E-Update for September 12, 2022

E-Update for September 12, 2022

Highlights:

  • On August 30, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice of a final rule for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.
  • On September 8, the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) released new information outlining steps that borrowers can take to prepare for the upcoming loan relief application, which is set to be available “by early October.”
  • On September 7, Republican members of the House Education and Labor Committee sent a letter to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) requesting an oversight hearing on U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) authority to enact federal student loan debt relief.

Administration:

President Biden issues Executive Order on implementation of CHIPS Act: On August 30, President issued a notice of an Executive Order (EO) titled, “Implementation of the CHIPS Act of 2022.” The EO is about implementation of the bill, which was named for “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors” (CHIPS), and is primarily aimed at growing U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors. The bill also includes a $81 billion investment in the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand research and development opportunities, as well as support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the technology sector. The EO establishes a CHIPS Implementation Steering Council to coordinate policy development to ensure the effective implementation of the Act within the executive branch. The EO outlines the Biden Administration’s priorities for implementation of the CHIPS Act, which include: 1) protecting taxpayer resources, including by ensuring strong compliance and accountability measures for funding recipients; (2) meeting economic, sustainability, and national security needs; (3) ensuring long-term leadership in the microelectronics sector; (4) catalyzing private-sector investment, including in workforce development, among other areas; (5) generating benefits for a broad range of stakeholders and communities, including by investing in disadvantaged communities and by partnering with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and with institutions of higher education; and (6) strengthening and expanding regional manufacturing and innovation ecosystems, including by investing in several areas such as workforce development and translational. A fact sheet on the EO is here.
August 30, 2022

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues final rule for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program: On August 30, DHS issued a notice of a final rule for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. On September 28, 2021, DHS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would establish regulations to preserve and fortify the DACA policy to defer removal of certain noncitizens who arrived in the country without documentation as children, meet other criteria, and do not present other circumstances that would warrant removal. After a review of the public comments received, DHS issued a final rule that implements the proposed rule, with some amendments. The changes from the proposed rule are outlined in the notice.

The final rule from the Biden Administration comes after the Trump Administration sought to rescind the DACA program; however, the Supreme Court ruled on June 18, 2020, in a 5-4 opinion on Department of Homeland Security et al. v. Regents of the University of California, that the Administration failed to follow the proper administrative procedure and justification to rescind the program. The opinion did not enshrine the DACA program into law, which would require legislation from Congress. As a result, the DACA program has continued to face legal challenges, including a ruling by a federal judge in Texas in July 2021, which found the DACA program unlawful. The ruling has prevented the Biden Administration from approving new applications for DACA. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is currently reviewing the case, requested supplemental briefings be filed by the administration and GOP-led states leading the lawsuit in response to the final regulations issued on August 30. The Biden Administration argued in its supplemental briefing that the states’ legal arguments should be moot after the regulations take effect.
August 30, 2022

White House:

President Biden announces nomination of Danté Quintin Allen for Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) at USED: On September 2, President Biden announced the nomination of Danté Quintin Allen for RSA Commissioner at USED. Mr. Allen currently serves as the Executive Director for CalABLE, California’s qualified federal ABLE Act savings and investment program for people with disabilities. Since its launch in 2018, CalABLE has become the fastest growing ABLE program in the United States, with 8,000 active accounts and nearly $80 million in assets under management. Upon the announcement of Mr. Allen’s nomination, USED Secretary Cardona stated, “Mr. Allen’s personal experience and impressive career empowering students with disabilities and their families reflect his deep belief that every individual with a disability needs to live with the economic security that comes from accessing an appropriate education that leads to a good job.”
September 2, 2022

White House listening session identifies youth mental health as a major concern for tech platforms and announces principles to address accountability: On September 8, the White House hosted a listening session on tech platform accountability, where experts and practitioners identified youth mental health as a key concern. Those in attendance included White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media Dr. Nusheen Ameenuddin. The other key concerns identified by experts were competition, privacy, misinformation and disinformation, illegal and abusive conduct, and algorithmic discrimination and lack of transparency. Regarding youth mental health, one expert explained that while technology provides benefits of social connection, there are significant adverse clinical effects of prolonged social media use on many children and teens’ mental health. Practitioners expressed concerns about the amount of data collected from apps used by children, and the need for better ways to protect children’s privacy and prevent addictive use. Experts also called attention to the magnitude of illegal and abusive conduct that takes place on platforms, but for which they are currently shielded from being held liable, including sexual exploitation, cyberstalking, and non-consensual distribution of inappropriate images of adults.

In conjunction with the listening session, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new core principles for enhancing competition and tech platform accountability. The principles appropriately correlated with the key concerns expressed by experts. To address youth mental health, the Administration created the following core principle: Protect our kids by putting in place even stronger privacy and online protections for them, including prioritizing safety by design standards and practices for online platforms, products, and services. The White House noted, “Platforms and other interactive digital service providers should be required to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of young people above profit and revenue in their product design, including by restricting excessive data collection and targeted advertising to young people.”
September 8, 2022

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

Federal Student Aid (FSA) releases new information about one-time student loan relief: On August 24, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new plan to target student loan debt and repayment, and make changes to the federal student loan program. The plan includes three parts: (1) a final extension of the student loan pause through December 31, 2022; (2) targeted student debt relief; and (3) a proposed rule to create a new income-driven repayment plan aimed at making the student loan system more manageable for current and future borrowers.

With regard to targeted student debt relief, USED will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for Pell Grant recipients and cancel 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. Following the announcement, FSA released new information outlining steps that borrowers can take to prepare for the upcoming loan relief application, which is set to be available “by early October.” FSA also set a deadline for borrowers to apply for loan relief: December 31, 2023. The new information includes which types of loans are eligible for the forgiveness and specifies the order in which FSA will apply relief for borrowers with multiple loans. Relief will first be applied to defaulted USED-held loans followed by defaulted commercial FFEL Program loans. Relief will then be applied to non-defaulted Direct Loan Program loans, and lastly, FFEL Program loans held by USED. For borrowers with multiple loans in a program type (e.g., multiple Direct Loan Program loans), relief will first be applied to loans with the highest statutory interest rates. Further, FSA confirmed that monthly payments for any loans remaining will be based on the new, smaller principal amount.
September 8, 2022

USED announces Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour: On September 7, USED announced that Secretary Miguel Cardona will launch a multi-state tour during the week of September 12 to showcase how school communities are helping students recover from the pandemic. Secretary Cardona will be joined by First Lady Jill Biden on the first stop of the tour in Tennessee, where they will hear how states and districts are recruiting and preparing qualified educators into the classroom. Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, USED Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten, and USED Undersecretary James Kvaal will also join Secretary Cardona throughout the week, visiting North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Local school leaders will join students, parents, and educators to discuss a wide array of strategies, including academic recovery, high school to career pathways, inclusion for students with disabilities, and mental health in higher education. Secretary Cardona shared, “This year will be one of the most important ever, as we not only work to catch students up, but put them in a position to do even better than where they were before March 2020.”
September 7, 2022

Congress:

House:

House Education and Labor Ranking Member Foxx writes op-ed highlighting Republican alternative plan to Biden’s student loan cancellation plan: On September 6, House Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) wrote an op-ed for Fox News, criticizing the Biden Administration’s student loan relief proposal, and calling attention to the Republican proposal that would address increasing college prices. Ranking Member Foxx writes that “colleges must have skin in the game,” expressing that institutions with students who receive federal student loans should be rewarded for successful programs. If programs are riskier or less successful, she notes that colleges should help cover the loss for students. The op-ed also calls for a more transparent college pricing system, noting that the cost to enroll and attend classes virtually cost the same as in-person classes at a state flagship. Ranking Member Foxx concluded the piece by proposing to “rethink” the Pell Grant to allow more students to enroll and complete high-quality programs.
September 6, 2022

Republican House Education and Labor Committee members request oversight hearing on Biden Administration’s legal authority to issue student loan debt relief: On September 7, Republican members of the House Education and Labor Committee sent a letter to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) requesting an oversight hearing on USED’s authority to enact federal student loan debt relief. The members request that Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray, USED General Counsel Lisa Brown, and USED Undersecretary James Kvaal stand as witnesses for the hearing, to “discuss the authority for these actions, their plans to implement these actions, and any plans they have to finally end the student loan moratorium and return to regular operation.” The letter also requests a second panel of federal loan contractors who would implement the policies “to understand what information the Department is giving these contractors, what the Department has instructed them to tell borrowers, and how much the Department is listening to their feedback regarding what they need to ensure borrowers are not harmed in this student loan bedlam.” Chairman Scott has not yet responded to the letter.
September 7, 2022

Upcoming Events (Congress & Administration):

  • On September 15 at 10:00 am, the House Committee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development Subcommittee of the Committee on Small Business will hold a hybrid hearing titled: “Back to School, Back to Startups: Supporting Youth Apprenticeship, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development.” The hearing will explore innovative workforce development strategies targeted at young people that strengthen the labor force and expand opportunities, especially as small firms are among the hardest hit by an ongoing shortage in skilled workers – an issue that predates the pandemic. Members will hear from experts, program leaders, and educational institutions about strategies to invest in youth workforce development. Witnesses include Noel Ginsburg, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, CareerWise; Deborah Kobes, Senior Director, Jobs for the Future (JFF); and Shani Watkins, Director, West Sound Technical Skills Center, Bremerton School District. More information and livestream of the hearing here.
  • On September 16 at 3:00 pm, USED is hosting a webinar titled, “Reimagining STEM Education: The Pathway to Convergence Education.” The webinar will feature more about this pedagogical style that promotes scientific and systems thinking, student engagement, and innovative solution-creating and how you can implement it in your educational settings. Panelists include Patti Curtis, Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin STEM Education Fellow, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, USED; Kelly Jo Day, STEM Specialist, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy; Trey Smith, Chester Arthur School, Philadelphia, PA; Laura Akesson, Einstein Fellow, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy; Carol O’Donnell, Executive Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center, Smithsonian Institution; and Jorge Valdes, Ph.D. Education Advisor, United States Patent and Trademark Office. More information and registration here.

Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):

  • On September 13 at 4:00 pm, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an in-person event titled, “A Conversation with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) on the Republican Vision for Higher Education Policy.” House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Beth Akers, Senior Fellow at AEI, will discuss the Biden administration’s actions and policies regarding federal student loans and their views on how to effectively support the American higher education system. The discussion will consider the Republican response, a “better vision” for federal higher education policy, and proposals to target assistance to struggling student loan borrowers while protecting taxpayers and individuals who never went to college. Find more information and registration here.
  • On September 14 at 3:00 pm, the Alliance for Early Success will host a webinar titled, “Human-Centered Design as an Equity Strategy in Early Childhood Policy and Development.” The webinar will provide a background on Human-Centered Design and hear from two recent examples of how it can be applied to early childhood policy: an effort by the New Jersey Department of Labor, in collaboration with New America’s New Practice Lab, to improve its implementation of paid family leave; and an initiative facilitated by Child Care Aware of Washington State to support a team of early childhood educators to design compensation policy proposals. More information and registration here.
  • On September 15 at 10:00 am, AASA The School Superintendents Association, First Focus, and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host a webinar titled, “Re-thinking the Poverty Indicator: How Free and Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM) Works.” The session is the second in a three-part series, and will cover the issues of using FRPM as a poverty indicator. More information and registration here.
  • On September 15 at 1:00 pm, the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) will host a webinar titled, “A Walk Through the Family Engagement Core Competencies.” NAFSCE recently released the Family Engagement Core Competencies, which are aimed at enhancing, unifying, and amplifying the standards documents and guidance that address family and community engagement in various fields and developmental periods to advance and support more effective and universal practice. The webinar will feature an interactive conversation around the four competency domains (Reflect, Connect, Collaborate, and Lead), a look at aligning the core competencies to standards from 16 existing organizations, and a walk-through of a self-assessment tool that can be used to gauge current implementation of the family engagement. More information and registration here.
  • On September 15 at 2:00 pm, EducationWeek is hosting a webinar titled, “What Will It Take for Schools To Get Better?” The webinar will focus on what must happen for transformation to occur— what educators and education leaders can do immediately and feasibly to incite lasting and productive change that will make a difference in the lives of their students. More information and registration here.
  • On September 20 at 1:00 pm, the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is hosting a webinar titled, “The Civil Rights Road to Deeper Learning.” The webinar will explore the deep-seated inequalities that prevent deeper learning for marginalized young people, which require considerable engagement in civil rights litigation, enforcement, and advocacy, as well as education reform. Speakers include Kia Darling-Hammond, CEO, Wise Chipmunk LLC.; Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel Emeritus, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Kent McGuire, Education Program Director, Hewlett Foundation. More information and registration here.
  • On September 22 at 2:00 pm, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is hosting a webinar titled, “Measuring Job and Credential Quality – The Role of State P-20W Data Systems.” DQC, in partnership with Credential Engine, Jobs for the Future, and National Skills Coalition will highlight the importance of state data systems in collecting data on program, job, and credential quality, providing timely information to the public, and using data to ensure equitable attainment of quality jobs and credentials. Representatives from two states currently doing this work will discuss their efforts to prioritize data collection and transparent access to information. More information and registration here.
  • On September 22 at 4:30pm, PDK International will host a webinar titled, “Start Recruiting the Next Generation of Teachers Today.” The webinar will examine the implications of the teacher shortage crisis and explore how Educators Rising can help support workforce development initiatives, invest in career readiness, and prepare the next generation of highly skilled educators. More information and registration here.

Publications (Outside Organizations):

  • On August 23, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) published a new issue brief titled, “Doubling the Maximum Pell Grant.” The federal Pell Grant program is the “foundational” federal student aid program, providing grants to undergraduate students with financial need who have not yet earned their first bachelor’s degree, to help pay the costs of attending a postsecondary institution. The issue brief confirmed that Pell Grants continued to provide need-based aid to America’s lowest-income postsecondary students, but that the grants have failed for decades to keep pace with increased college costs and inflation. Authors found that doubling the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000 will effectively recalibrate the grant and restore its purchasing power, and would benefit the lowest-income students most.
  • On September 2, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report titled, “The Child Care Sector Will Continue To Struggle Hiring Staff Unless It Creates Good Jobs.” The report calls attention to the ongoing crisis in the early childhood workforce, which is still operating below pre-pandemic levels. Data in the report shows that there are 88,000 fewer child care workers than before the pandemic.
  • On September 2, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released a new publication titled, “State Ranking of Public Higher Education Based on Student Loan Debt And Earnings: 2022.” Author Andrew Gillen, Ph.D. wrote the third annual ranking of state public higher education systems that shows which states leave their students with excessive student loan debt. States are ranked based on new data from USED that was used to calculate student loan debt-to-earnings outcomes of their graduates. Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland earned top rankings, meaning that most graduates have low student loan debt relative to earnings.
  • On September 7, New America and EducationCounsel released a new toolkit titled, “Using Policy to Enable Effective and Supportive Transitions for Children, Families, & Educators.” The toolkit, an update from the first version released in July 2021, features a new discussion of the most pressing challenges during the second full school year in the COVID pandemic, state and local solutions to consider, and funding sources to support this work. It also includes nine takeaways from the organizations’ work with states, school districts, and communities, as well as a look at federal COVID relief dollars and how they can support transitions work.
  • On September 7, the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) has published a new infographic titled, “The Presidency at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).” the infographic explores trends across presidents at HBCUs, noting the functional areas producing the most presidents, which include fundraising, student affairs, and academic affairs, among others. Research shows about 56% of presidents have never worked outside of academic affairs and the most common position held before securing a presidency is overwhelmingly a Vice Provost for Academic Affairs or a Provost. Data also shows that 72 percent of HBCU presidents are in their first presidency and 4 years is the average senior administration tenure before assuming a presidency.
  • On September 7, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released a new report titled, “2022 State EdTech Trends Report.” The report, released in collaboration with Whiteboard Advisors, speaks to the results of SETDA’s flagship annual State EdTech Trends Survey of edtech directors, state superintendents, chiefs of staff, and other senior state officials. Survey results showed that 70 percent of respondents reported that their State Education Agency (SEA) or at least one district in the state was the victim of a cyber attack. Only 55 percent of states reported that they have a dedicated office for educational technology, and only 48 percent of respondents agree that their SEA has explicit conversations about the role of technology in supporting state priorities, showing wide variation in how states support edtech.

Legislation:

H.R. 8767
A bill to establish a private right of action for parents with respect to the teaching of racial discrimination theory and other actions by covered schools, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Bob Good (R-VA)

H.Res. 1332
A resolution expressing support for the designation of September 2022 as National Campus Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Sponsor: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

H.J.Res. 93
A joint resolution ​​proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to require the United States and the States to jointly ensure a high-quality education to all persons within the United States.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)

S. 4792
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish fair and consistent eligibility requirements for graduate medical schools operating outside the United States and Canada.
Sponsor: Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)

S. 4795
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to authorize a program to recognize institutions of higher education that offer outstanding services and programs for foster and homeless youth, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

S. 4803
A bill to repeal the authority under the National Labor Relations Act for States to enact laws prohibiting agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

S. 4810
A bill to establish a program of workforce development as an alternative to college for all, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

S.J.Res. 60
A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to “Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria-Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)-Grants to State Entities (State Entity Grants); Grants to Charter Management Organizations for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CMO Grants); and Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (Developer Grants).
Sponsor: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)

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