E-Update for March 7, 2023
The information covered below is from February 24, 2023, to March 2, 2023.
- On February 28, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two separate cases challenging the Biden Administration’s federal student loan relief
- On March 1, House Republicans, led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Representative Julia Letlow (R-LA), introduced R. 5, the “Parents Bill of Rights Act,” which will be marked up by the House Education and the Workforce Committee on March 8.
- On March 2, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Secretary of the House Republican Conference Lisa McClain (R-MI) reintroduced H.R. 1311, the “College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act,” which aims to increase transparency about college cost during students’ application process.
President Biden to release his fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request: On March 9, President Biden is expected to release a summary of his FY2024 budget request, including the request for federal spending for the U.S. Department of Education (USED). In the 2023 State of the Union address – which can often foreshadow an administration’s priorities for an upcoming budget request – President Biden emphasized the need to invest in affordable child care, universal access to preschool, restoring the Child Tax Credit, and community colleges. Other postsecondary education related priorities that received mentions in the State of the Union address included support for progress toward reducing student debt, increases for Pell Grants for working- and middle-class families, and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Related to K-12 education, President Biden called for raises for public school teachers. Additional materials related to the FY2024 budget request, including analytical perspectives with explanatory material for each federal agency, may not be released until a later date (reportedly March 13). Information on the FY2024 budget request will be released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) here.
White House releases fact sheet with efforts advancing equity and opportunity for Black Americans: On February 27, the White House published a fact sheet describing the efforts the Biden-Harris Administration has pursued to advance racial equity for Black Americans. The fact sheet follows President Biden signing an Executive Order on February 16, titled “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” which builds on a previous Executive Order, charging the federal government with advancing equity and addressing systemic racism in our nation’s policies and programs. The fact sheet described a number of economic opportunities and critical investments that have supported Black Americans through Administration-led funding packages, including the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and Inflation Reduction Act. Specifically, the fact sheet states how the expanded Child Tax Credit and increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, both funded through ARP, “provided a critical lifeline to millions of Black families.” Additionally, it details the “lifeline” that ARP provided to support child care businesses and educators, 1 in 5 of whom are Black. The fact sheet also includes information on multiple efforts to address the mental health crisis, noting investments in youth mental health through funding and policies from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Finally, the fact sheet outlines ways in which funding from ARP provided support to address the needs of students during the pandemic, stating, “…the number of school social workers is up 36% and the number of school counselors is up 11%. This particularly benefits Black students due to higher student-to-counselor and student-to-psychologist ratios at schools that enroll a majority of students of color, compared to schools that enroll a majority of white students.”
Vice President Kamala Harris announces $175 million to increase access to affordable, high-speed internet: On February 27, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $175 million in investments for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) through grants funded by the Department of Commerce’s Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program. The announcement was part of the White House’s effort to highlight the progress that has been made in increasing high-speed internet access through investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The new investments will be issued to 61 MSIs, helping schools fund enhancements to high-speed internet infrastructure, purchase equipment, devices and software, and provide digital skills training and upskilling for IT staff. The announcement states that the new investments are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s intentional efforts to include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in expansions to affordable high-speed internet across the country.
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
USED Secretary Miguel Cardona pens op-ed in support of authentic parent engagement: On March 1, USED Secretary published an op-ed in Newsweek to show support of parent engagement in student learning. The article, titled, “We are Raising the Bar for Parent Partnership in Our Schools,” stated that parent engagement has been a priority of the Biden Administration from “Day One of President Joe Biden’s tenure” through program design and new opportunities to engage with USED. Secretary Cardona added that federal funding streams, including ARP and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), support the inclusion of parents into local decision making and implementation of program funds. Secretary Cardona also called attention to federal protections that enshrine and protect students’ and parents’ rights, stating, “Under our watch, the department is committed to vigorously enforcing those protections and monitoring whether states, districts, and schools are meeting their obligations.” The op-ed concluded by addressing “political opponents” and “grandstanding.” It stated, “Parent partnership is not about giving in to the loudest voices…It’s about inviting parents to be a real part of decision-making processes…and reflecting parent diversity in parent voice and leadership in a way that authentically represents the diversity of their children’s schools.”
For-profit colleges challenge USED’s “borrower defense” regulations: On February 28, several for-profit colleges sued the Biden Administration aiming to block proposed regulations by USED to update rules around debt relief for federal student loan borrowers if their college defrauded or misled them, which are set to take effect on July 1, 2023. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas by the Career Colleges & Schools of Texas, which is an advocacy organization representing more than 70 Texas-based for-profit colleges, challenges regulations announced in October 2022 known as “borrower defense.” USED has stated the new rules “streamline and improve the rules for major targeted debt relief programs,” and “expand eligibility, remove barriers to relief, and encourage automatic discharges for borrowers who are eligible for loan relief because their school closed, they have a total and permanent disability, or their loan was falsely certified.” According to Inside Higher Education, one provision of the new regulation raised in the lawsuit centers around USED being able to discharge loans for an individual or for an entire group. The lawsuit argues this would, “increase the risk of erroneous discharge, permitting countless meritless claims to be granted simply by virtue of being ‘grouped’ with one or more legitimate claims.” The association goes on to argue, “Rather than establish a process that is fair and equitable to both schools and borrowers alike, the Department promulgated a [borrower defense] rule with a thumb on the scale to maximize the number of approved claims and, ultimately, further the administration’s loan forgiveness agenda.”
USED issues guidance on financial liability for leaders of “risky colleges”: On March 2, USED issued a release laying out the legal authority and potential circumstances for the Secretary of Education to hold leaders of private colleges “financially responsible” for unpaid debts owed to the Department. According to the new guidance, USED may require school leaders of private colleges to “assume personal responsibility” as a condition for their schools to participate in programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The authority detailed in the new guidance would allow the Department to hold these leaders responsible should their schools close or in circumstances where students claim they were defrauded or misled by their colleges or universities. USED Undersecretary James Kvaal said, “Congress gave the Department the authority to make college owners and operators personally responsible for these losses in certain circumstances and we are going to use that authority to hold them accountable, defend vulnerable students, protect taxpayer dollars, and deter future risky behavior.” Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray added, “When financially risky schools jeopardize the safety of the government’s Title IV funds and take advantage of students, we intend to hold those individuals accountable.”
USED Secretary Miguel Cardona and Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten continue travel on “Raise the Bar” tour: On March 2, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona visited students at Tyler Elementary School in Washington, D.C. during National Read Across America Day. Continuing the Department’s “Raise the Bar” tour, Secretary Cardona promoted his multilingual learners initiative by reading a Spanish language book to students in a Spanish/English dual language program. This visit follows a recent trip by USED Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten to Cleveland, OH, where she learned about how Cleveland Public Schools promote academic excellence and prepare students for global competitiveness. Deputy Secretary Marten, who was joined by Representative Shontel Brown (D-OH) and representatives from Mayor Justin Bibb’s office, explained how programs in the Cleveland Public Schools District not only help students excel academically, but also prepare students for careers in Cleveland. More information on the “Raise the Bar” initiative is here.
Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director outlines vision for big data: On March 1, Mark Schneider, Director of the IES, published a blog post titled, “Big Dreams for Big Data: A Look Ahead.” In the blog, Schneider discussed two topics relevant to the future of IES and educational data. First, he focused on how artificial intelligence (AI) can be integrated into student services. Specifically, Schneider highlighted the role that the AI Institute for Exceptional Education – a jointly funded IES/National Science Foundation AI institute – can have in supporting individualized interventions for students with speech and language needs and speech language pathologists. Second, he discussed how IES is making the data contained in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessments available under a restricted-use data license to researchers who follow existing rules governing access to restricted data. By making the NAEP data available, he hopes to enable competitions for the development of new ideas and algorithms using education data. IES plans to launch a public challenge on how best to use auto scoring for open-ended math items and plans to release thousands of student essays to use the NAEP writing data to work with research scientists to tap into new AI tools to improve student writing.
U.S. Department of Commerce:
U.S. Department of Commerce announces applications for CHIPS Act funds will require certain employers to submit plans on how they will provide workers access to child care: On February 27, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the first opportunity for companies to apply for CHIPS Act funding to build semiconductor factories. The CHIPS Act, which was signed by President Biden in August 2022, is aimed at growing domestic manufacturing of semiconductors and investing in the expansion of research and development opportunities through the National Science Foundation (NSF). One of the key priorities for the Biden Administration in implementing the CHIPS Act is “Building a Skilled and Diverse Workforce,” which, in part, includes ensuring access to child care. Specifically, the Department of Commerce will require applicants for CHIPS funding requesting over $150 million to “submit plans to provide both their facility and construction workers with access to affordable, accessible, reliable, and high-quality child care.” A fact sheet on this priority emphasizes that “child care should be within reach for low- and medium-income households, be located at a convenient location with hours that meet workers’ needs, grant workers confidence that they will not need to miss work for unexpected child care issues, and provide a safe and healthy environment that families can trust.”
Supreme Court hears arguments on student loan relief program: On February 28, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two separate cases challenging the Biden Administration’s student loan relief program. The first case, Biden v. Nebraska, was brought by six states – Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina – which sued to block the debt relief program, claiming that it was not Congressionally-authorized and would, among other impacts, negatively affect state tax revenue. The second case, Department of Education v. Brown, was brought by two student loan borrowers who claimed to be ineligible for debt relief. The case challenges USED’s authority to implement such a program and that, even if it did have the legal authority, the Department did not follow proper administrative procedures in rolling out the program. During oral arguments, much of the debate focused on whether or not Congress granted USED the authority to forgive student loan debt at the scale proposed, and on the issue of standing. Regarding standing, the main point of contention is whether the plaintiffs – the six states challenging the program and the two student loan borrowers – are impacted and have standing to sue.
The Biden Administration claimed in their original proposal and in their briefs filed in advance of these cases, that it has the authority to issue loan forgiveness under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (“HEROES”) Act. The HEROES Act was signed into law in 2003 and grants USED authority to waive laws around the federal student loan program in the case of a national emergency. In this instance, the Biden Administration has cited HEROES Act authority to issue a targeted loan cancellation directed at addressing the financial harms of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to SCOTUSblog, the six Republican-appointed justices appeared “skeptical” and “unconvinced” of the Biden Administration’s defense. ” The Court could issue decisions for the cases during the June 2023 term.
Bipartisan bills reintroduced in the House and Senate to help students and families navigate college costs: On February 27, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) reintroduced three bipartisan bills in the Senate aimed at helping students and families navigate college costs and make informed decisions about borrowing for college. In the House, the bills were also reintroduced with mostly bipartisan support. The reintroduction of the bills follows a recent report from the Government Accountability Office that found 91 percent of colleges and universities do not include or understate the net price in their financial aid offers to students.
- S. 531/H.R. 1214, the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act, would improve the effectiveness of and access to net price calculators, which provide students with early, individualized estimates of higher education costs and financial aid figures before they decide where to apply. Senate Sponsor: Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Senate Lead Democratic Cosponsor: Tina Smith (D-MN). House Sponsor: Brett Guthrie (R-KY). House Lead Democratic Cosponsor: Lori Trahan (D-MA).
- S. 528/H.R. 1216, the Understanding the True Cost of College Act, would create a universal financial aid offer form and standardize terms used to describe financial aid to allow students to more easily compare financial aid packages between schools. Senate Sponsor: Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Senate Lead Democratic Cosponsor: Tina Smith (D-MN). House Sponsor: Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA). No House Lead Democratic Cosponsor.
- S. 530/H.R. 1198, the Know Before You Owe Federal Student Loan Act, would require institutions of higher education to provide loan counseling on an annual basis before new loans are disbursed, rather than a one-time requirement for first-time borrowers. Sponsor: Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Senate Lead Democratic Cosponsor: Tina Smith (D-MN). House Sponsor: Young Kim (R-CA). House Lead Democratic Cosponsors: Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing leads to questions on the use of law enforcement during National School Boards Association meetings: On March 1, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to conduct oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice with Attorney General Merrick Garland testifying. During the hearing, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) questioned Attorney Garland regarding the use of federal law enforcement at past meetings of the National School Boards Association (NSBA). As background, Republicans, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), have asserted that the Biden Administration has “misused” federal criminal and counterterrorism resources to “target concerned parents at school board meeting[s]” and that USED “colluded” with NSBA and used federal law enforcement against parents. Senator Kennedy specifically asked during his round of questions at the hearing, “Didn’t you understand the chilling effect that it would have [on] parents when you issued your directive, when you direct your criminal divisions, and your counter terrorism divisions, to investigate parents who are angry at school boards and administrators during COVID?” In response Attorney General Garland noted, “I did not issue any memorandum directing the investigation of parents who are concerned about their children. Quite to the contrary, the memorandum that you’re talking about, says at the very beginning of the memorandum that vigorous public debate is protected by the First Amendment… The memorandum was aimed at violence and threats of violence against a whole host of school personnel. It was not aimed at parents making complaints to their school board. And it came in the context of a whole series of other kinds of violent threats.” On February 3, House Judiciary Committee Chairman issued a subpoena to Attorney General Garland for numerous documents and communications related to this issue. The subpoena directed Attorney General Garland to produce the required documents to the committee on March 1.
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee holds a hearing to explore the need for a national standard for data privacy: On March 1, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Promoting U.S. Innovation and Individual Liberty through a National Standard for Data Privacy,” The hearing featured testimony from Alexandra Reeve Givens, President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology; Graham Mudd, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Anonym; and Jessica Rich, Of Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor for Consumer Protection, Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP. As background, H.R. 8152, the “America Data Privacy and Protection Act,” was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the 117th Congress by a bipartisan vote of 53-2; however, the bill did not receive further consideration in the House. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act would have established a national data security and digital privacy framework. Recognizing the Committee’s work in the 117th Congress, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) highlighted the past bipartisan support for the American Data Privacy and Protection Act saying, “That was the first time this committee reached such a milestone, and no other committee has come close on a national privacy and data security standard with the bipartisan support necessary to clear the House and make the Senate take notice.” Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers then went on to state, “This is a new Congress, with new considerations, so we must continue to improve on the legislation from last Congress and build consensus amongst stakeholders. Bringing together experience in business, civil society, and government, is the three-legged stool that will support our efforts in developing bipartisan comprehensive privacy and data security legislation.” During his opening statement, House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) echoed the comments of the Chairwoman referring to the committee passage of the American Data and Privacy Protection Act as a “historic achievement,” before saying, “we need comprehensive, federal data privacy legislation. And we need it urgently.” Ranking Member Pallone then said, “We simply cannot go another Congress without passing comprehensive privacy legislation… The American Data Privacy and Protection Act will put people back in control of their personal data, stop data collection abuses by Big Tech, provide important protections for kids, rein in the shadowy world of data brokers, and establish strong federal data security standards.”
House Republicans reintroduce “Parents Bill of Rights” and will hold markup of the bill on March 8 along with “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act”: On March 1, House Republicans, led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Representative Julia Letlow (R-LA), reintroduced H.R. 5, the “Parents Bill of Rights Act.” Following up on House Republican’s “Commitment to America” campaign platform last year, Speaker McCarthy said, “It doesn’t matter [what] the color of your skin [is] or your wealth, when you have a child that is the most important thing in your life… one thing we know in this country, education is the great equalizer.” We want to parents to feel empowered and that’s what we’re doing here.” The Parents Bill of Rights has five pillars: (1) right to know what’s being taught in schools and to see reading material; (2) right to be heard; (3) right to see school budget and spending; (4) right to protect their child’s privacy; and (5) right to be updated on any violent activity at school. Specifically, the bill, which had 73 Republican co-sponsors at introduction, would, among other provisions, require school districts to post curriculum publicly, affirm a parent or guardian’s right to address school boards, and require schools to provide parents a list of books available in the school and classroom libraries. Chairwoman Foxx, in her remarks at the bill introduction said “Unfortunately, the education bureaucracy has branded parents with a scarlet letter – as if to suggest that these dedicated moms and dads are nothing more than radicals who should be pushed away from their child’s educational growth and personal development. The Parents Bill of Rights will support parents’ rights movements across America.” Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) responded “Republican lawmakers are proposing legislation that would further politicize our children’s education. We have seen policies to pull funding from schools that do not agree to ban books, censor curriculum and textbooks, and give a vocal minority of parents the power to impose their personal beliefs on all parents.”
The House Education and the Workforce Committee will mark up H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights, and H.R. 734, the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” on March 8. The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which is authored by Representative Greg Steube (R-FL) and cosponsored by House Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Foxx, would explicitly update the Education Amendments of 1972 to codify that “sex” shall represent a “person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” Chairwoman Foxx asserts that the bill, “allows women and girls a fair playing field by ensuring that school athletics comply with the intent of Title IX to protect individuals from sex discrimination based on the person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth. This bill ensures that biological females compete against other biological females in women’s sports sponsored by entities receiving federal education funding.”
Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Foxx and Secretary of the House Republican Conference McClain introduce legislation to increase cost transparency during the college application process: On March 2, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Secretary of the House Republican Conference Lisa McClain (R-MI) reintroduced H.R. 1311, the “College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act” which aims to increase transparency about college cost during students’ application process. The bill would establish standardized terms and definitions for key information on costs, grant aid, and other financing options. Additionally, the legislation would require aid offers to be sequenced such that students are first presented the direct costs they must pay to enroll, and then an itemized list of indirect costs they have the option to finance, including what resources they have available to do so. H.R. 1311 would also increase transparency about financial aid and reduces sticker shock by ensuring all students are aware of the financial support available that covers both direct and indirect costs.
House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic holds roundtable to discuss impacts of pandemic across the country: On February 28, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus held a roundtable titled, “Preparing For the Future By Learning From the Past: Examining COVID Policy Decisions.” In his opening remarks, Select Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) outlined the areas of investigation that the Select Subcommittee plans to cover, including the origins of COVID-19, the impacts of government lockdowns, school closures, and vaccine mandates. Specifically, Chairman Wenstrup raised whether closing schools was the best way to support students. He went on to cite research that showed students who attended school mostly online for the 2020 to 2021 school year performed thirteen percent lower in math and eight percent lower in reading than their in-person counterparts. Chairman Wenstrup also remarked on the youth mental health crisis, referencing information from the U.S. Surgeon General, stating, “Twenty-five percent [of children and teenagers are] reporting experiencing depression and twenty percent experiencing anxiety symptoms.” He added, “Suicide is also now the second leading cause of death, nationally, for children aged ten to fourteen.”
Upcoming Events (Congress & Administration):
- On March 8 at 10:00 am, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing to hear testimony from Members of the House of Representatives on their priorities for the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill in FY2024. A video of the hearing will be here.
- On March 8 at 10:15 am, the House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a markup of H.R. 5, the “Parents Bill of Rights Act,” and H.R. 734, the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act.” A video of the markup will be available here.
- On March 8 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and March 9 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, USED will hold virtual listening sessions to receive public comments, recommendations, and suggestions to improve guidance around how some colleges and universities outsource management of their online programs to Online Program Managers (OPMs). More information on the agenda for the sessions and instructions for attending and providing live comments at the virtual listening sessions, as well as instructions for submitting written comments, is here.
- On March 9 at 11:30 am CST/12:30 pm EST, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona will lead a featured session at the South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU Conference in Austin, TX titled, “Raise the Bar to Elevate & Diversify the Teaching Profession.” Secretary Cardona will be joined by Javaid Saddiqi from the Hunt Institute and Michael Sorrell at Paul Quinn College to discuss the teacher pipeline, both the shortages and the lack of diversity. The presenters will consider ways to attract young people to the teaching profession, as well as build a strong and diverse teacher pipeline to help school districts stem the tide of retirements and the current teaching shortage. More information is here.
- On March 14 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders will conduct an open meeting. The commission will meet to discuss full and draft recommendations by the Commission’s six Subcommittees on ways to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. The Subcommittees are: Belonging, Inclusion, Anti-Asian Hate, Anti-Discrimination; Data Disaggregation; Language Access; Economic Equity; Health Equity; and Immigration and Citizenship Status. The agenda for the meeting has not yet been released. More information is here.
- On March 23, the House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a public witness hearing. Witnesses have yet to be announced. Written testimony to be included as part of the hearing record will be accepted until March 23. More information and instructions for submitting written testimony are here.
- On March 30 from 9:00 am PST/12:00 pm EST to 4:00 pm PST/7:00 pm EST, the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship within the U.S. Department of Labor will conduct an open meeting. The primary purpose of the meeting will be an in-depth focus on non-traditional apprenticeship programs in Tech, Early Childhood Education, and the Care Economy. The discussion will include an early educator apprentice panel, insights on tech apprenticeship site visits, and barriers to expanding apprenticeship in the care economy. More information is here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On March 8 at 2:00 pm, Education Week will host a webinar titled, “Tutoring: What the Evidence Says About What’s Working and What Isn’t.” Researchers Tyrone C. Howard and Thomas J. Kane, and elementary school principal Cristal Moore will discuss how educators are using this learning recovery strategy as they help students emerge from pandemic learning. The webinar will also provide insights on what has been learned so far about the impacts of tutoring, as well as the biggest challenges and success stories. More information and registration are here.
- On March 8 at 4:00 pm, the National Student Support Accelerator will host a webinar titled, “Equity and Achievement Implications of On-Demand Tutoring.” The webinar will explore what drives effective tutoring and the recent research about On-Demand Tutoring, as well as successful district models. Speakers include Carly Robinson, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University; LaMarlon J. Wilson, Executive Director of Instruction, Professional Development & Technology of the Mississippi Achievement School District; and Susanne Cramer, Executive Director of School Improvement of Omaha Public Schools. More information and registration are here.
- On March 9 at 11:30 am, the Urban Institute will host a virtual event titled, “Advancing Racial Equity in Online Career and Technical Education Programs: Knowledge for Action.” The event will feature information about lessons learned in implementing high-quality Career and Technical Education programs, how data were leveraged to identify equity gaps and inform college decision making, and promising strategies for advancing racial equity to support student success. Panelists will showcase work form four colleges and share insights related to practice, research, and policy. Speakers include: Theresa Anderson, Principal Research Associate, Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute; Rekha Balu, Co-Vice President of the Office of Race and Equity Research at the Urban Institute; Akilah Easter, Dean of Urban Agriculture at Olive-Harvey College; Sandy Goodman, Director of the National College Transition Network at World Education; Kevin Harris, IT Software Developer Instructor, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and Scott Lucas, Vice President of Aviation, Manufacturing & Institutional Effectiveness at WSU Tech, among others. More information and registration are here.
- On March 13 at 4:00 pm, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will host an event titled, “The Role of Implicit Bias in Early Childhood Settings.” Walter Gilliam, the recently named executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, will present research on implicit bias and the implications it has on the early childhood workforce and children in early learning settings. Linda Smith, Director of the Early Childhood Initiative at BPC will also speak on methods to tackle implicit bias in early education. More information and registration are here.
- On March 14 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) will host a webinar titled, “Summer and OST: Smart Investments Outside of School to Accelerate Learning.” The session will deep dive into the research demonstrating the impact of out of school time (OST) programs and explore the trends in state and district investments. Presenters will also provide background into what constitutes high-quality programming that ensures students are engaged in learning and having fun. The webinar will be moderated by John Gomperts at CGLR and feature insights from Brodrick Clarke, National Summer Learning Association; Jen Rinehart, Afterschool Alliance; Kate Landes, GA Statewide Afterschool Network; Dan McNeil, Spring Forward, IL; Sarah Resch, Camp Whitcomb/Mason, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee; and Kathy Ruggeberg. Ph.D., Rock Island-Milan School District. More information here.
- On March 14 at 2:00 pm, SchoolHouse Connection and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan will host a webinar titled, “Data to Action: How to Use New Searchable Data Profiles to Improve Practice and Policy for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.” The webinar will explore recently-released data to educate community members, educators, and policymakers about the prevalence and the impact of child and youth homelessness, and explore whether local school districts may be under-identifying children and youth experiencing homelessness. Additionally, participants will learn how to understand patterns of federal funding and its impact on youth identification for support. More information is here.
Publications (Congress & Administration):
- On February 27, the Regional Educational Laboratory Program at the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) released a new white paper titled, “Stabilizing Subgroup Proficiency Results to Improve the Identification of Low-Performing Schools.” The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to identify schools with low-performing student subgroups for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI). This report used data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to consider alternative methods of modeling to improve the reliability of identifying low-performing student subgroups. Using a stabilization method to compare the TSIs and ATSIs, the study found that it was easier to identify and compare these low-performing student sub groups across schools.
- On February 28, IES released new data from the 2020-2021 National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS). A new data file release from the 2020-2021 National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) provides information about U.S. public and private elementary and secondary schools and their staff. This information is collected through school, principal, and teacher surveys, and information can be linked across each survey.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- In February, SchoolHouse Connection and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan published new data profiles titled, “Child and Youth Homelessness in the United States.” These searchable data profiles were developed to raise awareness of the scale and impact of homelessness on children and youth, and to underscore the need for action to meet their needs. These profiles are the first ever to be made available on child and youth homelessness data at the county and Congressional levels. The profiles also include data at the national, state, and school district levels.
- On February 16, Pew Trusts published a new report titled, “At What Cost? The Impact of Student Loan Default on Borrowers.” The report sought to understand the impacts of defaulting on student loans beyond credit and collection penalties, including how they influence borrower behavior. The findings in this brief highlight that Black and Hispanic borrowers disproportionately experience default, as do women, which correlates with factors that disproportionately affect these groups—historic and persisting income and wealth gaps, as well as labor and housing market discrimination. More broadly, the report found that nearly all borrowers who have had a loan default (84%) reported experiencing at least one consequence, with the majority experiencing two or more (59%). Additionally, many borrowers (varying from 43% to 79% depending on the penalty) who experienced consequences said the penalties had a major financial impact on them. Overall awareness of consequences is very high (82%), but awareness of specific consequences varies (from 30% to 50%), leading many to experience consequences they did not anticipate.
- On February 15, CommonApp published a new report titled, “Deadline update: first-year application trends through February 1.” This report represents the third release in the 2022–2023 “Deadline Update” series for Common App. Each update in this series highlights year-over-year application activity for first-year applicants through a specific date (in this case, January 1, 2023). Some highlights of the findings to date include that the total application volume through January 1 rose 24% from 2019–2020 (4,317,709) to 2022–2023 (5,346,600). The report also found that underrepresented minority (URM) applicants increased by 30% over 2019–2020, while first-generation (“first-gen”) applicants increased by 35%, nearly three times the rate of continuing-generation applicants over the same period.
- On February 22, Urban Institute published a new report titled, “Federal Entitlement Spending on Adults Is More Than Triple Total Children’s Spending.” This fact sheet highlights selected findings from Kids’ Share 2022. It shows that federal entitlement spending on adults in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is more than three times total federal spending on kids. Specifically, in 2021, 33 percent of federal spending went to the adult portions of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, while 9 percent went to kids. While the share of the federal budget going to adult entitlement spending is projected to keep growing, children’s share of federal spending is projected to decline, with spending expected to fall to around 6 percent of the federal budget by 2032.
- On February 22, Urban Institute published a new report titled, “Mandatory Programs Are the Only Type of Kids’ Spending Expected to Keep Growing.” This fact sheet highlights selected findings from Kids’ Share 2022. The findings show that, compared with 2021, all types of federal spending on children are projected to fall in the coming years as temporary pandemic relief funding expires. Discretionary program spending on children increased to $117 billion in 2021 because of new pandemic-response programs, including the Education Stabilization Fund and temporary increases to other programs to support families, child care providers, and schools. However, federal spending on child is projected to decline after 2022 as temporary pandemic-response funding expires and children’s discretionary spending is projected to remain similar to pre-pandemic levels over the next decade.
- On February 21, The Education Trust published a new report titled, “Higher Education Access and Success for Undocumented Students Start with 9 Key Criteria.” EdTrust examined policies in 15 states with sizeable undocumented college student populations to determine whether their policies make it easier or harder for these students to attain a college degree and career success. Of these 15 states, the report found that: eight states prohibit undocumented students from accessing professional/commercial licenses; five states restrict or prohibit undocumented students from receiving state financial aid; seven states deny access to state-funded housing assistance to undocumented students and due to federal funding restrictions/guidelines for state-funded food assistance programs, undocumented students are not eligible for state-funded food assistance; and nine states have at least one policy that limits local cooperation with federal immigration authorities to identify, detain, or deport undocumented individuals. The report recommends removing restrictions that currently make it difficult for undocumented students to access higher education and seek meaningful employment opportunities.
- On February 22, Third Way published a new report titled, “The State of American Higher Education Outcomes in 2023.” The report explored the baseline for institutional quality by examining completion, post-enrollment earnings, and student loan repayment data from over 5,000 institutions of higher education. The report breaks down the data points by predominant degree awarded and sector, allowing for side-by-side examination of trends in multiple student success metrics across certificate programs and two- and four-year degrees at public, private non-profit, and for-profit institutions in the U.S. The report found that most four-year institutions saw the majority of their students completing college, earning a decent wage, and beginning to pay down their debt. Comparatively, two-year institutions saw low rates of college completion, middling earnings outcomes, and subpar student debt repayment rates after five years. Certificate-granting institutions saw average completion rates, poor earnings outcomes, and middling loan repayment outcomes. Overall, the report suggests that while some credential levels or institutional sectors typically deliver better outcomes for students, too many schools leave students with no degree, high debt, and limited employment opportunities.
Introduced in the House of Representatives:
A bill to ensure the rights of parents are honored and protected in the Nation’s public schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA)
A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require that only a school food authority that had a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account on June 30th of the year preceding the previous school year shall be required to establish a price for paid lunches.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Alford (R-MO)
A bill to allow a State to submit a State management decision to the Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students.
Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
A bill to require a standard financial aid offer form, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for interest-free deferment on student loans for borrowers serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program.
Sponsor: Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve diversity in accelerated student learning programs.
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
A bill to prohibit the mass cancellation of student loans.
Sponsor: Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to make technical improvements to the Net Price Calculator system so that prospective students may have a more accurate understanding of the true cost of college.
Sponsor: Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
A bill to revise counseling requirements for certain borrowers of student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA)
A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit the establishment or maintenance of a unit of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at an educational institution owned, operated, or controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
Sponsor: Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL)
A bill to codify Executive Order 13950 (relating to combating race and sex stereotyping), and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC)
A bill to prohibit Members of Congress from receiving a financial benefit from certain student loan cancellation programs.
Sponsor: Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
A bill to restore the exemption of family farms and small businesses from the definition of assets under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Sponsor: Rep. Tracey Mann (R-KS)
A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to extend to Black veterans of World War II, and surviving spouses and certain direct descendants of such veterans, eligibility for certain housing loans and educational assistance administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)
A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to increase reimbursement rates of school meals, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. James McGovern (D-MA)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to publish requirements for financial aid offers to be provided by institutions of higher education to enrolled and prospective students, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Lisa Clain (R-MI)
A resolution expressing support for the designation of February 2023 as “National Youth Leadership Month”.
Sponsor: Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
A resolution expressing support for the designation of the week of February 27 through March 3, 2023, as “Public Schools Week”.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Introduced in the Senate:
A bill to require a standard financial aid offer form, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
A bill to revise counseling requirements for certain borrowers of student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to make technical improvements to the Net Price Calculator system so that prospective students may have a more accurate understanding of the true cost of college.
Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
A bill to amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to prioritize programs that provide evidence of performance.
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)
A bill to provide that for purposes of determining compliance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in athletics, sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.
Sponsor: Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)
A bill to develop and disseminate a civic education curriculum and oral history resources regarding certain political ideologies, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)