E-Update for October 13, 2017

E-Update for October 13, 2017


  • Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Resolution. The budget resolution includes reconciliation instructions related to tax reform.
  • As of this week, all ESSA consolidated state plans have been posted on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. The plans will now undergo a peer review process. Plans can be found here.
  • On October 10, President Donald Trump announced the designation of Eric Hargan to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The press release can be found here.



House Passes Emergency Hurricane and Wildfire Relief Funding: The House passed H.Res.569 to provide $36.5 billion in emergency funding for hurricane and wildfire relief and recovery efforts by a vote of 353-69. The resolution will now be considered by the Senate. Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden’s (D-VT) statement is available here.
October 12, 2017

CHIP Reauthorization Discussions Continue: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released a statement regarding the extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other public health programs. In the statement, Chairman Walden announced his decision to accept Democrat’s request to delay floor consideration of the bill to extend CHIP in order to reach a bipartisan agreement on offsets.
October 10, 2017


Senator Murray Introduces AHEAD Act: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced S. 1949, the Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration (AHEAD) Act. The bill would create a grant program to promote coordination between school districts and local housing authorities to better support students at risk of being homeless. The bill is available here.
October 12, 2017

59 Senators Write Letter Urging Reauthorization of Perkins CTE Act: A group of 59 senators, including Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) sent a letter to the Senate HELP Committee asking that the committee work to consider as soon as possible a reauthorizations of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Earlier this year, a bill to reauthorize the program was passed by the House on a voice vote.
October 12, 2017

Democratic Senators Pen Letter Regarding Federal TRIO Program Grant Applications: Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) sent a letter to USED’s Inspector General requesting a review of USED’s handling of federal TRIO program grant applications. The Senators cite a history of complaints about the grant competition process regarding timeliness and consistency.
October 12, 2017


White House:

Trump Administration Sends Letter to Congress Regarding Immigration Principles: The Trump Administration sent to Congress a list of immigration policy priorities focused on border security, interior enforcement, and a merit-based immigration system. The Trump Administration has requested that these priorities be included in any deal made by Congress to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a joint statement in response to the Trump Administration’s immigration principles. In the statement, House Democratic Leader Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Schumer raised concerns about the principles, stating that the principles are unreasonable and do not reflect negotiations that they had with President Trump.
October 8, 2017

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

USED Secretary DeVos Proposes Supplemental Priorities for Grant Competition: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos released for public comment a notice in the Federal Register which outlines eleven new proposed priorities and related definitions for use in discretionary grant competitions at the Secretary’s discretion.  The public will have 30 days to comment on the list of proposed priorities and related definitions. The Federal Register notice is available here. The proposed priorities include:

  • Empowering Families to Choose a High-Quality Education that Meets Their Child’s Unique Needs.
  • Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining Education with an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes, and Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers.
  • Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills.
  • Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills that Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens.
  • Meeting the Unique Needs of Students And Children, including those with Disabilities and/or with Unique Gifts and Talents.
  • Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science.
  • Promoting Literacy.
  • Promoting Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.
  • Promoting Economic Opportunity.
  • Encouraging Improved School Climate and Safer and More Respectful Interactions in a Positive and Safe Educational Environment.
  • Ensuring that Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families Have Access to High-Quality Educational Choices.

Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a statement regarding the Secretary’s competitive grant priorities. In the statement, the Ranking Members raise concerns about the emphasis on privatizing education rather than prioritizing public schools. The statement is available here.
October 12, 2017

USED Secretary DeVos Tours Schools in Florida and Oregon: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos visited two southern Florida schools impacted by the recent hurricane. During the visits, USED Secretary DeVos spoke with students, teachers, and administrators about the recovery process and their current needs. This week, USED Secretary DeVos also visited schools in Oregon to highlight the state’s career and technical education programs.
October 11, 2017

Upcoming Events:

  • On November 28 to December 1, Federal Student Aid (FSA) will hold a FSA Training Conference for financial aid professionals at institutions receiving Title IV funds. More information is available here.
  • On December 1, USED and the Federal Trade Commission will host a joint workshop on the intersection of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). More information is available here.


  • On October 12, the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics released a report titled, “Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2008-13; Outcome Measures for Cohort Year 2008; Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2015-16; and Admissions in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2016: First Look (Preliminary data) First Look (Provisional Data).” Notably, the report includes results from the Outcome Measures survey which now provides information on postsecondary success for part-time and transfer students, in addition to first-time, full-time postsecondary students. The report is available here.


A resolution honoring the accomplishments of the 9 historically Black colleges and universities that celebrated their sesquicentennial the week of September 24, 2017.
Sponsor: Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC)

A bill to provide for the establishment of a mechanism to allow borrowers of Federal student loans to refinance their loans, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance to employer payment of interest on certain refinanced student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA)

A bill to provide for the refinancing and recalculation of certain Federal student loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)

A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to award grants to States educational agencies and local educational agencies to support, develop, and implement formal and informal engineering education programs in elementary schools and secondary schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)

Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration (AHEAD) Act
A bill to authorize demonstration projects to improve educational and housing outcomes for children.
Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)

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