E-Update for March 18, 2016

E-Update for March 18, 2016


  • On March 14, the Senate confirmed John King as the U.S. Secretary of Education by a vote of 49-40.

U.S Congress

Senate Confirms John King as Secretary of Education: The Senate voted to confirm John King the Secretary of Education by a vote of 49-40.  Prior to the vote, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) highlighted the need for an Education Secretary confirmed by and accountable to the Senate to ensure proper implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Both Chairman Alexander and HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) voted to confirm Secretary King.
March 14, 2016

House Budget Committee Passes FY2017 Budget Resolution and the House Appropriations Committee Expected to Kickoff Markups: The House Budget Committee passed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Resolution by a vote of 20-16.  The resolution would maintain the funding caps at the level agreed upon in the budget deal and require legislation to be considered that would cut $30 billion in mandatory spending. However, the path forward for the budget resolution remains unclear in regard to support in the full House and is not expected to be considered further until after the two-week Spring Recess in the House at the earliest. Of note, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs will kickoff the consideration of FY2017 bills in the House with a markup on Wednesday, March 23. This will be the first markup of the year and it is known yet the individual Subcommittee allocations in the House.
March 16, 2016

House Education Committee Holds Hearing on HHS FY2017 Policies and Priorities: The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing entitled, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).” Committee members questioned HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell on preschool program implementation, parent engagement, and proposed Head Start rules.
March 16, 2016


USED Releases Quarterly Student Aid Report: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released its Quarterly Student Aid Report, a collection of key performance data on the federal student loan portfolio. The report revealed increased enrollment in income-driven repayment plans and decreases in loan defaults and delinquencies. The report also included three new reports to shed light on the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) portfolio, showing loan status, repayment plan, and delinquency level.  Report highlights are available here.
March 17, 2016

USED Releases Fact Sheet on Spurring African-American STEM Completion: USED released a fact sheet entitled “Spurring African-American STEM Degree Completion.” The fact sheet discussed the need to increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professionals and the role that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) can play in increasing STEM degree attainment among African-American students.
March 16, 2016

USED Releases Fact Sheet on College Completion: The fact sheet details investments that the Obama Administration has made in higher education, such as increasing the maximum Pell Grant award.
March 16, 2016

Secretary King Applauds CFPB for Shutting Down Company Overcharging Student Borrowers: Secretary John King released a statement applauding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on actions taken to shut down Student Loan Processing, a company that was found to be charging borrowers excessive fees for services that could be accessed for free.
March 15, 2016

USED Announces Title IX Settlement with Erie Community College: USED announced a Title IX settlement reached between USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Erie Community College to resolve issues of women’s access to athletic opportunities.
March 15, 2016

USED Proposes to Establish Borrower-Friendly Relief Practices: USED released a proposal to establish more borrower-friendly processes for seeking and obtaining student loan relief triggered by conduct of certain higher education institutions.  The proposal would update existing borrower defense regulations to ensure transparency and accountability among higher education institutions.
March 11, 2016


On March 22, the House Education and the Workforce Committee will host a hearing entitled, “Strengthening Education Research and Privacy Protections to Better Serve Students.” The hearing will take place at 10:00am in room 2175 Rayburn House Office Building.  More information and a webcast of the hearing will be available here.

On March 22, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine the U.S. Department of Education (USED) FY2017 budget. USED Secretary John King is set to testify at the hearing, which will take place at 10:00 am in 2358-C Rayburn.  More information and a webcast of the hearing will be available here.

New Legislation

H.R.4744 : Safe Academic Facilities and Environments for Tribal Youth Act
Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 3/15/2016)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce; House Financial Services; House Natural Resources

H.R.4803 : To increase the participation of historically underrepresented demographic groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and industry.
Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-12] (introduced 3/17/2016)      Cosponsors (25)
Committees: House Science, Space, and Technology

H.R.4808 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require students who do not complete a program of study to repay Federal Pell Grants.
Sponsor: Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] (introduced 3/17/2016)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

S.2677 : In the Red Act of 2016
Sponsor: Sen Baldwin, Tammy [WI] (introduced 3/15/2016)      Cosponsors (28)
Committees: Senate Finance

S.2685 : Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act
Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 3/15/2016)      Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2710 : A bill to increase the participation of historically underrepresented demographic groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and industry.
Sponsor: Sen Hirono, Mazie K. [HI] (introduced 3/17/2016)      Cosponsors (7)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.2711 : A bill to expand opportunity for Native American children through additional options in education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen McCain, John [AZ] (introduced 3/17/2016)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Indian Affairs

S.2718 : A bill to amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to support innovative approaches to career and technical education and redesign the high school experience for students by providing students with equitable access to rigorous, engaging, and relevant real world education through partnerships with business and industry and higher education that prepare students to graduate from high school and enroll into postsecondary education without the need for remediation and with the ability to use knowledge to solve complex problems, think critically, communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and develop academic mindsets.
Sponsor: Sen Kaine, Tim [VA] (introduced 3/17/2016)      Cosponsors (4)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


Undermining Pell: The News Keeps Getting Worse for Low-Income Students: This report written by Stephen Burd at New America examines USED data on the average net price for students coming from families with a net income of $30,000 or less at four-year colleges in the 2013-14 school year. The analysis found that hundreds of colleges require students to pay an amount greater than half their family’s annual income. This follow-up report to analyses of 2011-12 and 2012-13 data finds that prices are rising for students from low-income families.
March 16, 2016

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