E-Update for October 06, 2017
- On October 4, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Eric Hargan to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by a vote of 57-38. It is expected that Mr. Hargan may take on the role of Acting Secretary of HHS after the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price. This week, the White House also announced nominations for various USED positions.
- On October 5, the Senate Budget Committee approved the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution, which would allow tax reform legislation to advance with the support of a simple-majority. The full Senate is expected to consider the budget proposal the week of October 16.
- On October 5, the House passed H.Con.Res. 71, the FY2018 Budget Resolution, which also includes instructions allowing fast track consideration of deficit-neutral tax reform.
- On October 3, 2017, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing titled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: Unleashing State Innovation,” to highlight state use of flexibilities in their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
Senate HELP Committee Holds ESSA Hearing on Innovation: The Senate HELP Committee held a hearing titled, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: Unleashing State Innovation.” During the hearing, both Republican and Democrat Committee members noted that the shift in power from the federal government to states under ESSA brings with it a significant responsibility for states to hold all schools accountable for each student they serve. Witnesses included several State education agency leaders who highlighted the ways in which increased flexibility granted to states under ESSA has provided opportunities to best serve students. The webcast and witness testimony are available here.
October 3, 2017
House and Senate Budget Resolutions & Tax Reform:
Senate Budget Committee Approves FY2018 Budget Resolution: The Senate Budget Committee approved the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution, which is focused on tax reform. Regarding the budget resolution, Chairman of the Committee Mike Enzi (R-WY) stated, “It reflects the belief that many of us share that by allowing American families and small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, they will innovate and invest that money in ways that will grow our economy.” During the markup of the Senate Budget Resolution, an amendment was adopted by voice vote that would allow for consideration of legislation during FY2018 related to improving access to child care and dependent care. An amendment was adopted by voice vote demonstrating support for apprenticeship programs. The webcast of the markup can be found here and here. The full Senate is expected to consider the budget proposal in the coming weeks.
October 5, 2017
House Passes FY2018 Budget Resolution: The House passed H.Con.Res. 71, the FY2018 Budget Resolution, which includes reconciliation instructions for tax deficit-neutral reform. The House budget resolution would also call for a reduction to non-defense discretionary spending of approximately $7.5 billion in FY2018 and a $200 billion reduction in mandatory spending over the next 10 years. The next step would be for the House and Senate to resolve the differences between their resolutions. The Senate is expected to take up its budget resolution the week of October 16. House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black’s (R-TN) statement is available here. House Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth’s (D-KY) statement is available here. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) statement is available here. President Trump’s statement is available here.
During debate, House Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth introduced an amendment to replace the underlying bill with a Democratic budget plan titled, “Investing in America’s Future” on the House floor. The budget proposal focused on increasing investments in domestic spending priorities, including Pell grants, strengthening health care, and protecting national security. The amendment was not adopted. The press release can be found here. Ranking Member Yarmuth’s floor statement is available here.
October 5, 2017
Nominations & Resignations:
HHS Deputy Secretary Confirmed; White House Announces USED Nominations: On October 4, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Eric Hargan to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by a vote of 57-38. Mr. Hargan previously served as Deputy General Counsel, Principal Associate Deputy Secretary, and Acting Deputy Secretary at HHS. It is expected that Mr. Hargan may take on the role of Acting Secretary of HHS after the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price. The press release is available here. Also this week, President Donald Trump announced nominations for three USED positions. The President has nominated Mitchell Zais to serve as Deputy Secretary, Timothy Kelly to serve as Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and James Blew to serve as Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. Mr. Zais previously served as South Carolina’s State Superintendent of Education, Mr. Kelly currently serves as a Michigan state representative for Saginaw County, and Mr. Blew currently serves as the director of Student Success of California. Press releases are available here, here, and here, respectively.
Senate and House Committees Advance Bills to Extend CHIP Funding: The Senate Finance Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committees advanced bills to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years. The Senate Finance Committee advanced S. 1827, the “Keeping Kid’s Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act” by a voice vote. The press release can be found here. The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced H.R. 3921, the “the Helping Ensure Access for Little ones, Toddlers, and Hopeful Youth by Keeping Insurance Delivery Stable (HEALTHY KIDS) Act” by a vote of 28 to 23. The press release is available here.
October 4, 2017
Senate Judiciary Committee Holds DACA Hearing: The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled, “Oversight of the Administration’s Decision to End Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” During the hearing, members discussed the opportunities and challenges of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as a potential path forward.
October 3, 2017
Ivanka Trump Pens Op-Ed on Teaching Tech in Kindergarten: The New York Post published an op-ed by Ivanka Trump, titled, “Ivanka Trump: Why we need to start teaching tech in Kindergarten.” In the article, Mrs. Trump discusses the importance of early exposure to computer science to ensure that students have the skills they need to participate in today’s workforce.
October 4, 2017
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
USED Office of Postsecondary Education Releases Guidance on Expired Perkins Loan Program: USED’s Office of Postsecondary Education released guidance regarding the wind-down of the Federal Perkins Loan Program. The guidance is intended to assist colleges and universities with ending their use of federal Perkins Loans by June 30, 2018. The program expired in September after Congress did not act to reauthorize.
October 6, 2017
USED FSA COO Speaks at National College Access Network Event: Chief Operating Officer of USED’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) A. Wayne Johnson spoke at an event hosted by the National College Access Network regarding his priorities for FSA. Mr. Johnson noted that he will prioritize improving the role of the Office of Federal Student Aid in the student loan process and introducing private-sector innovations to the Department. He also said that the Department would likely hire multiple student loan service providers and plans to address the backlog of borrower defense to repayment claims.
October 5, 2017
USED Holds Hearing on its Review of Postsecondary Regulations: USED held its second public hearing to gather feedback on postsecondary regulations that should be repealed, modified, or replaced. Individuals testifying at the hearing raised concerns with the Department’s plan to revise regulations on campus sexual assault, as well as the Department’s plans to modify gainful employment borrower defense to repayment regulations. The Federal Register notice can be found here.
October 4, 2017
- On October 5, the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics released a First Look Report titled, “Repayment of Student Loans as of 2015 Among 1995–96 and 2003–04 First-Time Beginning Students.” The report details findings about the repayment of federal student loans based on data from two Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal studies. The report is available here.
- On October 3, the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance released a report titled, “Asymdystopia: The threat of small biases in evaluations of education interventions that need to be powered to detect small impacts.” The report addresses the potential consequences of trying to detect smaller impacts through certain types of studies. The report is available here.
- On October 4, the National School Climate Center (NSCC) published an article by Education Counsel’s Catherine Holahan in their September newsletter titled, “Using ESSA to Improve School Climate and Social Emotional Development.” The article lists seven ways that state, district, and school leaders can develop policies that foster students’ social emotional development. The article can be found here.
A resolution calling on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize the significant educational implications of dyslexia that must be addressed, and designating October 2017 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
A bill to authorize the Attorney General to award grants to eligible entities to prevent or alleviate community violence by providing education, mentoring, and counseling services to children, adolescents, teachers, families, and community leaders on the principles and practice of nonviolence.
Sponsor: Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for housing stipends and supply fee payments under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for individuals affected by extended school closures due to natural disasters.
Sponsor: Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the designation of State approving agencies for multi-State apprenticeship programs for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sponsor: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)
A bill to repeal title VIII of the Higher Education Opportunity Act and title VIII of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Sponsor: Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL)