E-Update for May 6, 2016

E-Update for May 6, 2016



  • On May 4th, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) posted an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The FAQ guidance can support states and districts as they move forward in the implementation of ESSA. Comments or questions on this guidance can be sent to ESSA.Questions@ed.gov. The FAQs are available here.
  • The House and Senate were in recess this week; they will reconvene Monday, May 9th.


U.S. Congress

Senate Democrats Urge USED to Fully Enforce ESSA’s “Supplement, not Supplant” Provision: Nine Senate Democrats wrote a letter to USED Secretary John King, urging USED to enforce ESSA’s supplement, not supplant provision in Title I through regulations and oversight. The letter cites the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s (ESEA) history as civil rights legislation, and noted the intent of the supplement, not supplant provision as being to ensure that states and districts spend federal funds to provide additional resources, rather than replacing state and local investments.
May 2, 2016

Democrats Write Letter to King Calling for Strong Student Borrower Protections in Regulation: 43 House and Senate Democrats, including House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), wrote a letter to Secretary King asking for strong protections and a streamlined path to debt relief for student loan borrowers in USED’s proposed “borrower defense” regulation. In the letters, the Congressional members asked Secretary King, among other requests, to ban mandatory arbitration clauses for schools that accept federal funds. The letter from Senate Democrats is available here.
April 29, 2016

Rep. Katherine Clark Introduces Bill to Expose Institutions Seeking Title IX Exemptions: Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced a bill that would require USED to make publicly available a list of all institutions that have applied for or received exemptions under Title IX, in addition to requiring those institutions to report this information on their websites. The full bill is available here.
April 29, 2016

Senate Democrats Urge HHS and USED to Improve Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care: Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Al Franken (D-MN) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and USED, urging the agencies to provide guidance to states, school districts, and child welfare agencies as they implement ESSA provisions regarding educational stability for children in foster care.
May 5, 2016


USED Releases Report on Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce: USED released a report entitled, “The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce,” in conjunction with the National Summit on Teacher Diversity. The report reviews trends in the diversity of K-12 teachers and examines the diversity of the potential teachers at several key points along the educator development pipeline. The full report is available here.
May 6, 2016

Office of Civil Rights Releases Annual Report: USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released its fiscal year (FY) 2015 annual report. Entitled “Delivering Justice,” the report highlights USED’s enforcement efforts over the last year, including opening over 3,000 investigations, to protect students’ civil rights and increase educational equity. The full report is available here.
May 4, 2016

USED and DOJ Reach Settlement with Arizona Dept. of Education on Supports for English Learners: USED and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a settlement had been reached with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to meet the needs of English Learners (ELs). The agreement requires ADE to raise its English proficiency criteria to better identify ELs in grades 3-12 and to better determine when those students no longer need language services. The agreement also requires ADE to provide support services to students who had been prematurely identified as English proficient. The full press release is available here.
May 3, 2016

USED Announces Grant Competition to Strengthen Professional Development: On May 3, USED announced a grant in collaboration with ASCD and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to provide support to teachers to strengthen professional development. The Teacher Impact Grants (TIG) program will allow teachers to develop, expand, and evaluate promising teacher-led practices to improve student outcomes.
May 3, 2016


On May 10 at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Understanding Dyslexia: The Intersection of Scientific Research and Education.” More information and live webcast of the hearing will be available here.

On May 10 at 2:30 p.m., Secretary King will host a stakeholder forum, providing an overview and update on ESSA implementation. The forum will be livestreamed here.

New Legislation

H.R.5148 : To amend the Department of Education Organization Act and the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require publication of information relating to religious exemptions to the requirements of title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Clark, Katherine M. [MA-5] (introduced 4/29/2016)      Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.5152 : To amend the hold harmless provision for career and technical education assistance grants to States.
Sponsor: Rep Heck, Joseph J. [NV-3] (introduced 4/29/2016)      Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

H.R.5157 : To direct the Secretary of Education to make grants to State educational agencies for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public school facilities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Sean Patrick [NY-18] (introduced 4/29/2016)      Cosponsors (2)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce

S.2869 : Boost Saving for College Act
Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 4/28/2016)      Cosponsors (3)
Committees: Senate Finance

School Leadership Interventions under ESSA (Volume I): This RAND report, supported by the Wallace Foundation, describes major ESSA funding programs that can be used to pay for school leadership improvement efforts; the law’s categories of acceptable evidence, and where and how they come into play; and activities supported by research in the top three evidence categories. The report also identifies several school leadership programs that appear to be eligible for funding under the law, based on the strength of their research base.
April, 2016

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015: This joint effort from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics examines crime occurring in schools and colleges. The report presents information on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources–the National Crime Victimization Survey, the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the School Survey on Crime and Safety, the Schools and Staffing Survey, EDFacts, and the Campus Safety and Security Survey. The report covers topics such as victimization, bullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, the presence of security staff at school, availability and student use of drugs and alcohol, student perceptions of personal safety at school, and criminal incidents at postsecondary institutions.
May 4, 2016


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