts will discuss whether America has democratized access to higher education and what lawmakers will focus on as they prepare to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. RSVP here.

On June 10, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its Urban Research Alliance will host a webinar designed to share information about the relationship between school climate and student outcomes in Cleveland. The webinar will also provide practical recommendations for using school climate data to support school turnaround efforts and improve conditions for learning. Register here.

On June 10, the Alliance for Excellent Education will host a webinar with Christopher Cross discussing his recent book, “Political Education: Setting the Course for State and Federal Policy,” which examines the transformation of the federal role in education over the last sixty years. Cross will also consider the forces that are likely to affect future legislation on federal education policy and areas in which the federal government could take on new roles. Register here.

On June 10, the American Federation of Teachers will host a panel titled, “The Affordability Crisis: Rescuing the Dream of College Education for the Working Class Poor.” The panel will discuss the significant increase in the cost of college over the last thirty years and its impact on student debt and enrollment. RSVP here.

On June 11, the National Association of State Boards for Education will host a webinar entitled, “Trends in Student Data Privacy Policies, Where Do State Boards of Education Fit In?” The presentation will highlight lessons learned and steps state board members and other policymakers can take to move their states forward on data privacy policy. Register here.

New Legislation

H.R.2618 : Protecting Our Children Act
Sponsor: Rep Ross, Dennis A. [FL-15] (introduced 6/2/2015) Cosponsors (None) 

H.R. 2627: To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to expand the use of salad bars in schools.
Sponsor: Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-13] (introduced 6/3/2015) Cosponsors (3)

H.R.2634 : To provide for temporary emergency impact aid for local educational agencies.
Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-3] (introduced 6/3/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.RES.286 : Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that investing in the Nation’s skilled workforce is investing in the nation’s economy, and that in accordance with existing law, the House of Representatives should promote public and private partnerships to increase training programs, tax incentives, industry and State apprenticeships, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Lawrence, Brenda L. [MI-14] (introduced 6/1/2015) Cosponsors (None)

H.RES.294 : Expressing support for the continuation of the Perkins Loan Program.
Sponsor: Rep Messer, Luke [IN-6] (introduced 6/3/2015) Cosponsors (1)

S.1494 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize and update the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative for grants to address the problems of individuals who experience trauma and violence related stress.
Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 6/3/2015) Cosponsors (None)


Census Bureau Report: Public Education Finances: 2013: The Census Bureau released figures on revenues, expenditures, debt and assets for the nation’s elementary and secondary public school systems. The report and tables, released annually, include detailed statistics on spending — such as instruction, student transportation, salaries and employee benefits — at the national, state and school district levels.
June 2, 2015

Institute for Education Sciences Report: Statistical Theory for RCT-YES Software: The Institute for Education Sciences released a report which examined the theoretical underpinnings of new software that would give education agencies and policymakers a tool to generate rigorous evidence about what works by effectively processing data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
June 2, 2015

Next Steps: Life After Special Education: Education Week published their 10th installment of the Diplomas Count series, which explores the experiences of students with disabilities, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that await these students as they transition from the K-12 education system to a more independent adult life.
June 4, 2015

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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