E-Update for May 26, 2017

E-Update for May 26, 2017




House Oversight Subcommittees Hold a Joint Hearing on Improper Student Aid Payments: The House Oversight Subcommittees on Government Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs held a joint hearing entitled, “Improper Payments in the Federal Government: Student Aid” to discuss the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) process for accurately estimating improper payments and preventing future improper payments. Prior to the hearing, USED’s Office of Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer James Runcie announced his resignation due to his concerns with management issues at the agency. Chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Virginia Foxx’s statement can be found here. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) statement can be found here.
May 25, 2017

House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Transparency in Higher Education: The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing entitled, “Empowering Students and Families to Make Informed Decisions on Higher Education.” During the hearing, members highlighted the importance of providing students and their families with accurate and comprehensive information and of holding federal student aid programs accountable. The hearing also focused on the need to protect student privacy. Mamie Voight, of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, testified at the hearing. Press releases can be found here and here. Video recording and witness testimony can be found here. Chairman of the Subcommittee Brett Guthrie’s (R-KY) statement can be found here.
May 24, 2017

LHHS Subcommittee Holds Hearing on President’s FY18 USED Budget Proposal: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing to examine the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 full budget proposal for USED. USED Secretary Betsy DeVos testified during the hearing and emphasized that the budget proposal prioritizes proven programs while cutting or eliminating those that are duplicative, unproven, or best left to states and districts. Members focused their questions on their concerns regarding these cuts and eliminations (including to Title II – State Grants, TRIO, work study, and the Pell Grant surplus rescission), as well as on the topic of school choice. Chairman of the Subcommittee Tom Cole’s (R-OK) opening statement can be found here. Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) opening statement can be found here. USED Secretary DeVos’s opening statement can be found here.
May 24, 2017

House Democrats Discuss College Completion: As part of the Aim Higher campaign that they recently launched, House Democrats held a panel discussion on “Pathways to College Completion,” which focused on examining dual enrollment programs and competency-based education.
May 24, 2017

House Passes Bill to Improve Juvenile Justice: The House passed H.R. 1809, the “Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017” by a voice vote. The bill reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to assist state and local leaders in better serving juvenile offenders and at-risk youth. Press releases can be found here and here. Bill text can be found here.
May 23, 2017


White House:

Trump Administration Releases Full Budget Proposal for FY 2018: The Trump Administration released his full budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The full budget proposal builds off the “skinny” budget proposal that was released in March 2017.  For FY2018, the President’s budget request includes $58.989 billion for the U.S. Department of Education (USED), which is a $9.25 billion or 13.6% decrease below the FY2017 Omnibus level of $68.239 billion. The budget for USED would constitute significant cuts to federal funding for K-12 education, eliminate some core programs (including Title II – State Grants and 21st Century Community Learning Centers or afterschool), and invest heavily in school choice.
May 23, 2017

  • OMB Director Mick Mulvaney held a press briefing to discuss the Administration’s budget priorities, in which he remarked on the increased focus on taxpayer burden in this budget proposal. Director Mulvaney’s press remarks can be found here.
  • Congressional Statements on the FY2018 President’s budget proposal:
    • House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC) statement can be found here and Ranking Member of the Committee Bobby Scott (D-VA) here. Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray’s (D-WA) statement can be found here.
    • House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-NJ) statement can be found here. House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Nita Lowey’s (D-NY) statement is available here. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) statement can be found here and Vice Chairman of the Committee Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) statement here.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price’s statement can be found here and USED Secretary Betsy DeVos’s statement here.

U.S. Department of Education:

USED Secretary DeVos Announces Reevaluation of Upward Bound Applications: USED Secretary DeVos announced that the Department will reconsider grant applications for the Upward Bound program that had been previously determined to be ineligible due based on technical formatting rules issued by the previous Administration. USED Secretary DeVos has also instructed USED staff to allow formatting flexibility on all grant applications.
May 24, 2017

USED Secretary DeVos Speaks at American Federation for Children Policy Summit: USED Secretary DeVos delivered keynote remarks to the American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit. In the speech, Secretary DeVos outlined the principles for the Administration’s school choice plan and emphasized that the it would not be a one-size-fits-all approach.
May 22, 2017

Revised ESSA Assurances Template Posted: USED posted a revised Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Assurances Template that state education agencies must complete to receive federal funding under ESSA.
May 22, 2017

Committee Formed to Examine Reduction of USED Workforce: USED has confirmed that the Trump Administration has formed a 15-person committee to make recommendations about how to best reorganize and reduce USED’s workforce. The committee will be co-chaired by Robert Eitel, senior counselor to the Secretary, and Joe Conaty, currently the acting deputy secretary. The committee has been tasked with producing a draft plan by June 30.


  • The Access & Diversity Collaborative has announced the first of its free 2017 webinars, Making the Most of the Summer Enrollment Planning Process. The webinar will review recent legal, policy, and political developments; identify research and best practice recommendations for improving how diversity and inclusion fit into enrollment goals; and will preview new guidance from the Collaborative on building an evidence base to support diversity-related policies and practices. The webinar will feature Jerry Lucido (USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice) and Vern Granger (Ohio State University), as well as Art Coleman and Terri Taylor (EducationCounsel).  Wendell Hall from the College Board will facilitate. Registration for the webinar can be found here.


  • On May 25, the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report entitled, “The Condition of Education 2017,” which summarizes key developments and trends in education across fifty indicators and spanning from prekindergarten through postsecondary education. The report can be found here.
  • On May 24, the Institute of Education Sciences’ NCES released highlights of the 2015 PISA financial literacy assessment of 15- and 14-year-old students. The highlights included the average score for OECD countries overall (489) and the average score for several individual countries, including the U.S. (487). The report can be found here.
  • On May 22, ExcelinEd released a report entitled “Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A National Landscape.” The report, published together with EducationCounsel, offers a survey of current state laws and policies on competency-based education in K-12 systems. The report can be found here.



A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for pro-rated charges to entitlement to educational assistance under Department of Veterans Affairs Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for certain licensure and certification tests and national tests, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)

A bill to authorize the establishment of American Dream Accounts.
Sponsor: Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE)

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain improvements in the administration of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance and to expand the availability of the student loan interest deduction.
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)

A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish a program that automatically enrolls certain community college graduates into 4-year public institutions of higher education.
Sponsor: Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)

A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to authorize additional grant activities for Hispanic-serving institutions.
Sponsor: Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA)

A bill to simplify and improve the Federal student loan program through income-contingent repayment to provide stronger protections for borrowers, encourage responsible borrowing, and save money for taxpayers.
Sponsor: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)

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