E-Update for the Week of March 25, 2019
- On March 18, the White House released the Administration’s priorities for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA).
- On March 21, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) encouraging institutions of higher education to “promote open, intellectually engaging, and diverse debate.” The EO also calls for USED to add program-level outcomes data to the College Scorecard and to produce a report examining policy options for the idea of risk sharing on student-loan debt.
- On March 22, Senate Republicans released their FY2020 Senate Budget Resolution. The Senate Budget Committee will meet to consider its budget resolution on March 27 and March 28.
Budget & Appropriations:
Senate Budget Committee Releases a Budget Resolution: Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a five-year budget plan to rein in deficit spending, which maintains the spending caps as required under current law. Under the budget resolution, spending caps would be reduced to $576 billion for defense spending and $542 billion for nondefense spending as required under current law. However, according to an overview of the budget resolution, “the [fiscal year (FY)] 2020 budget resolution provides a mechanism for discretionary spending levels to be adjusted if an agreement to revise the FY2020 and FY2021 levels is reached.” Additionally, the budget resolution, “instructs five committees to produce legislation that would reduce the deficit by at least $94 billion over 5 years through the reconciliation process,” according to the overview. Of the $94 billion, the Senate Finance Committee would be instructed to reduce deficits by $50 billion and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee would be instructed to reduce deficits by $10 billion.
March 22, 2019
Deadline Approaches for House Members to Submit FY2020 Labor/HHS Priorities: The deadline for Members of Congress to submit their priorities for the FY2020 budgets for the U.S. Department of Education (USED), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and U.S. Department of Labor to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) is March 28.
March 28, 2019
Administration Releases USED and HHS FY2020 Congressional Justifications: On March 18, the Administration released its Congressional Justifications for the FY2020 President’s budget request. The Congressional Justifications provide additional detail and explanations regarding the President’s budget request that was released the week of March 11. These documents “justify” the President’s budget request by explaining the mission of the agency, outlining the goals and objectives of the coming fiscal year, and providing comparative data for the previous, current, and proposed budget. The USED justification is here. The HHS justification for the Administration for Children and Families is here.
March 18, 2019
The House and Senate were both in recess the week of March 18.
Reps. Green and Gonzalez Introduce H.R. 1810, the “Kids to College Act”: Representatives Mark Green (R-TN) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) introduced H.R. 1810, the “Kids to College Act,” which is designed to encourage income share agreements. According to a press release, the bill authorizes “income share agreements, where students borrow money from the school to pay tuition and repay the college or university with a percentage of future earnings.” The legislation aims to incentivize colleges and universities to help students secure good paying employment after they graduate. Press release is here.
March 18, 2019
Administration Releases its Higher Education Act Priorities: White House advisor Ivanka Trump led the efforts to release the Administration’s priorities for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The Administration’s priorities for HEA reauthorization include simplifying student loan repayment, expanding Pell grants for short-term, high quality programs, and improving the transparency of student outcomes. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) response to the proposal is here. Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray’s (D-WA) response is here. USED Secretary Betsy DeVos’s statement is here.
March 18, 2019
President Trump Issues Free Speech Executive Order: President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) encouraging institutions of higher education to “promote open, intellectually engaging, and diverse debate,” including by compliance with the First Amendment for public institutions and compliance with their own policies for private institutions. Specifically, the EO reinforces existing requirements that colleges agree to promote free inquiry in order to access federal research funding. Additionally, the EO directs USED to add program-level outcomes data to the College Scorecard and to produce a report examining policy options for the idea of risk sharing on student-loan debt. Fact sheet is here. President Trump’s remarks are here. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Alexander’s (R-TN) response to the EO is here. USED Secretary Betsy DeVos’s statement is here.
March 21, 2019
Interagency Working Group on Youth Conducts a Meeting: First Lady Melania Trump convened a meeting of the Interagency Working Group on Youth. The meeting focused on several programs within the Administration’s agencies that closely align with the three pillars of the First Lady’s initiative, Be Best – well-being of children, social media safety, and families affected by opioid abuse. During the meeting, USED Secretary Betsy DeVos highlighted the Administration’s $5 billion tax credit scholarship proposal and Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports programs.
March 18, 2019
U.S. Department of Education:
USED Issues Draft Guidance on ESSA Equitable Services; Opens Comment Period: USED recently released draft guidance consolidating and updating information intended to support states, districts, and private schools in implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) equitable services. This guidance document only addresses Title I equitable services to eligible private school children, their teachers, and their families. The draft guidance is open for stakeholder review and comment through April 9.
Week of March 11, 2019
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On March 24, the National Center for Learning Disabilities released two new resources highlighting proactive steps university administrators and faculty can take to create conditions for students with disabilities to make more empowered decisions about their learning and lives. Specifically, the resources focus on actions to help students develop self-advocacy skills and self-determination skills they need to be successful. Faculty resource is here. Administrators resource is here.
- On March 19, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Learning Policy Institute released a brief titled, “Understanding and Addressing Principal Turnover: A Review of the Research.” The brief aims to provide an understanding of the impact of principal turnover and highlights ways policymakers can improve principal retention. The brief is here.
Upcoming Events (Congress and the Administration):
- On March 25-28, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. This week, USED announced changes to the meeting times for the third session of the Accreditation and Innovation Committee’s negotiated rulemaking and the addition of a fourth session of negotiations. The Accreditation and Innovation Committee’s third session will still occur March 25-28, 2019, but with extended meeting times; and the additional fourth session will occur April 1-3, 2019. The initial rulemaking committee announcement is here. The notice announcing changes to the schedule for the rulemaking committee is here.
- On March 26 at 10:00 am, the House Budget Committee will conduct a hearing to examine the HHS’ FY2020 budget request. Eric D. Hargan, the Deputy Secretary for HHS, is scheduled to testify. More information and a webcast of the hearing are here.
- On March 26 at 10:15 am, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS will conduct a hearing to examine USED’s FY2020 budget request. USED Secretary Betsy DeVos is scheduled to testify. More information and a webcast of the hearing are here.
- On March 26 at 2:00 pm, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services will conduct a hearing titled, “Strengthening Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.” More information and a webcast of the hearing are
- On March 27 at 10:00 am, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS will conduct a hearing at which Members of Congress will have the opportunity to provide testimony regarding their priorities for the FY2020 Labor/HHS Appropriations bill. More information and a webcast of the hearing are here.
- On March 27 at 10:15 am, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment will conduct a hearing titled, “Innovations in Expanding Registered Apprenticeship Programs.” More information and a webcast of the hearing are here.
- On March 27 at 2:00 pm, USED’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) and its Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center will host a webinar to present an overview of the agency’s new question-and-answer document on the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and discuss the importance of understanding FERPA when developing comprehensive emergency operations plans. More information is here. Question and answer document is here.
- On March 27 at 2:30 pm, the Senate Budget Committee will conduct the first day of a markup of its FY2020 budget resolution in order to receive opening statements. The second day of the markup will continue on March 28 at 10:30 am to consider amendments to the FY2020 budget resolution. More information and a webcast of the markup are here and here.
- On March 28 at 10:00 am, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS will conduct a hearing to examine USED’s FY2020 budget request. USED Secretary Betsy DeVos is scheduled to testify. More information and a webcast of the hearing are here.
- On March 28 at 1:00 pm in 2261 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) will host a briefing/hearing on behalf of the House Education and Labor Committee to examine the college admissions process. Politico announcement here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On March 25-29, the Learning First Alliance will host Public Schools Week to show the great things happening every day in public schools-and show the potential for greater things. More information on events is here. As part of Public Schools Week, the following briefings will take place:
- On March 27 at 10:30 am in Room 2103 Rayburn House Office Building, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) will hold a briefing titled “Civil Rights Protections in Public Schools for Students with Disabilities.” RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On March 27 at 2:30 pm in Room 1040 Longworth House Office Building, AASA will hold a briefing titled, “The Role of Faith Leaders in Public School Advocacy: Supporting Public Dollars for Strong Public Schools.” The briefing will examine how public schools uphold religious liberty in our communities and how faith leaders are advocating to strengthen our public school systems.
- On March 26 at 4:00 pm, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute will hold a discussion on “Education 20/20: Student Purpose and Intellectual Debate,” focusing on citizenship education. Register here.
- On April 1 at 12:30 pm in Room 2253 Rayburn House Office Building, the Institute of Higher Education Policy will hold briefing titled, “The College Transparency Act of 2019: Better Data to Promote Student Success.” Register to attend here.