E-Update for October 24, 2022

E-Update for October 24, 2022

Due to the congressional recess, EducationCounsel will not be publishing our EUpdate as frequently. The information covered below is generally for the period of October 7 through October 20.

Highlights:

  • On October 12, at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress titled, “The Future of Higher Education in a Post-Debt Cancellation United States,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) discussed a range of issues, including the appropriations process, President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan, and college affordability.
  • On October 15, the Biden-Harris Administration made public the new application for student loan forgiveness under the plan that President Biden announced in August. Within the first week, the White House confirmed that more than 22 million Americans submitted an application.
  • On October 20, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected anemergency request from the Brown County Taxpayers Association to block the Biden’s Administration’s student loan forgiveness plan while litigation continues in lower federal courts. Separately, on the same day, a federal district judge in the Eastern District of Missouri rejected a challenge from six Republican-led states – Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina – asserting they lacked legal standing to pursue the case. However, on October 21, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals – which covers appeals in the Eastern District of Missouri – temporarily put the program on hold and prohibited the Biden Administration from “discharging any student loan debt” until it rules on the emergency request from the six states.

Administration:

White House:

White House rolls out application for student loan debt relief; more than 22 million Americans apply in the first week: On October 15, the Biden-Harris Administration made public the new application for student loan forgiveness under the plan that President Biden announced in August. Under this plan, USED will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for Pell Grant recipients, and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. Individuals with annual income less than $125,000 and married couples with combined income less than $250,000 are eligible to apply for relief. The new application can be completed online and requires only an applicant’s name, birth date, Social Security number, phone number, and email address. Borrowers must self-certify that they meet the income requirements, and the Office of Federal Student Aid at USED will contact applicants should additional information or supporting documentation be needed. Within the first week, the White House confirmed that more than 22 million Americans submitted an application. Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2023. USED has indicated that, once applications have been submitted, they expect to discharge debt in “a matter of weeks” and for as many borrowers as possible before student loan payments resume in January 2023. The moratorium on payments, interest accrual, and collections – first announced in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – has been extended a final time through December 31, 2022, under President Biden’s August debt relief announcement.

After U.S. Supreme Court rejects emergency request blocking Biden Administration’s student loan forgiveness plan and Federal District Court dismisses lawsuit challenging the plan, Federal Appeals Court temporarily blocks plan until emergency lawsuit is heard: On October 20, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected an emergency request from the Brown County Taxpayers Association to “block the Biden Administration student loan forgiveness plan, while litigation over the program continues in a lower court,” according to SCOTUSblog. The Brown County Taxpayers Association, supported by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, is arguing that the plan could have a “gargantuan” impact on taxpayers and amounts to unconstitutional spending. The taxpayer association was seeking an emergency request as student loan forgiveness under the plan could begin as early as October 23. The case was originally brought before a federal judge in Wisconsin, who ruled that the group did not have standing, and is being appealed in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Barrett, who oversees emergency matters from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals – which covers Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana – rejected the emergency request without comment or referral to the full Supreme Court. The appeal will continue in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals following the denial of the emergency request. 

Shortly after Justice Barrett’s announcement, a federal district judge in the Eastern District of Missouri rejected a challenge from six Republican-led states – Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina – asserting they lacked legal standing to pursue the case. Legal standing requires that a party seeking a legal remedy must demonstrate a connection to or harm from the law or action they are challenging. The states had argued that the Biden Administration’s plan was not congressionally authorized and would have a negative impact on state tax revenue. However, on October 21, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals – which covers appeals in the Eastern District of Missouri, along with cases in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas – temporarily put the program on hold and prohibited the Biden Administration from “discharging any student loan debt” until it rules on the emergency request from the six states. Of note, other challenges to the student loan forgiveness plan are ongoing.    

President Biden signs bipartisan legislation allowing for the separation of previously consolidated federal student loans: On October 11, President Biden signed S. 1098, the “Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act,” which allows two borrowers, who had previously consolidated their federal student loans, to sever their consolidated loan into two separate loans. The joint consolidation loan remainder (unpaid principal, outstanding charges and fees, and accrued unpaid interest) would be split proportionally based on the percentages that each borrower originally brought into the loan. The two new federal direct loans would also have the same interest rates as the joint consolidation loan. The bill will also allow survivors of domestic violence or economic abuse or borrowers who are unable to reach the other borrower to submit an individual application to separate their portion of the joint consolidation loan. S. 1098 passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent in June, and the House by a vote of 232-193 on September 21.

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Miguel Cardona and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh hold a joint event to highlight postsecondary career pathways: On October 14, USED Secretary Cardona and U.S. Labor Secretary Walsh toured the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology, a lower-cost, private, non-profit college in Boston, MA, focused on career readiness in technology fields. Secretaries Cardona and Walsh met with students and learned more about the school’s career pathways courses, including their robotics and renewable energy classes. During the event, they highlighted the $200 million requested in the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 Budget for Career-Connected High Schools, which would be a new initiative supporting competitive grants to partnerships of school districts, employers, and institutions of higher education, including community colleges. The FY2023 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations bill included $50 million for Career-Connected High Schools, while the FY2023 Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations bill included $60 million for Career-Connected High Schools; however, the FY2023 Labor/HHS Appropriations bill has yet to be finalized.

USED Secretary Cardona delivers remarks at Harvard University on COVID-19 recovery: On October 14, USED Secretary Cardona participated in a “fireside chat” with students at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education at an event titled, “Beyond Recovery – Seizing Opportunities to Transform Education.” USED Secretary Cardona gave initial remarks and then participated in a discussion with the school’s dean, Dr. Bridget Long, and Harvard University students. The event also featured leading researchers and policymakers in education, as well as the superintendents of the Baltimore and Atlanta school districts, and the Tennessee Commissioner of Education. In his remarks, USED Secretary Cardona said that one of his “greatest fears” is a return to the pre-pandemic education system because “…that didn’t work for too many students.” “We normalized disparities in opportunities and outcomes as a country,” Cardona said, “returning to the same system would be failing our students.” He also discussed how school districts are using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding and asked, “…do we have the will to match the unprecedented resources with unprecedented urgency? Are we willing to embrace the disruption and combat complacency with the same fervor we fought COVID?”

USED Secretary Cardona announces appointments of educators and a parent leader to board overseeing the Nation’s Report Card: On October 14, USED Secretary Cardona announced three new board members and one reappointed member to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – also known as the “Nation’s Report Card” – and is the only assessment of student achievement administered nationally. The board members, including a fourth-grade teacher (reappointed), an eighth-grade teacher, a high school principal, and a parent leader, will serve on NAGB for four years (October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2026). Former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue was also reappointed as Board Chair. The 26-member board, which is appointed by the Secretary of Education but operates independently, helps determine the subjects that the NAEP assesses. Regarding the appointees, USED Secretary Cardona noted that, “Decisions about how we measure student progress and the future of important tools like the Nation’s Report Card must be informed by the voices of parents, educators, and school leaders.”

USED announces new funding to support English-language learners: On October 13, USED announced nearly $120 million in grants under the National Professional Development Program (NPD) to support educators of English-language learners. The NPD program provides grants to colleges and universities, working with states or school districts, to support professional development and teacher preparation programs to help improve the teaching for English-language learners. The NPD program currently supports 182 projects around the country and these new funds will help support 44 new projects serving nearly 1,700 pre-service and 6,300 in-service teachers.

National Science Foundation:

National Science Foundation (NSF) announces awards to Hispanic-Serving colleges and universities to improve undergraduate STEM education: NSF announced grants through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program to 48 colleges and universities. USED defines an HSI as a college or university with a full-time undergraduate enrollment that is at least 25 percent Hispanic or Latino. There are currently 451 colleges and universities in 24 states that are considered HSIs. The awards, announced on October 5 and during Hispanic Heritage Month, aim to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of students pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in STEM. One of the goals of the HSI award is to broaden the participation of students who are historically underrepresented in STEM and expand students’ pathways to continued STEM education and the STEM workforce. The grant program has three types of awards: 1) Planning or Pilot Projects provide funding for institutions that have not previously been awarded NSF grants or are primarily undergraduate institutions, including community colleges; 2) Implementation and Evaluation Projects support the implementation of activities across disciplines; and 3) Institutional Transformation Projects support institution-wide structural or systemic change.

Congress:

House:

House Appropriations Chairwoman DeLauro and House Education and Labor Chairman Scott discuss student debt relief and college affordability: On October 12, at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress titled, “The Future of Higher Education in a Post-Debt Cancellation United States,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) discussed a range of issues, including the appropriations process, President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan, and college affordability. Regarding the need to make college more affordable, Representative Scott highlighted H.R. 8872, the “Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now – or the LOAN Act,” which would double the Pell Grant and cap federal student loan interest rates at five percent. Chairman Scott also discussed the trend of shifting the burden of college costs onto students and commended the Biden Administration’s announcement on student loans as “…a major step in the right direction…particularly as half of all loan balances are $20,000 or less, so this will go a long way towards helping students.” Additionally, Chairwoman DeLauro noted that there are “43 million Americans with student loan debt totaling $1.6 trillion” and the Administration’s plan “…will improve financial security and reduce the racial wealth gap.” Commenting specifically on the changes to the income-driven repayment plan announced by the Biden Administration, Chairwoman DeLauro said that it “would make the student loan system more manageable and fair for students.” Representatives DeLauro and Scott also shared concerns about the role of for-profit companies often contracted by colleges and universities to manage online courses and indicated an interest in additional oversight of the for-profit college sector. On this issue, Chairman Scott commented that students “think they are getting the college level product but they are actually getting some for-profit vendor’s product…and some of these are priced unreasonably particularly since they are not as advertised.”

House Republican Education and Oversight Committee Leaders raise additional concerns to USED Secretary Cardona about the use of COVID-19 relief funding: On October 11, House Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) sent a follow up letter to USED Secretary Cardona about the use of ARP funding to pay for a specific example of “radical curricula to indoctrinate students” at a school district in Newburyport, MA, which the members assert involved the use of COVID-19 relief funds to hire a consultant that coached a high school principal to use a racial slur in front of other faculty members. Previously, Ranking Member Foxx, Ranking Member Comer, and other House Republicans wrote letters on September 14 to USED Secretary Cardona, USED Inspector General Sandra Bruce, and state education officials for California, Illinois, and New York requesting information about the use of COVID-related education funds to support critical race theory programs, which they described as “racially biased and other leftist programs.” The most recent letter requested documents and communications related to the approval of the state plan for Massachusetts, as well as documents previously requested in the September letter to USED Secretary Cardona.

Upcoming Events (Congress & Administration Speakers):

  • On October 24 at 10:00 am, the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will hold an event to release the results of the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – also known as the Nation’s Report Card – for Mathematics and Reading. The results will be the most comprehensive picture to date of the pandemic’s impact on student achievement. Results will include national-, state-, and select district-level scores for grades 4 and 8 in mathematics and reading, along with insights into students’ learning experiences. The event will comprise three sessions: (1) presentation of the 2022 NAEP Mathematics results with Q&A; (2) presentation of the 2022 NAEP Reading results with Q&A; and (3) a panel discussion focused on understanding the results and lessons that can be drawn from the data. More information, including panelists, and registration here.
  • On October 25 at 3:00 pm, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, with New America, will host the next webinar in a series of webinars focused on exploring the best science, ideas, and programs to improve student learning. The webinar on October 25 is titled, “A Pivotal Year: Kindergarten’s Important Role in Students’ Education.” Swati Adakar, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Early Learning at the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) within USED, will be among the presenters. More information and registration here.
  • On October 26, USED will host an event titled, “Raising the Bar: Literacy & Math Series to Address Academic Recovery,” which will be the first of five sessions focused on strategies and programs to boost student literacy and math outcomes. The sessions, which will occur monthly from October 2022 through February 2023, will seek to build engagement from the field; identify collaboration opportunities among research, practice, and funding; and lift best practices and resources for practitioners and policymakers to take action to address learning loss and academic recovery. Additionally, the Department is expected to issue a guide next week to drive strategies in districts and states on how to best address learning loss and academic recovery. The subsequent four convenings include topics focused on: learning research-based practices from content experts; highlighting promising practices from state education agencies and school districts leveraging ARP funding to implement literacy and math achievement best practices at scale; and offering dedicated time and expertise to support action planning (i.e., guided working sessions and support from technical assistance providers). More information is here.
  • On October 26 at 10:00 am, The Hill, with Collaborative for Student Success, will hold an event titled, “The State of American Education,” which will gather education leaders at the local, state and federal level, policymakers, teachers, advocates and experts for a 360-degree conversation on how students are faring in 2022 and the state of American education. Speakers will include: Roberto Rodriguez, Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at USED; Governor Spencer Cox (R-UT); Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota Superintendent; and Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Commissioner of Education; among others. More information and registration here.
  • On October 26 at 8:00 pm, NAACP will host an event titled, “National Virtual Town Hall: Debt Canceled,” which will involve a discussion of the need to address the student debt crisis and call attention to the opportunity to take advantage of student loan forgiveness under the Biden Administration’s plan. USED Secretary Cardona is expected to participate in the town hall. More information and registration here.
  • On October 27 at 9:30 am, The Atlantic will host an Education Summit, which will gather educators, students, and policy makers to discuss the most pressing challenges, workable solutions, and how we can build an education system that centers on equity and innovation and prepares students to succeed in the future workforce. Speakers will include: USED Secretary Cardona; Sameer Gadkaree, President, Institute for College Access and Success; and Lamar Danley, Student, Howard University, among others. More information and registration here.
  • On November 1 at 3:00 pm, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading will host its next webinar in a series of webinars focused on exploring the best science, ideas, and programs to improve student learning. The webinar on November 1 is titled, “What’s Next? Identifying & Advancing Initiatives to Accelerate Learning Recovery.” Mark Schneider, Director of the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) within USED, will be among the presenters. More information and registration here.

Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):

  • On October 26 at 3:00 pm, the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, will host a webinar titled, “Whole Child Policy: Putting the Science of Learning and Development into Practice.” The webinar will explore what whole child design looks like and what it means for broader systems change. Local education leaders will provide lessons learned on their whole child design efforts and discuss how state policy can accelerate or impede these efforts. Speakers will include: Carolyne V. Quintana, Deputy Chancellor, Teaching and Learning, New York City Department of Education; Jennifer DePaoli, Director of the Whole Child Policy Table & Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute; Laura Hernandez, Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute; and Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute. More information and registration here.
  • On October 26 at 4:00 pm, the American Enterprise Institute will host an event titled, “A Conversation with Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on Leadership in Higher Education.” President Daniels will reflect on his career and share his vision for the future of higher education and the role of university leaders. More information and registration here.
  • On November 4 at 10:00 am, the S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host an event titled, “The Child Care Roadmap for Employers,” which will explore how small and large businesses have stepped up and been proactive in providing working parents with different types of support for their child care needs. In addition, this event will premiere the foundation’s new child care roadmap videos. More information and registration here.

Publications (Congress & Administration):

  • On October 11, GAO published a report titled, “K-12 Education: Charter Schools That Received Federal Funding to Open or Expand Were Generally Less Likely to Close Than Other Similar Charter Schools.” The FY2021 House Labor/HHS Appropriations report requested that GAO study USED’s oversight of the Charter School Program (CSP) and whether the program is being implemented effectively among grantees and subgrantees. Specifically, this report examined the extent to which charter schools that received federal funds through CSP grants stayed open or closed compared to non-recipient charter schools in fiscal years 2006–2020 (the most recently available comparable data) and how much CSP funding went to schools that closed or never opened during this period. The report found that charter schools that received federal funds through CSP grants were 1.5 times less likely to close within 5 years after receiving CSP awards. Specifically, within 5 years after receiving CSP awards, 1.42 percent of grantees closed compared to 2.3 percent of schools who did not receive the grants. Within 12 years of receiving CSP grants, the same pattern generally held. According to the report, the pattern also generally held for CSP-recipient charter schools regardless of the schools’ grade level, locale, student body racial and ethnic composition, or percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

Publications (Outside Organizations):

  • On October 11, Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, published a study titled, “Fiscal Federalism and K–12 Education Funding: Policy Lessons From Two Educational Crises.” The study, by Kenneth A. Shores at the University of Delaware and Matthew P. Steinberg at George Mason University, estimated that $700 billion will be needed to offset COVID-induced learning loss, which is less than the approximately $190 billion allocated to public K–12 schools through ESSER funds. To estimate the cost of remediating student learning loss, the authors leveraged prior estimates of learning loss, time spent in remote instruction, and the cost of increasing student achievement, collected from existing research studies and data from the USED, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other sources. Specifically, the study found that the amount of funds given to schools was insufficient to meet the needs of students, that the mechanisms used to distribute the funds were inadequate at determining which school districts needed the most support, and that not enough data was collected while funds were being designated and spent.
  • On October 11, The Education Trust published a report titled, “How States Can Use American Rescue Plan Funding and Federal Grants to Support Teacher Diversity.” The report reflects state-level data on the use of ESSER funds to elevate promising practices for advocates and policymakers, specifically on how to recruit, train, support, and retain teachers of color. The report highlights the effective use of ESSER funds by different states to sustainably diversify their teacher workforces. After ESSER funds expire in 2025, the report suggests utilizing other funding sources, including Augustus Hawkins Center for Excellence grants, the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program, and the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive grant program to continue to expand teacher diversity efforts.
  • On October 12, EducationSuperhighway published its second No Home Left Online report. The report highlights the critical role local leaders play in implementing the Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP), which hopes to close the digital divide for 18 million American households that have access to the internet but can’t afford to connect. The report explores the current barriers to program enrollment and highlights new data, tools, and practices to help communities overcome these barriers. The data included in the report suggests that though 51.6 million households are eligible for the ACP program, only 13 million households have enrolled. The report suggests working with state and local leaders to launch awareness campaigns and develop enrollment strategies. To support this work, EducationSuperhighway has created an ACP Enrollment Dashboard to provide communities with data on eligible households, an adoption toolkit for local leaders on how to engage their community in this work, and a virtual mobile assistant that helps determine whether a family qualifies for the program.
  • On October 12, FutureEd at Georgetown University published a new spending review titled, “Educators And ESSER [Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief]: How Pandemic Spending Is Reshaping The Teaching Profession.” The review sought to understand a comprehensive picture of state and local spending of recovery resources on the nation’s teaching force. FutureEd analyzed the Covid-relief spending plans of 5,000 school districts and charter organizations representing 74 percent of the nation’s public-school students. The review also included an analysis of additional documents and conducted a range of interviews to gauge how the nation’s 100 largest school districts plan to support their teachers with ARP funds. The review found that momentum is building behind several spending strategies to hire new teachers and provide support for those already in the profession, but these efforts will be difficult to sustain once pandemic-related funding ceases.
  • On October 12, the Data Quality Campaign published a new report titled, “Education Data Legislation Review: What Happened in 2022?” The report found that, in 2022, state legislators introduced 131 bills in 35 states—42 of which became law in 17 states— that would govern the use of data along the early childhood to workforce continuum. Of these bills, more than half were intended to make data accessible to non-policymakers (including students, families, and teachers). The report makes recommendations on practices to support in legislation related to school data, which includes encouraging cross-agency data governance, inviting and incorporating community feedback, data disaggregation, and further clarifying data privacy policies.
  • On October 13, Child Care Aware published a report titled, “Price of Care: 2021 Child Care Affordability.” The report is the second in a series of reports that seek to answer what changes or improvements can be made to child care systems considering the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report found that the national average price of child care was around $10,600 annually, which would comprise 10 percent of a married-couple family’s average annual income and 35% of a single parent’s income. The increase in child care prices slightly outpaced inflation, which was much higher than the inflation rate in prior years. In most states, the price of child care for two children exceeded annual housing payments by 28 percent to over 100 percent. Similarly, the price of childcare for an infant in a center exceeded annual in-state tuition at a public university in 34 states.  Childcare for two children in a center would cost a childcare workforce professional anywhere from 56 percent to over 100 percent of annual income. Finally, the report found that childcare was more expensive than most other household expenses, such as housing and health care in all U.S. regions.
  • On October 17, the National Center for Youth Law published a report titled, “The Student-Affirming Education Needed for Our Children and Our Nation’s Future.” The report was written in collaboration with five past Teachers of the Year award recipients. The report outlines expert research and data on why accurate and student-affirming education practices need implementation across the nation. It found that implementing student-affirming education practices can lead to improved student attendance, higher test scores, better GPAs, and increased graduation rates. It also found that current efforts to create education gag orders and other anti-honesty education policies worsen teacher recruitment and retention challenges and harm student’s educational outputs. The report supports efforts to advance student-affirming legislation at the state and national level, incorporating parent and educator voices in work to advance equitable and honest education practices, and centering the needs and voices of students in this work.
  • On October 18, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) published a report titled, “The 2021 National School Climate Survey.” The report includes information on LGBTQ+ middle and high school students’ experiences, including hearing biased language from both students and educators, experiences of harassment and assault, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, the effects of a hostile school climate on educational outcomes and psychological well-being, and the availability and utility of supportive school resources. This report also examines demographic and school differences in students’ experiences and explores LGBTQ students’ experiences with GSAs s (Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexuality Alliances). In addition, this installment of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey also includes an exploration of how school climate has changed over time. Because this data is from the 2020-2021 academic year, when schools had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also discusses key differences between the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in online only, in-person only, and hybrid learning environments.
  • On October 18, Jobs for the Future and American Student Assistance published a report titled, “Non-Degree Pathways: A DC Insider’s Perspective.” The report explores the views of DC Insiders on supporting diverse educational pathways and offers policy recommendations to expand opportunities for students. The report found that there is bipartisan support for expanding non-degree paths.A vast majority of DC Insiders agree that non-degree pathways can diversify options for students (93 percent) and provide skills to meet employer needs (89 percent). It also found that policy insiders want to see action. Eighty-nine percent of DC Insiders want legislative support for the expansion of non-degree pathways to increase in the next five years and 78 percent want to see a boost in federal funding for these pathways. Finally, it found that there is widespread agreement on hiring for skills over degrees. Ninety-six percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats agree that employers should hire based on skills over degrees. The report recommends improving policies meant to support and expand access to apprenticeship, training, and work-based learning opportunities.
  • On October 18, Jobs for the Future and American Student Assistance published a resource titled, “A Universe of Possibilities: Education to Career Pathways for the Future of Work.” The resource highlights the dynamic universe of innovative programs and providers that are building off of established models, leveraging core building blocks of a learner’s experience to develop unique, often hybridized approaches. The resource includes sections on the history of education to career pathway programs, an overview of today’s job market, an overview of different models of career pathway/alternative education programs, organizations to watch (who are implementing these models effectively), and opportunities for further innovation and investment in post-secondary education programs.
  • On October 20, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released their first look at Fall 2022 higher education enrollment trends. The data reflects that undergraduate enrollment continued to decline in 2022 compared to 2021, but the decline has slowed to pre-pandemic rates. Specifically, institutions lost 1.1 percent of undergraduates this fall, leading to a total two-year decline of 4.2 percent since 2020. The declines are seen the most at private for-profit four-year colleges and at public four-year colleges, while community colleges have seen less of an enrollment decline. While enrollment in associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs has decreased, enrollment in undergraduate certificate programs has increased. This decline has been seen across all demographic characteristics, with the exception of traditional age students (18- to 20-year olds and Latinx students).
  • On October 20, Results for America published their annual analysis titled, “2022 Invest in What Works: State Standard of Excellence.” The 2022 analysis demonstrates that states are increasingly using data and evidence to produce better, more equitable results for their residents. It identified eight states that are leading the way with their use of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems. These Leading States include Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington. The analysis identified 263 examples of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems in effect as of August 2022 in 41 states across the country. This represents a 30 percent increase from the 202 examples in 2021. Key findings of the analysis include that states are increasingly investing in what works and that states are increasingly investing in data capacity and building evidence of what work.

Recent Legislation Introduced:

House:

H.R. 8970
A bill to provide funding to strengthen cybersecurity defenses and capabilities by expanding community colleges programs leading to the award of cybersecurity credentials that are in demand in government, critical infrastructure, nonprofit, and private sectors, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI)

H.R. 9001
A bill to secure schools, to increase access to mental health resources, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX)

H.R. 9007
A bill to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide grants to medical and other health profession schools to expand or develop education and training programs for substance use prevention and treatment, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ)

H.R. 9014
A bill to provide for supplemental appropriations to increase the number of AmeriCorps members and to increase the living allowances of such members, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

H.R. 9021
A bill to establish uniform accessibility standards for websites and applications of employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, joint labor-management committees, public entities, public accommodations, testing entities, and commercial providers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)

H.R. 9028
A bill to reauthorize the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, and for other purposes
Sponsor: Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)

H.R. 9036
A bill to establish a grant program to facilitate peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs for middle school and high school students, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA)

H.R. 9038
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize the use of Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants for the development and maintenance of school and community gardens, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Shontel Brown (D-OH)

H.R. 9054
A bill to end COVID-19 lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Sponsor: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)

H.R. 9056
A bill to ensure that children in schools have a right to read, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)

H.R. 9065
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide interest relief under the public service loan forgiveness program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

H.R. 9076
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow parents pursuing a higher education degree to take the tax credit for expenses for household and dependent care services.
Sponsor: Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA)

H.R. 9079
A bill to direct the Secretary of Education to establish a program to facilitate the transition to tuition-free community college in certain States, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

H.R. 9085
A bill to establish a grant program carried out by the Department of Homeland Security to fund university-based cybersecurity clinics at junior or community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), and other minority-serving institutions, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX)

H.R. 9097
A bill ​​to expand and improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)

H.R. 9100
A bill to authorize grants to establish a national education protection and advocacy program to enforce the rights and protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)

H.R. 9105
A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the establishment of the National Medical Corps Program to create pathway programs for community college students to pursue premedical training and enter medical school, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

H.R. 9110
A bill to provide bankruptcy relief for student borrowers.
Sponsor: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

H.R. 9136
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to combat campus sexual assault, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

H.R. 9165
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve the academic achievement of English learners and immigrant children and youth, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)

H.R. 9175
A bill to amend the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 to establish a grant program to improve the quality and availability of arts facilities and arts-related programming, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

H.R. 9197
A bill titled the “‘Stop the Sexualization of Children Act,’’ which would prohibit the use of Federal funds to develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10, and for other purposes. Opponents of the legislation have referred to the legislation as a “National Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)

H.J.Res. 99
A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to parental rights.
Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Lesko (R- AZ)

H.Res. 1406
A resolution expressing support for the recognition of September 26, 2022, to October 2, 2022, as “Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving Institutions Week.”
Sponsor: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

H.Res. 1423
A resolution expressing support for October 2, 2022, through October 8, 2022, as “National Student Athlete Mental Health Week.”
Sponsor: Rep. David Trone (D-MD)

H.Res. 1424
A resolution expressing support for the recognition of October 2022 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month.”
Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR)

H.Res. 1429
A resolution expressing support for the designation of October 2022 as “National Youth Justice Action Month”
Sponsor: Sponsor: Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)

H.Res. 1438
A resolution to support Lights On Afterschool, a national celebration of afterschool programs held on October 20, 2022.
Sponsor: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)

Senate:

S. 4970
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to promote comprehensive campus mental health and suicide prevention plans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

S. 4983
A bill to require the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to encourage deployment of electric school buses and vehicle-to-grid technologies and applications, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

S. 4993
A bill to authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants for outdoor learning spaces and to develop living schoolyards.
Sponsor: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

S. 4998
A bill to establish uniform accessibility standards for websites and applications of employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, joint labor-management committees, public entities, public accommodations, testing entities, and commercial providers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

S. 5013
A bill to authorize grants to establish a national education protection and advocacy program to enforce the rights and protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Margaret Hassan (D-NH)

S. 5018
A bill to establish Department of Homeland Security funding restrictions on institutions of higher education that have a relationship with Confucius Institutes, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)

S. 5022
A bill to allow recipients of certain loans made or guaranteed by the Small Business Administration to use the loan proceeds to provide child care services to employees, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)

S. 5028
A bill to amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to prioritize programs that provide evidence of performance.
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)

S. 5047
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to combat campus sexual assault, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

S. 5064
A bill to ensure that children in schools have a right to read, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

S. 5065
A bill to provide for institutional risk-sharing in the Federal student loan programs.
Sponsor: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

S. 5069
A bill to amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to require mandatory reporting of incidents of child abuse or neglect, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA)

S. 5072
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for institutional ineligibility based on low cohort repayment rates and to require risk-sharing payments of institutions of higher education.
Sponsor: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

S.Res. 811
A resolution designating the week of October 2, 2022, through October 8, 2022, as “Religious Education Week” to celebrate religious education in the United States.
Sponsor: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

S.Res. 812
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 2022 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month.”
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

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