E-Update for May 15, 2015

E-Update for May 15, 2015

E-Update for May 15, 2015


On May 18, the Alliance for Excellent Education will host a webinar entitled, “Lessons Learned from Fifty Years of Federal Education Policy.” The webinar will be hosted by Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education. Jack Jennings, Founder and Former Chief Executive Officer of the Center on Education Policy, will discuss his new book, “Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools.” Register here.

On May 19, the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will hold a hearing entitled, “Addressing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Federal Child Nutrition Programs.” Further information has not yet been posted, but all hearing details will be available here.

On May 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Institutional Risk-sharing.” This hearing comes two months after Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, released a white paper on risk sharing, available here. Further information has not yet been posted, but all hearing details will be available here.

On May 21, New America will host a discussion entitled, “The Great Skills Race: Innovations in U.S. Education and Training from a Global Perspective.” The discussion will focus on what it takes to develop and sustain the skills needed to reap the rewards of today’s technology-driven global economy. Participants will include: Holly Zanville, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation; Mary Alice McCarthy, Senior Policy Analyst, New America; Todd Greene, Vice President, Federal Reserve System of Atlanta; Simon field, Project Leader, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD; and Byron Auguste, Managing Director, Opportunity@Work. Register here.

On May 21, the American Enterprise Institute will host a discussion on competency-based education research entitled, “Measuring Mastery, Not Time: Competency-based Learning and the Future of Higher Education.” Advocates have touted competency-based education for its distinct focus on student learning and its potential to free students to move at their pace. While promising, research on the model is limited, and important questions remain. Participants will include: John Ebersole; Excelsior College; Chip Franklin, Pathenon-EY; Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University; Andrew Kelly, AEI; Katie McClarty, Pearson Center for College and Career Success; and Carol Geary Schneider, Association of American Colleges and Universities. RSVP here.

U.S. Department of Education Headlines

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on 2015 Building a Grad Nation Report: On May 12, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined the America’s Promise Alliance to release the “2015 Building a Grad Nation” report, a report released annually by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center. This annual report on the progress and challenges in increasing high school graduation rates shows that, for the third consecutive year, the country remains on pace to achieve the alliance’s goal of a 90% on-time graduation rate by 2020. Secretary Duncan released the following statement: “More young people are graduating from high school today than ever before—and gaps in graduation rates are closing—even as standards are rising. The credit for these gains goes to educators, students, parents and community partners. Yet we know that, in today’s knowledge-based economy, a high school diploma isn’t enough. So while we should be encouraged by projections like the one in this year’s Grad Nation report, we know that more hard work remains to truly prepare all—not just some—students for success in college, careers and life. Education must be the equalizer that can help overcome the odds stacked against too many of our students.”
May 12, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Announces $60 Million Available for First in the World Grant Competition: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced the availability of $60 million in Fiscal Year 2015 in the First in the World (FITW) program. Click here to learn more about FITW and how to apply. FITW grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies to improve postsecondary education attainment. Of the $60 million available this year, the competition has a set-aside of $16 million for institutions designated as minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
May 8, 2015

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Collects Comments on Student Aid: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has asked for public comments by July 13 on five focused areas: industry practices that create repayment challenges; hurdles for distressed borrowers; salary incentives affecting the quality of service; the availability of information about the student loan market; and the application of consumer protections in other markets, like credit cards and mortgages, that could help inform federal standards for student loan servicing. Information gleaned through the inquiry will help inform a response to President Barack Obama’s Student Aid Bill of Rights executive actions, the CFPB said, and identify strategies to strengthen servicing.
May 2015

Secretary Duncan Joins NIEER for “State of Preschool Yearbook 2014” Release: Secretary Duncan joined the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) to release NIEER’s “State of Preschool Yearbook 2014” at CentroNia, an early learning and community center in suburban Maryland.  This annual report, which includes state profiles and rankings for the 2013-14 school year, shows that state preschool funding increased for the second year in a row, although programs have yet to fully recover from the impacts of cuts in the 2011-12 school year.
May 11, 2015

Congressional Headlines

Senate Appropriators to Mark up FY 2016 Bills Next Week: Senate appropriators are likely to begin marking up Fiscal Year 2016 spending bills as soon as next week, at which time it is expected spending allocations for each of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees will be announced.
May 14, 2015

Cole Plans to Release LHHS-Education Bill: House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole has said he hopes to release the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor-HHS-Education bill before the July Fourth recess. The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee has not publicly released a bill for the past two fiscal years.
May 14, 2015

Markey and Hatch Introduce Student Privacy Bill: Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 1322, the “Protecting Student Privacy Act,” a bill to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) to better protect student data. The bill aims to modernize FERPA for the digital age, including prohibiting tech companies from using student data to target ads. It would also give parents the right to access records about their children held by private companies – and update that information if it iss incorrect.
May 13, 2015

Bipartisan Student Loan Reforms Drop Student Loan Rates for Next School Year: According to Senators who sponsored the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, nearly 8 million undergraduate students next year will see their student loan rates drop from 4.66 percent to 4.29 percent, saving borrowers millions of dollars in interest. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Angus King (I-ME), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Joe Manchin (D-VA) sponsored the legislation that tied student loans to market rates. It became law on August 9, 2013.  
May 13, 2015

NCES Publishes Notice on Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey:  USED’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published a notice in the Federal Register to request to conduct a pilot test of the Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) to measure unit response rates and enable comparisons to earnings data collected through other surveys and in administrative records. The pilot study results will be used to compare median earnings collected through the survey to median earnings for graduates from comparable programs based on a match to the Social Security Administration as part of the 2012 gainful employment informational rates.
May 13, 2015

New Legislation

H.R.2268 : To end the use of corporal punishment in schools, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-20] (introduced 5/12/2015)      Cosponsors (12) 

H.R.2281 : To provide for the elimination of the Department of Education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Rouzer, David [NC-7] (introduced 5/12/2015)      Cosponsors (None) 

H.R.2282 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the enrollment of veterans in certain courses of education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-13] (introduced 5/12/2015)      Cosponsors (1) 

H.R.2321 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide grants for innovative teacher retention programs.
Sponsor: Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] (introduced 5/14/2015)      Cosponsors (7) 

S.1309 : A bill to provide for the removal of default information from a borrower’s credit report with respect to certain rehabilitated education loans.
Sponsor: Sen Peters, Gary C. [MI] (introduced 5/12/2015)      Cosponsors (1) 

S.1322 : A bill to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to ensure that student data handled by private companies is protected, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Markey, Edward J. [MA] (introduced 5/13/2015)      Cosponsors (2) 

S.1328 : A bill to authorize a national grant program for on-the-job training.
Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 5/13/2015)      Cosponsors (1) 

S.1341 : A bill to amend section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act in order to improve the privacy protections available to students and their parents, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Vitter, David [LA] (introduced 5/14/2015)      Cosponsors (None) 

S.1352 : A bill to increase Federal Pell Grants for the children of fallen public safety officers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] (introduced 5/14/2015)      Cosponsors (3) 

S.1355 : A bill to provide for higher education reform.
Sponsor: Sen Murphy, Christopher S. [CT] (introduced 5/14/2015)      Cosponsors (1) 

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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