E-Update for the Week of September 10, 2018
- The House and Senate have begun negotiations on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS). According to House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the conference negotiators, including Republican negotiators, support adopting the Senate’s total allocation of $179.3 billion, which is $2.2 billion more than the House version. The package is expected to be considered after the House finalizes its work on the Military Construction-VA, Energy-Water, and Legislative Branch minibus.
- On September 5, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development hearing titled, “On-The-Job: Rebuilding the Workforce Through Apprenticeships.” The Subcommittee focused on how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has supported work-based learning, including on-the-job education and apprenticeships.
- On September 5, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos delivered remarks at a meeting of G20 Education Ministers in Mendoza, Argentina. In her remarks, the Secretary described the relationship between the economy and education, and how a “dynamic and changing economy requires dynamic and changing approaches to education.” The G20 Education Ministers adopted a declaration of policies and positions at the conclusion of the meeting.
Budget and Appropriations:
Congressional negotiators moving closer to final Labor/HHS appropriations bill: House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) announced the Republican Members of Congress who would serve in the Conference Committee to finalize the Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill. The bill will also include appropriations for the Department of Defense, creating a minibus package, as was done in the Senate. The Defense-Labor/HHS minibus package is expected to be considered after the House finalizes its work on the Military Construction-VA, Energy-Water, and Legislative Branch minibus. The statement from Chairman Frelinghuysen is here.
Further, according to recent comments by House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the conference negotiators, including Republican negotiators, support adopting the Senate’s total allocation of $179.3 billion for the Labor/HHS appropriations bill. This would be $2.2 billion more than allocated by the House version. Given the end of the fiscal year on September 30, there is motivation to complete negotiations and begin consideration of a final bill. However, it is unclear as to if Congress will be able to send a bill to President Donald Trump before the fiscal year ends.
Related, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) released a statement indicating her support of substituting the House Labor/HHS appropriations bill with the Senate version. The Ranking Member stated, “The Senate has done good, bipartisan work to provide additional resources for the Labor-HHS-Education bill while avoiding the kinds of right-wing riders that make the House bill completely unacceptable.” The full statement is here.
Senate Democrats introduce school diversity bill, would authorize $120 million for new grant program: Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S.3413, the “Strength in Diversity Act,” which intends to promote diversity in schools. The legislation would authorize $120 million in grants, through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to support new and expand existing voluntary community-driven strategies to increase racial and economic diversity in schools. Grants could be used to fund proposals such as studying segregation and evaluating current policies; establishing public school choice zones and revising school boundaries; creating or expanding innovative school programs; and recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers to support specialized schools. The press release is here. The bill is here.
Related, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced a companion bill, H.R.6722, the “Stronger Together Program.” The press release from Rep. Fudge is here. The bill is here.
September 6, 2018
House passes student loan counseling bill: The House passed H.R.1635, the “Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act” by a vote of 406-4. The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), ensures borrowers who participate in federal student loan programs receive interactive counseling each year and provides more awareness on the financial obligations borrowers have by participating in the loan programs. The bill had previously been included in the Republican led PROSPER Act. Upon passage of the Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a joint statement lauding the bill’s progress. There is currently no consideration of similar legislation in the Senate. The joint statement from Chairwoman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott is here. The bill is here.
September 5, 2018
House Democrats release proposal for increasing minimum wage, strengthening labor unions: Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) released a report titled, “Future of Work, Wages, and Labor.” The report is a summation of the Members travels across the country to speak with experts, labor leaders, and workers to develop a set of policy proposals. Rep. Dingell stated, “Strong and updated labor laws are a necessity to fight income inequality, make the American dream accessible to anyone willing to work hard, and codify workers’ rights for the future – this is what the report is all about.” Policy suggestions within the report include overturning Citizens United, strengthening antitrust enforcement, raising the minimum wage, enhancing worker freedom, and increasing labor union participation. The full report is here. The press release is here.
September 5, 2018
House Subcommittee explores apprenticeships, impacts of WIOA: The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development hearing titled, “On-The-Job: Rebuilding the Workforce Through Apprenticeships.” The Subcommittee focused on how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has supported work-based learning, including on-the-job education and apprenticeships. The hearing also discussed federally registered apprenticeship programs. A statement from Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) is here. A statement from Subcommittee Ranking Member Susan Davis (D-CA) is here. The Minority press release is here. More information, including witness testimony, is here.
September 5, 2018
House Subcommittee examines improving Medicaid payments, care for children: The House Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Opportunities to Improve Health Care.” During the hearing, the Subcommittee reviewed five bills intended to improve health care in a variety of ways. Included is H.R.3325, the “Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act,” which “will improve the delivery of care for children with complex medical conditions who receive care under Medicaid.” Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) expressed his support for the legislation, especially its intention to improve the coordination of care for children, to address problems with fragmented access to care, and to gather national data to help researchers. The statement from Ranking Member Green is here. More information, including a webcast of the hearing, is here.
September 5, 2018
Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative explores STEM programs: The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders published an overview of its recent trips to Florida and Georgia to engage with local STEM leaders. The Initiative visited the HSU Educational Foundation in Florida to explore how the foundation integrated culture and soft skills into its STEM activities. Further, the Initiative visited the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), where 44 percent of the student population identifies as Asian American. The full overview is here.
September 5, 2018
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
DeVos signs-on to G20 education declaration, draws connection between economy and education: U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos delivered remarks at a meeting of G20 Education Ministers in Mendoza, Argentina. In her remarks, the Secretary described the relationship between the economy and education, and how a “dynamic and changing economy requires dynamic and changing approaches to education.” Further, the Secretary described the importance of addressing the individual needs of every student, and how a student’s education should prepare them for the workforce. Secretary DeVos concluded her remarks by stating, “students demand that we fundamentally rethink education, and the 21st century global economy requires that we do so.” The Secretary’s full remarks are here.
Related, the G20 Ministers of Education adopted a declaration titled, “Building consensus for fair and sustainable development. Unleashing people’s potential.” Within the declaration are policy statements related to education and skills, financing education, and international cooperation. Notable themes of the policies include supporting teachers, aligning education with “societal and technological innovations,” developing multiple pathways for students, and supporting financial investments to improve education quality. The full declaration is here.
September 5, 2018
IES previews changes to What Works Clearinghouse classifications, simplifies applications: The Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Mark Schneider, announced several changes to the Institute’s research competitions. Notable changes include adjusting the rating system for the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), which Schneider describes will be modeled after the “LEED” green building certification system. Awards will be given to research projects in the different WWC “certification” levels. Schneider stated, “One purpose of the proposed WWC rating system is to recognize and incentivize more work using what IES views as the most valuable dimensions of education research to support evidence-based decision making.” Additional changes include the simplification of the request for awards (RFAs) process. The full announcement is here.
September 5, 2018
Upcoming Events (Congressional & Administration)
- On September 11 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm CST, USED will hold the second of three public hearings to discuss the rulemaking agenda for a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, which will prepare proposed regulations for Federal Student Aid programs. The notice is here.
- On September 13 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm CST, USED will hold the third of three public hearings to discuss the rulemaking agenda for a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, which will prepare proposed regulations for Federal Student Aid programs. The notice is here.
- On September 13, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will host a meeting for a Tribal Consultation with elected or appointed leaders of tribal governments. ACF has identified topics for consultation, including the Family First Services Act; Title IV-E Planning Grants; the Office of Head Start annual consultation; and TANF and welfare reform. The notice is here.
- On September 16 to 19, the 2018 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week Conference will be hosted by the White House Initiative on HBCUs in Washington, D.C. The focus of the conference will be “HBCU Competitiveness: Aligning Instructional Missions with America’s Promise.” Registration and more information is here.
- On September 19 at 9:30 am, the HBCU Capital Financing Board will hold a meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to update the Board on current program activities, set future meeting dates, enable the Board to make recommendations to the Secretary on the current capital needs of HBCUs, and discuss recommendations regarding how the Board might increase its effectiveness. The notice can be found here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On September 11 at 8:30 am, Excelencia in Education is hosting an event titled, “Examining Life Outcomes Among Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions: 2018 HSIs and Workforce Survey.” The event will focus on recent survey data that suggest the numbers of Latinos enrolling in and graduating from college have increased, with 65% of Latino undergraduate students enrolled at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Registration and more information is here.
- On September 12 at 2:00 pm, Attendance Works will be hosting a webinar titled, “Team Up for Attendance.” The webinar is the final event hosted as part of Attendance Awareness month, and will highlight key findings from the new brief published by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center. The brief includes a national and state analysis of how many schools face high levels of chronic absence. Registration and more information is here.
- On September 13 at 11:00 am, the Institute for Higher Education Policy is hosting an event titled, “The State of Free College.” The event will examine the rise in free-college programs across the country and examine their designs. Specifically the event will focus on programs in New York and Tennessee. Registration and more information is here.
- On September 13 at 12:00 pm, Speak Up is holding a briefing titled, “Educational Equity – Digital Access and Teaching Innovations.” The briefing will discuss findings on the impact of education technology use within classrooms across the nation. Registration and more information is here.
- On September 17 at 2:00 pm, the American Institutes of Research (AIR) is holding a roundtable discussion titled, “Building Safe, Engaging and Equitable Schools.” The event showcase best practices, strategies, and recommendations to create safe, engaging, and equitable environments for students that focus on social and emotional learning. Registration and more information is here.
- On September 27, the Hoover Institution’s Education 20/20 Speaker Series holds a discussion titled, “Double Standards on Discipline Will Widen the Racial Divide.” The event will feature Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, who will share her perspective on race-based discipline reform, including why it hurts the children it purports to help and how it cuts against one of the core purposes of schooling. Registration and more information is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On September 5, the Learning Policy Institute released a report titled, “Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap.” The report highlights how states are taking advantage of ESSA to address disparities, to make schools more inclusive, and to help all students succeed. According to the report, nine states are committed to measuring suspension rates; 24 states have committed to using a measure of school climate; 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, have committed to measuring chronic absenteeism; 36 states have committed to using extended-year graduation rates; and 39 states have committed to using information regarding students’ access to a college and career ready curriculum. The full report is here.
- On September 5, the Education Commission of the States released a report titled, “Transitions and Alignment From Preschool to Kindergarten.” The report highlights practices and policies state policymakers should consider when creating a coordinated preschool to third-grade system. Recommendations include focusing on effective transition programs and creating authentic alignment of instructional program components of early learning and kindergarten. The full report is here.
- On September 5, the Economic Policy Institute released a report titled, “The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high: Trends in the teacher wage and compensation gaps through 2017.” The report examines teacher salaries throughout the nation and compares to occupations which require a similar level of education or experience. Key findings of the report include the decrease in average weekly wages of public school teachers since 1996 compared to the increase in average weekly wages of other college graduates; and the relative wage gap for public school teachers has grown from 4.3 percent in 1996 to 18.7 percent in 2017. The full report is here.
- On September 6, the Education Trust released a report titled, “A Promise Fulfilled: A Framework for Equitable Free College Programs.” The report created an equity analysis in order to examine the existing free college programs. The analysis included examining what the program covers (e.g. tuition, living costs, fees, length of coverage) and who the program covers (e.g. adult and returning students, students with a 2.0 GPA or higher, part-time students). The report used the framework and examined all existing free college programs. The findings of the analysis are here.
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish the Stronger Together Program.
Sponsor: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
A bill to protect Native children and promote public safety in Indian country.
Sponsor: Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to award grants for teaching English learners to institutions of higher education.
Sponsor: Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish the Strength in Diversity Program.
Sponsor: Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)
A bill to revise the amounts for discretionary Federal Pell Grant funding, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)