E-Update for the Week of October 19, 2020
- On October 15, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a Dear Colleague letter to the House Democratic caucus regarding a recent offer from the White House for an additional coronavirus relief package.
- On October 15, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released data from the 2017-2018 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).
- On October 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate will consider a targeted coronavirus relief bill building on the Republican “skinny bill” considered by the Senate in September. The Senate is expected to consider the bill when it returns from recess on October 19.
Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of October 16. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional and administrative actions to address the growing pandemic, we will do our best to update this information as quickly as possible.
McConnell schedules Senate vote on targeted relief bill, PPP funding for this year: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate will consider a targeted coronavirus relief bill building on the Republican “skinny bill” considered by the Senate in September. The Senate is expected to consider the bill when it returns from recess on October 19. According to the Senate Majority Leader, the bill will provide “targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the [Paycheck Protection Program].” No text has yet been released, but reports are that the bill will cost in the range of $500 billion. A press release is here. Roll Call article is here.
October 13, 2020
Pelosi outlines disagreements between Democrats, White House; negotiations continue but fate of a next bill is uncertain: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a Dear Colleague letter to the House Democratic caucus regarding a recent offer from the White House for an additional coronavirus relief package. While the letter acknowledges possible progress in negotiations related to a strategic plan for testing, the Speaker states, “even if this key priority is resolved, many other disagreements remain.” Specifically, the Speaker cites “these [disagreements] include but are not limited to funding for state and local government, tax benefits for working families, support for vulnerable small businesses and child care funding. In addition to these deficiencies, the Trump proposal contains multiple deadly poison pills – including their radical Liability Provision which forces workers to risk their lives in unsafe workplaces with no legal recourse. Our disagreements are about more than dollars and cents.” The October 15 letter is here.
Relatedly, the Speaker sent a Dear Colleague to the House Democratic caucus earlier in the week noting that a White House offer at that time falls “significantly short of what this pandemic and deep recession demand.” Within the letter, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) stated that, “Their measly offer to increase funding for education stabilization is not enough to help schools reopen safely. Additionally, our child care system is on the brink of collapse and their proposal would not even cover half of what is needed.” The October 13 letter is here. A statement from House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) is here. A statement from House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) is here.
October 13 and 15, 2020
GAO finds that pandemic has ‘hampered’ schools’ progress in recovering from other natural disasters: House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Gregorio Kilili Sablan (D-MP) issued a statement after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report finding that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered and worsened K-12 schools’ recovery from recent natural disasters across the country. The statement says that the report “confirms that the failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic has not only kept schools closed, but also compounded their long and difficult recovery from recent wildfires, storms, and other natural disasters.” A statement is here. The GAO report is here.
October 14, 2020
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
2017-2018 CRDC data released; USED finds increase in sexual violence reported in schools: The U.S. Department of Education (USED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released data from the 2017-2018 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The biennial data collection gathers information related to school discipline, student enrollment trends, services to students with disabilities, and instances of student harassment or assault. As part of the CRDC’s publication, OCR published two issue briefs related to the use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities and sexual violence in K-12 schools. According to the briefs, in the 2017-2018 school year, 101,990 students were subjected to restraint or seclusion, and there were 14,939 incidents of sexual violence. A press release is here. The restraint and seclusion issue brief is here. The sexual violence issue brief is here. The full data set is here.
October 15, 2020
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
ACF awards grants to support homeless, runaway youth: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced that the Department had awarded $30 million in new grants to 158 community-based organizations. The grants are intended to help reunite youth with their families and to provide mental and physical health services, food, clothing, and emergency shelter for runaway or homeless youth. “The awarding of these grants shows our continued commitment to helping young people during a tough period in their lives by providing access to essential needs, individual and family counseling services, and safe and stable housing,” stated ACF Commissioner Elizabeth Darling. A press release is here.
October 9, 2020
Upcoming Events (Congressional and Administration):
- On October 27 at 2:00 pm, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Regional Education Lab (REL) for the Northeast and Islands will hold an event titled, “Student Voices: Perspectives on Antiracism in Schools.” The webinar will present two programs that are designed to identify and dismantle racism in schools. More information and registration are here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On October 20 at 1:30 pm EST, the College Board and EducationCounsel will hold an event titled, “Engaging Campus Stakeholders on Enrollment Issues Associated with Student Diversity.” During a time in which higher education admissions practices are under intense scrutiny, clarity regarding key concepts associated with diversity issues has never been more essential. Indeed, these issues—particularly those relevant to the consideration of race and ethnicity in admission—predominate in media and in court, where strict scrutiny defines the landscape. With the goal of supporting enrollment and campus leaders as they engage with colleagues and their communities on issues associated with student diversity and admissions, this webinar will offer insights and guidance on how best to successfully navigate the current landscape, with a focus on key concepts, model definitions, and effective rebuttals to myths on issues associated with diversity that continue to plague our national and institutional dialogues. This webinar will also preview a new publication, “Engaging Campus Stakeholders on Enrollment Issues Associated with Student Diversity: A Communications Primer,” which will be released in a few weeks. More information and registration are here.
- On October 22 at 1:00 pm, the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) will hold an event titled, “State and Federal Opportunities to Support More Diverse and Inclusive School Systems.” The event will feature Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and will examine how public schools can support racial and economic integration. More information and registration are here.
- On October 22 at 4:15 pm, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will hold an event titled, “Should college students be back on campus?” The webinar will consider the risks and considerations colleges and universities must keep in mind as the coronavirus pandemic continues. More information and registration are here.
Publications (Congressional and administration):
- On October 14, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report titled, “Data Security: Recent K-12 Data Breaches Show that Students are Vulnerable to Harm.” The report, which was addressed to House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), summarizes a study of data from July 2016 through May 2020 regarding the frequency and type of data security breaches for elementary and secondary schools. Key findings of the report include identifying that over the course of four years, there were 99 student data breaches that compromised the data of students in 287 school districts; that student academic data was the most common type of data compromised by the breaches, followed by student personally identifiable information; and that 52 of the breaches were considered intentional and were conducted by student actors. The full report is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On October 15, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) published a report titled, “A policy agenda to address the teacher shortage in U.S. public schools.” The report summarizes a review of current conditions and challenges to building a deeper teacher pipeline. Key findings and recommendations of the report include identifying that teacher pay will need to be raised in order to attract new teachers and retain current teachers; that there will need to be stronger learning communities to increase teachers’ influence and sense of belonging in schools and districts; and that professional supports should be designed to strengthen teachers’ sense of purpose, career development, and effectiveness. The full report is here.
- On October 14, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation published a report titled, “Returning to Work and the Child Care Dilemma.” The report summarizes the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the child care industry and its related impact on working parents and the larger workforce. Key findings and recommendations of the report include identifying that 63 percent of parents anticipate needing to change their child care arrangement in the next year; that 26 percent of parents are paying for child care that they are not currently using; and that 50 percent of parents who have not returned to work cite child care as their primary reason. The full report is here.
- On October 13, GLSEN published a report titled, “The 2019 National School Climate Survey.” The report summarizes a biennial study of LGBTQ+ student experiences in elementary and secondary schools. Key findings of the report include identifying that over 59 percent of LGBTQ+ students reported that they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; that almost all LGBTQ students (98.8 percent) reported hearing the word “gay” used in a negative way; and that 59 percent of LGBTQ+ students reported being disciplined because of their sexual orientation. The full report is here.
- On October 11, the Civil Rights Data Project at the University of California Los Angeles published a report titled, “Lost Opportunities: How Disparate School Discipline Continues to Drive Differences in the Opportunity to Learn.” The report summarizes a study of student discipline data from 2015-2016. Key findings of the report include identifying that per every 100 students enrolled, secondary students lost 37 instructional days; that secondary students lose five times more of instructional time compared to the 7 days elementary students lose due to exclusionary discipline; and that there was only a slight narrowing of the racial discipline gap with many districts still reporting significantly higher rates of student discipline for students of color compared to the national average. The full report is here.