E-Update for May 22, 2015

E-Update for May 22, 2015

EducationCounsel E-Update for May 22, 2015

EducationCounsel News

On May 21, EducationCounsel and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough released their joint publication entitled The Evolution of the Student Data Privacy and Security Paradigm. The publication is intended to provide support to education policymakers and practitioners in addressing student data privacy and security in an increasingly digital age. The report addresses issues that may be particularly relevant to state, district, and school chief privacy officers; chief financial officers; information technology specialists; and legal counsel. Specifically, this resource examines the ways that other industries approach data oversight, identifying opportunities for the education sector to leverage best and most promising practices and build on existing work in other sectors of the economy. More information and access to the publication is available here.

On May 20, the College Board, the American Council on Education, and EducationCounsel released a Policy and Legal “Syllabus” for Diversity Programs at Colleges and Universities, aiming to assist institutions in pursuing their diversity goals. Like a professor’s syllabus for a course, the tool organizes resources topically (based on key policy issues facing institutions of higher education), with brief background information, key questions, and hyperlinks to freely available comprehensive guidance, model practices, and other resources that can improve institutional policies and programs and help mitigate legal risk. 


On May 26, the Council of Chief State School Officers will host a webinar entitled, “Performance Assessment 2.0: Lessons from Large-Scale Policy & Practice.” The webinar aims to provide state policymakers with a summary of the key lessons learned from past, large-scale performance assessments, which are open-ended assignments for students that differ from more traditional fill-in-the-blank questions. The presenters hope to inform efforts to craft improved policies that support the integration of performance assessments into balanced assessment systems. The webinar will be presented by three members of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity:  Ruth Chung Wei, Ray Pecheone, and Katie Wilczak. Register here.

On May 27, the Regional Education Lab (REL) Northeast and Island will host a webinar entitled, “Online Learning and Credit Recovery: What We Know from Research and Practice.” The event is designed to assist education stakeholders as they implement or consider policies and practices surrounding online learning and credit recovery. Registration and additional information is available here.

On May 28, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators will host a discussion of the benefits and considerations regarding the use of prior-prior year income data in determining student aid eligibility for postsecondary education. Registration and additional information is available here.

On May 28, EdWeek will host a webinar entitled, “Amplifying Student Voice.” The webinar will address the role student voices can play in improving schools. Vickie Reed, the superintendent of Murray County Schools in Florida, and BethAnn Berliner, a senior researcher at WestEd, will discuss their experiences utilizing student voices. Register here.

On May 29, Jack Jennings will talk about his new book, Presidents, Congress and the Public Schools, at a luncheon hosted by the American Educational Research Association and the Institute for Educational Leadership. Jennings founded the Center on Education Policy in January 1995. From 1967 to 1994, he served as subcommittee staff director and then as a general counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor. In his book, Jennings examines the evolution of federal education policy and outlines a vision for its future. Details about the luncheon can be found here.

U.S Department of Education

New Data Show a Decline in School-Based Bullying: On May 15, the U.S. Department of Education released a statement about new data from the National Center for Education Statistics which indicates the first significant decrease in school-based bullying since the federal government began collecting that data in 2005, suggesting that efforts at the federal, state and local levels to prevent bullying may be paying off. According to the data from the NCES, the reported prevalence of bullying among students ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22 percent after remaining stubbornly around 28 percent for the past decade.
May 15, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Proposes Federal Student Aid Regulations : The U.S. Department of Education announced proposed regulations, available for public inspection today in the Federal Register, aimed at protecting as many as 9 million college students receiving $25 billion in federal student aid by providing tougher standards and greater transparency surrounding agreements between colleges and companies in the rapidly expanding college debit and prepaid card account marketplace. The proposed regulations are intended to safeguard students from excess fees and provide students the freedom to choose how to receive their federal student aid funds when paying for college.
May 19, 2015

Congressional Headlines

Alexander and Murray Announce Higher Education Act Reauthorization Working Groups: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced several bipartisan, full committee staff working groups to address four major issues related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act: accountability, accreditation, college affordability and financial aid, and campus sexual assault and safety.
May 21, 2015

Senate Appropriators Lock In Sequester Spending Caps: The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted subcommittee allocations, informally known as 302(b)s, by a party-line vote of 16-14. The figures would lock in sequester-level spending caps for FY2016. The adopted allocations provide $153.188 billion for the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which represents an approximately $3 billion dollar decrease in the Senate Subcommittee’s allocation from FY2015.
May 21, 2015

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Holds Hearing on Institutional Risk-sharing: Senators Lamar and Murray held a hearing on the role that institutional risk-sharing, in which an institution is held partially accountable for the debts of its students, could play in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. “If colleges and universities have this incentive, it may not only help students make wiser decisions about borrowing, it could help reduce the cost of college — thereby reducing debt,” said Alexander. Murray also noted the importance of holding colleges and universities accountable for the investments these institutions receive from students and taxpayers.
May 20, 2015

Strong Start for America’s Children Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate: In the House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) and U.S. Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) introduced the Strong Start for America’s Children Act. In the Senate, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the bill. The legislation would establish a 10-year federal-state partnership for four-year old preschool, with formula funding to states based on each state’s proportion of four-year olds under 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill would encourage states to spend state funds to support preschool for young children with family incomes above that income level.  The bill also authorizes the new Early Head Start partnership with child care to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers. 
May 19, 2015

New Legislation

H.R.2350 : To increase Federal Pell Grants for the children of fallen public safety officers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [PA-8] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (2)

H.R.2363 : To provide for the removal of default information from a borrower’s credit report with respect to certain rehabilitated education loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Carney, John C., Jr. [DE] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Financial Services

H.R.2364 : To provide for institutional risk-sharing in the Federal student loan programs.
Sponsor: Rep Carney, John C., Jr. [DE] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (None)

H.R.2371 : To direct the Secretary of Education to award grants to States that enact State laws that will make school attendance compulsory through the age of 17.
Sponsor: Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (6)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.2375 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to make grants to States for assistance in hiring additional school-based mental health and student service providers.
Sponsor: Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-13] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (14)

H.R.2378 : To establish an Office of Specialized Instructional Support in the Department of Education and to provide grants to State educational agencies to reduce barriers to learning.
Sponsor: Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2382 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize a parent to opt their child out of participation in certain assessments required under such Act.
Sponsor: Rep Reed, Tom [NY-23] (introduced 5/15/2015) Cosponsors (2)

H.R.2407 : To reverse declining milk consumption in schools.
Sponsor: Rep Thompson, Glenn [PA-5] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2411 : To support early learning.
Sponsor: Rep Hanna, Richard L. [NY-22] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2417 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish fair and consistent eligibility requirements for graduate medical schools operating outside the United States and Canada.
Sponsor: Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (1)

H.AMDT.245 to H.R.1806 An amendment No. 3 printed in part A of House Report 114-120 to create state and regional workshops to train K-12 teachers in science and technology project-based learning to provide instruction in initiating robotics and other STEM competition team development programs; and leverage the collaboration among higher education, businesses, and local private as well as public education agencies to support STEM efforts at schools located in areas with 1 percent or more above the national unemployment rate.
Sponsor: Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [TX-18] (introduced 5/20/2015) Cosponsors (None)

S.1369 : A bill to allow funds under title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to be used to provide training to school personnel regarding how to recognize child sexual abuse.
Sponsor: Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (1)

S.1373 : A bill to amend the Higher Education Act to improve higher education programs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor : Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (None)

S.1374 : A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish fair and consistent eligibility requirements for graduate medical schools operating outside the United States and Canada.
Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (1)

S.1380 : A bill to support early learning.
Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (21)

S.1384 : A bill to amend the Truth in Lending Act to provide for the discharge of student loan obligations upon the death of the student borrower, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 5/19/2015) Cosponsors (None)

S.1390 : A bill to help provide relief to State education budgets during a recovering economy, to help fulfill the Federal mandate to provide higher educational opportunities for Native American Indians, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Gardner, Cory [CO] (introduced 5/20/2015) Cosponsors (1)


National Center for Education Statistics Report: Public School Safety and Discipline: 2013-14: This First Look provides nationally representative data on public school safety and discipline for the 2013–14 school year. It presents results from a Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey, which collected information on specific safety and discipline plans and practices, training for classroom teachers and aides related to school safety and discipline issues, security personnel, frequency of specific discipline problems, and number of incidents of various offenses.
May 21, 2015

Institute for Education Science Quick Review: Three-Year Effects of CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students”: The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), a group that reviews educational research, evaluated the research done by MDRC examining the effects of offering a multi-faceted support program to low-income community college students in need of developmental (remedial) courses. The MDRC study examined the impact of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) which included the following required components: full-time enrollment; consolidated block scheduling in the first year; a non-credit seminar covering topics such as goal-setting and academic planning; comprehensive student advising services, tutoring services, and career and employment services; a tuition waiver; free public transportation vouchers; and free textbooks for classes. The study reported that the ASAP program had a significant positive effect on several student outcomes such as college-level credit accumulation, degree attainment, and completion of developmental requirements. The WWC evaluated the research and found that it met all the WWC group design standards without reservations.
May, 2015

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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