E-Update for May 1, 2015

E-Update for May 1, 2015

E-Update for May 1, 2015


On May 6, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: The Role of Consumer Information in College Choice.” Witnesses have not yet been announced. More information here.

On May 7, New America Foundation and Howard University will host a discussion entitled, “The Criminalization of Black Youth in the Classroom.” The event will focus on a report from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which reveals data about school discipline policies around the country.  RSVP here.

U.S Department of Education

Final School Improvement Grant Requirements Announced: The initial list of evidence-based, whole school reform models under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) final requirements has been posted for consideration by districts as they apply to their states for funds.
April 30, 2015

USED Invites Applications for Enhanced Assessment Instrument Grants Program: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) published a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for new awards for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grants Program. The purpose of the Enhanced Assessment Instruments Grant program, also called the Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAG) program, is to enhance the quality of assessment instruments and systems used by states for measuring the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students.
April 28, 2015

Office of Civil Rights Releases FY 2013-2014 Equity Report: USED’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released its FY 2013-2014 Equity Report to the President and Secretary of Education. The report, “Protecting Civil Rights, Advancing Equity,” details OCR’s work during FY 2013-2014, with a focus on the Civil Rights Data Collection; equal access to educational resources for all students; and increased quality, quantity, and transparency of OCR’s policy and enforcement efforts.
April 2015

U.S. Education Department Reaches Resolution Agreement after Finding LaPorte, Indiana, Community School Corporation in Violation of Title IX: USED announced that OCR has reached an agreement with the LaPorte Community School Corporation in LaPorte, Indiana, to resolve a Title IX complaint involving sexually predatory behavior and sexual harassment of female high school volleyball players. OCR determined that the corporation violated Title IX when a volleyball coach sexually harassed members of the girls’ volleyball team in 2007 and 2008 and the corporation failed – for years – to promptly and equitably respond to the harassment. 
April 27, 2015

New Guidance from U.S. Department of Education Reminds Schools of Obligation to Designate Title IX Coordinator: USED’s OCR released a guidance package emphasizing the responsibility of school districts, colleges and universities to designate a Title IX coordinator. The package also contains an overview of the law’s requirements in several key areas, including athletics, single-sex education, sex-based harassment, and discipline.
April 24, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Announces $3 Million In Grants Available to Help Native Youth: USED announced the availability of an estimated $3 million in grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready. Funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects is a key step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The new grants will support the President’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative launched last year to help Native American youth.
April 29, 2015

Congressional Headlines

Higher Education Subcommittee Hosts Access and Completion Hearing: On April 30, the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training hosted a hearing entitled, “Improving College Access and Completion for Low-Income and First-Generation Students.” Witnesses included: Dr. Laura Perna, Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy; Dr. Charles Alexander, Director of the Academic Advancement Program at the University of California; Dr. Joe May, Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District; and Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper, President of the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
April 30, 2015

Messer, Polis Introduce Bill to Protect Student Data Privacy: Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO) today introduced the bipartisan Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015, the most significant federal attempt to protect student data in decades. Under the bill, operators would be prohibited from targeting advertising to a student, selling a student’s information to a third party, and creating a personal profile of a student for a non-school-related purpose.
April 29, 2015

Chairmen Enzi and Price Announce Balanced Budget Agreement: Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) and House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) announced that the FY 2016 Budget Conference has reached an agreement on a joint congressional balanced budget resolution. The Chairmen highlighted that the budget conference agreement balances the budget within 10 years, does not raise taxes, and strengthens the nation’s defense.
April 29, 2015

New Legislation

H.R.2056 : To establish a grant program to promote the development of career education programs in computer science in secondary and postsecondary education.
Sponsor: Rep Cardenas, Tony [CA-29] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (6)

H.R.2057 : To direct the Secretary of Education to award grants to State educational agencies to develop comprehensive plans to strengthen elementary and secondary computer science education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Cardenas, Tony [CA-29] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (3)

H.R.2062 : To promote State requirements for local educational agencies and public elementary and secondary schools relating to the prevention and treatment of concussions suffered by students.
Sponsor: Rep DeSaulnier, Mark [CA-11] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.2065 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to allow the Secretary of Education to award Early College Federal Pell Grants.
Sponsor: Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2079 : To provide that chapter 1 of title 9 of the United States Code, relating to the enforcement of arbitration agreements, shall not apply to enrollment agreements made between students and certain institutions of higher education; and to prohibit limitations on the ability of students to pursue claims against certain institutions of higher education.
Sponsor: Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-43] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (11)

H.R.2082 : To provide for loan forgiveness for STEM teachers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Swalwell, Eric [CA-15] (introduced 4/29/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.2089 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to lower the cost of college education by establishing pilot programs to expand student access to digital course materials.
Sponsor: Rep DelBene, Suzan K. [WA-1] (introduced 4/29/2015)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2092 : To require operators that provide online and similar services to educational agencies or institutions to protect the privacy and security of personally identifiable information, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Messer, Luke [IN-6] (introduced 4/29/2015)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2105 : To provide grants to States to ensure that all students in the middle grades are taught an academically rigorous curriculum with effective supports so that students complete the middle grades prepared for success in secondary school and postsecondary endeavors, to improve State and district policies and programs relating to the academic achievement of students in the middle grades, to develop and implement effective middle grades models for struggling students, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-3] (introduced 4/29/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

S.1102 : A bill to provide for institutional risk-sharing in the Federal student loan programs.
Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI] (introduced 4/27/2015)      Cosponsors (3)

S.1106 : A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to allow the Secretary of Education to award Early College Federal Pell Grants.
Sponsor: Sen Portman, Rob [OH] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (1)

S.1122 : Court Legal Access and Student Support (CLASS) Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (3)

S.1124 : WIOA Technical Amendments Act
Sponsor: Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] (introduced 4/28/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

S.1128 : A bill to establish an Early Federal Pell Grant Commitment Program.
Sponsor: Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] (introduced 4/29/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

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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