E-Update for September 20, 2022

E-Update for September 20, 2022

Note: The information covered below is from Friday, September 9 through Friday, September 16.

Highlights:

  • On September 13, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) discussed the Republican vision for higher education policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • On September 15, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee Chairwoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) introduced H.R. 8872, known as the Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act, which is aimed at reducing the cost of college.
  • On September 13, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new funding opportunities for the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program and a new National Early Childhood Workforce Center, as well as released new guidance for early childhood programs.

Administration:

Republican governors sign letter asking President to withdraw federal student loan forgiveness plan: On September 12, a group of 22 Republican governors issued a letter to President Biden to express their disagreement with the federal student loan forgiveness plan. The governors wrote that while 16-17 percent of Americans have federal student loan debt, the loan forgiveness proposal would “require their debts be redistributed and paid by the vast majority of taxpayers.” They express concern that the loan “redistribution” would disproportionately affect lower income families and stated that the top 20 percent of earning households hold three times as much student debt as those in the bottom quintile. The governors wrote, “Americans who chose to work instead of going to school should not be forced to carry the burden of those who chose a different path.”
September 12, 2022

U.S. Department of Education (USED):

USED Secretary Cardona meets with education leaders on multi-state back-to-school tour: During the week of September 12, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona went on a back-to-school bus tour to showcase how school communities are helping students recover from the pandemic. The tour began in Knoxville, Tennessee where Secretary Cardona met with teachers to discuss Tennessee’s Grow Your Own Initiative, which works to strengthen the state’s educator pipeline. First Lady Jill Biden joined the tour in Tennessee and North Carolina, where she spoke about the importance of the teaching profession and the “three R’s of teaching: recruit, respect, and retain.” Secretary Cardona visited Virginia to learn about inclusion of students with disabilities, and heard from professionals and teachers from the Special Olympics, a Boys and Girls Club, and a local elementary school. He then traveled to West Virginia University, where he learned about ways in which the school is prioritizing mental health needs for both students and faculty. In Pennsylvania, Secretary Cardona met with Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Wayne N. Walters to discuss early childhood programs before heading to an event hosted by National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle to speak about Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff joined the tour in Pennsylvania, where he heard how a community school has provided wraparound services to students in the area throughout the pandemic. Secretary Cardona wrapped up the tour in New Jersey, where he learned about Camden High School’s partnership with the National Partnership for Student Success, a new initiative from the Biden Administration which supports high-impact tutoring, mentoring, and other programs that will help student academic recovery, mental health and overall well-being.
September 12, 2022

USED awards $25 million in grants to support development of teachers: On September 12, USED announced that nearly $25 million would be awarded to 22 grantees to recruit and prepare a strong and diverse educator workforce through its Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program. Award recipients include institutional undergraduate programs and national nonprofits in high-need communities that will pursue teacher workforce development over a five-year grant period. TQP grantees have a strong partnership between the teacher preparation program and the school districts they serve, which is often facilitated by mentor teachers that coach and prepare incoming educators. In this year’s competition, USED included a priority for applicants to include effective school leadership programs that will prepare individuals for careers as superintendents, principals, early childhood education program directors, or other school leaders. Secretary Cardona shared, “We recognize the value of supporting our nation’s educators, and we have a responsibility to provide resources and opportunities that promote a diverse educator workforce.”
September 12, 2022

USED Secretary Cardona issues a Dear Colleague letter regarding the uses of K-12 assessments: On September 13, USED Secretary Cardona released a Dear Colleague letter intended to reiterate the importance of states collection and use of assessment data for the 2021-2022 school year. In the letter, Secretary Cardona notes, “data from high-quality systems of assessment can inform instruction and help school leaders drive resources to the schools and students that need them the most.” Additionally, he wrote that he wants to be clear that state assessment data “should serve as a further call to action to accelerate investments in high-quality instruction and other evidence-based strategies to support both academic recovery and student mental health.” The letter also offers considerations for data interpretation, to be used in the context of the diversity of the communities and states in which the assessments are administered. Secretary Cardona further encouraged states to reduce the high stakes of assessments, and emphasized the original intended uses of statewide annual assessments: “to provide comparable data to identify outcome gaps; to provide educators, parents, and families with data to inform education planning; to help evaluate academic programs; and to prioritize funds and resources to the schools, educators, and students who need them most.” Building on this, he said the letter “is intended to support our communities in countering efforts to misuse these results by applying them punitively.” Secretary Cardona concluded with a call to action, encouraging state and district leaders to “meet the scale of our current challenge with solutions that will help our students reach their highest potential.”
September 13, 2022

USED Secretary Cardona announces state allocations and priorities for Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) funds in Dear Colleague letter: On September 15, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona announced the state allocations for funds made available under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). Additionally, USED Secretary Cardona issued a Dear Colleague letter on September 15, encouraging States to prioritize the funding for local educational agency (LEA) applicants that for LEAs that are committed to three primary priorities. First, USED recommends that LEA applicants be asked to demonstrate a strong commitment to “implementing comprehensive, evidence-based strategies that meet each student’s social, emotional, physical, and mental well-being needs; create positive, inclusive, and supportive school environments; and increase access to place-based interventions and services.”  The letter went on to recommend that LEA applicants also be prioritized that, “engag[e] students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in the selection and implementation of strategies and interventions to create safe, inclusive and supportive learning environments,” and, “desig[n] and implemen[t] policies and practices that advance equity and are responsive to underserved students, protect student rights, and demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential.”  The Secretary also made the case in the letter for funding to not be used on infrastructure improvements (e.g. school hardening) alone, but also for “professional development, comprehensive emergency management planning, behavioral and trauma- or grief-informed mental health supports for students (including addressing hate, bullying, and harassment), and other best practices that increase students’ safety, belonging, and mental health and well-being.  USED is expected to issue further guidance related to BSCA funding in the fall.
September 15, 2022

Comment period closes for USED proposal to amend the regulations implementing Title IX, as DOJ appeals lawsuit against guidance that regulations seek to codify: On June 23, USED released a notice of proposed rulemaking related to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any program that receives federal funding from USED. The release of the proposed regulations corresponded with the 50th anniversary of Title IX and follows on commitments made by the Biden Administration to review the former administration’s Title IX regulations and make any further amendments that are warranted to advance Title IX’s requirements and purpose. Specifically, the proposed rules, among other goals, would prohibit all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The proposed regulations would also revise “hostile environment harassment” to include “unwelcome sex-based conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that based on the totality of the circumstances and evaluated subjectively and objectively, it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient’s education program or activity.”  This is a shift from the previous regulations, in which unwelcome sex-based conduct was only prohibited if it was “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.”  The rule further clarifies the processes by which schools and institutions must respond and report to all complaints of sex-based discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.

Of note, the proposed rules would also codify previous guidance issued in June 2021 by USED and several other federal agencies that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.  On July 15, in response to a lawsuit by twenty Republican state attorneys general challenging the guidance, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee temporarily blocked the federal guidance.  On September 13, the Department of Justice announced that it would appeal the district court’s ruling.

As of the comment periods closing on the proposed regulations on September 12, USED received 240,085 comments. A comment to the proposed regulations was submitted by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) who wrote that the proposed rule “marks a fundamental and necessary revision of policy to address sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination in K-12 and higher education.”  On the opposite side of the aisle, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) led the Republican Members of the Committee in submitting a letter expressing strong objections to USED’s proposed Title IX regulation.  The Republican Members wrote that the proposal “advances a left-wing ideological agenda that would reverse decades of advancement for women, leaving women less safe and with fewer athletic, educational, and career opportunities.”  The members also asserted that the proposed rule would “roll back” current sexual harassment adjudication procedures that ensure due process of law.

With regard to next steps, USED is required to review every public comment received and to conduct a comment analysis, which could take several months given the volume of comments.  Once this process is complete, USED could then move forward with issuing a final rule.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) launches $300 million in Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) competition and releases new guidance for early childhood education programs: On September 13, the HHS’ ACF announced the opening of a competition for a new round of PDG B-5 grants and a competition for a new National Early Childhood Workforce Center, as well as released new guidance for early childhood education programs. PDG B-5 grants were established in 2015 through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and were created to help states support early childhood services through strategic planning, family engagement, workforce compensation, and direct supports to children. The announcement makes $230 million available for PDG B-5 renewal grants in 25 states that will assist states in helping low-income and disadvantaged children enter kindergarten prepared and ready to succeed. The grants will also help improve the transitions between early care, education settings, and elementary school. $36 million in new PDG B-5 planning grants was also announced and will be available to 27 states, including 4 states that did not previously receive a PDG B-5 grant. The planning grants aim to assist states in the coordination of their existing early childhood education services and funding streams for the purpose of improving services to children birth through age five in a mixed delivery system.

The announcement also included new guidance for three federal funding streams – the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), Head Start, and PDG B-5. New CCDF guidance outlines how the program funds, and/or in some combination with American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, can be used to support and raise child care staff compensation. The Office of Child Care (OCC) at ACF encourages lead agencies to increase compensation and benefits strategically, by identifying existing wages available to the child care workforce, identifying goals for child care workforce compensation, selecting the most appropriate strategies for increasing workforce compensation, and monitoring child care workforce wages through ongoing data collection and evaluation. The Head Start guidance was issued to provide strategies to support and stabilize Head Start programs by investing in sustained increases to staff compensation. These strategies include permanently increasing staff compensation, offering bonuses and short-term pay increases, and compensating staff during center closures. The PDG B-5 guidance strongly encourages grant recipients to take immediate action in addressing the ongoing shortage in the early childhood workforce by building a pool of skilled and diverse early childhood educators. The Office of Child Care shares how states may consider redistributing grant funds to better target grant activities that address workforce recruitment, retention, and staff compensation.

The announcement included a general landing page with this guidance and strategies to address the early care and education workforce shortage. The page listed previously-mentioned strategies about increasing staff compensation and benefits, and added new opportunities like scholarship and training programs, expanding family child care networks, and providing staff wellness supports to improve the working environment.
September 13, 2022

Congress:

Congressional Democrats release a statement calling for reinstating the expanded Child Tax Credit: On September 13, House Representatives Rosa DeLaura (D-CT), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) released a statement highlighting the success of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). The expanded CTC was implemented through the ARP in 2021, and provided automatic payments to families that make less than $150,000 a year. Families received up to $3,600 for children under age 6, and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. The statement was in response to a new report from the Census Bureau that showed child poverty, as calculated by the Supplemental Poverty Measure, dropped to a record low in 2021, declining 46% from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021. The report indicates that the expansion of anti-poverty programs during the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on reducing child poverty. The members wrote, “Today’s Census data confirms that the expanded Child Tax Credit worked: it allowed the hard work of tens of millions of parents to pay off and helped them keep up with the cost of living, dramatically reducing child poverty and hunger.” They continued, “We should have never allowed this critical program to lapse, and we should not extend corporate tax breaks at the end of this year without also extending the expanded Child Tax Credit.”
September 13, 2022

Senate:

Senator Van Hollen and Democratic Senators urge President Biden to include parents in federal student loan relief: On September 12, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and seven additional Democratic Senators sent a letter to President Biden requesting that parent borrowers be included in federal student loan relief. In its current proposal, the Biden Administration would forgive federal student loan debt of up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. While parents with Parent PLUS loans may be eligible for up to $10,000 of loan forgiveness, the Senators asked the Administration to extend the additional $10,000 in student debt forgiveness to Parent PLUS borrowers whose children were Pell Grant recipients. The Senators also ask the Biden Administration to ensure improvements to student loan forgiveness programs include Parent PLUS borrowers. The Parent PLUS loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school, including education expenses not covered by other financial aid. The letter referenced the 3.6 million Parent PLUS borrowers owing more than $107 billion – a large percentage of which are parents whose children received Pell Grants. The Senators wrote, “We know that this Administration is deeply committed to reducing wealth disparities in our nation by tackling student loan debt for all borrowers, including Parent PLUS borrowers. Thus, we urge you to ensure the additional $10,000 in student debt forgiveness is extended to Parent PLUS borrowers whose children were Pell Grant recipients, granted they meet the same income thresholds established in your student loan cancellation plan.”
September 12, 2022

House Democrats call for review of school safety measures and campus police: On September 13, Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO), Congressman Jamaal Bowen (D-NY), and 30 Democratic House members wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, USED Secretary Cardona, and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting a review of gun violence prevention strategies in schools. The Members of Congress criticized the federal response to the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in May, and particularly addressed the “misguided” traditional response – increasing the scale and scope of law enforcement in schools. They wrote that armed law enforcement is “at best, inadequate” to respond to the violence in schools. The letter called attention to the lack of holistic and trauma-informed services in schools that “falls hardest” on students of color and students with disabilities. The Congressmembers requested “that your agencies each conduct a review of gun violence prevention strategies that you are utilizing in schools and establish a comprehensive plan to meet the holistic emotional, health, and safety needs of our nation’s students.”
September 13, 2022

Senator Rick Scott requests unanimous consent to pass legislation blocking USED’s ability to enact federal student loan relief: On September 14, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) sought recognition on the Senate floor to request unanimous consent to pass his bill, S. 4483, the Debt Cancellation Accountability Act of 2022, which would require USED to obtain an express appropriation from Congress to pay for any federal student loan debts the Department proposes to waive, discharge, or otherwise reduce whenever granted to two or more borrowers in an amount greater than $1,000,000, rather than on a case-by-case basis. In his remarks requesting unanimous consent, he stated, “Last month, Joe Biden announced that he would cancel billions of dollars in student loans. But let’s be clear – he isn’t canceling student debt. No, he’s transferring that debt to every American taxpayer.… If we want to transfer the debt of some and make everyone pay for it, then Congress has to make that decision.” To prevent the passage of S.4483, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) objected to Senator Scott’s unanimous consent request saying, “Mr president reserving the right to object this is a shameful attempt by Republicans to keep working Americans buried under mountains of student debt. President Biden’s decision to cancel up to twenty thousand dollars of federal student debt for as many as 43 million Americans with incomes under $125,000 a year is an historic step to deliver life-changing relief to working families.”
September 14, 2022

House:

House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx outlines the Republican vision for higher education at American Enterprise Institute event: On September 13, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted an event with House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to discuss the Republican vision for higher education policy. Specifically, Ranking Member Foxx called attention to the Responsible Education Assistance through Loan (REAL) Reforms Act, which she jointly released with several leading Republicans earlier this year. Introduced prior to the announcement of the Biden Administration’s targeted student loan debt forgiveness plan, the legislation was offered as an alternative to the student loan debt forgiveness options under consideration by the Administration at that time.  According to the bill sponsors, the legislation is aimed at addressing the broken federal student loan system and offering “commonsense and fiscally responsible reforms to benefit students and borrowers in our country’s federal student loan system.” The primary components of the REAL Reforms Act include expanding the eligibility for Pell Grants to short-term, career-focused programs, capping federal student loan repayments at no more than original principal loan amount, creating a new Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) program, and eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Ranking Member Foxx also noted that reform is necessary because our postsecondary education system is “broken” and stated, “We plan to have a vigorous, higher ed bill next year.”

During Ranking Member Foxx’s remarks at the event, she also emphasized the need for changes in higher education, stating, “reform to the postsecondary education system is more necessary than ever.” She also called attention to the “mountain of interest” that some borrowers face despite their enrollment in the IDR program, which is based on borrower income. The REAL Reforms Act proposes waiving interest for borrowers who have made payments over ten years and erasing any remaining loan principal for borrowers who have paid back more than what they originally owed. Ranking Member Foxx also drew attention to the challenges with financing postsecondary education that are present across the country, and called for institutional accountability, while noting that colleges and universities should be viewed as “partners” in reforming the system.
September 13, 2022

House Republicans raise questions as to the use of COVID-19 relief education fund to support “Critical Race Theory” programs: On September 14, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY), and other House Republicans sent letters to USED Secretary Cardona, USED Inspector General Sandra Bruce, and state education officials for in 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 Republican Members wrote that COVID-19 relief funds were intended to enable schools to reopen safely and address learning loss, but instead, “taxpayer dollars are being used to indoctrinate children in core tenets of leftist ideology.” The letter specifically cited funds in New York being used to provide staff development on “culturally responsive sustaining instruction” and wrote that “at least ten other state plans included proposals to use the [American Recover Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief] funds to implement racially biased curriculum and programs based on Critical Race Theory.” The members requested documents and communications related to the approval of state plans in California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey, as well as materials related to teaching and training related to Critical Race Theory, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
September 14, 2022

House Democrats introduce legislation aimed at lowering the cost of college: On September 15, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee Chairwoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) introduced H.R. 8872, known as the Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act, aimed at lowering the cost of college. In part, the introduction of the legislation is meant to count criticism that the Biden Administration’s recent announcement to provide federal student loan forgiveness will be one-time relief, while H.R. 8872 is targeted at addressing the root causes of the student debt crisis and the student loan system. The LOAN Act would double the Pell Grant by increasing the max award over 5 years to $13,000; improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program by shortening the time to forgiveness and broadly codifying the current PSLF waiver; make loans less expensive by expanding access to subsidized loans and limiting capitalization of interest including after forbearance and deferment; lower interest rates by tying interest rates for all new federal student loans to the 10-year Treasury note, while ensuring that no new loan will have an interest rate higher than 5 percent; and allow both federal and private borrowers to take advantage of these lower rates. Chairman Scott shared, “The LOAN Act is the next step we must take to confront the student debt crisis. By making loans cheaper to take out and easier to pay off, the LOAN Act will help improve the lives of student loan borrowers—both now and in the future.” Subcommittee Chairwoman Wilson added, “President Biden’s action to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt is an important first step – delivering relief to millions of working-class Americans, but we also need to take greater action for the future. The LOAN Act brings together some of the most forward-thinking and innovative proposals so that this generation is the last to experience America’s student loan debt crisis.” A section-by-section summary for H.R. 8872 is here.
September 15, 2022

House Education and Labor Committee holds markup primarily related to the Biden Administration’s recent student loan forgiveness announcement: On September 15, the House Education and Labor Committee marked up three “resolutions of inquiry” – or ROIs. These resolutions are tools used by congressional committees, often by the minority party, to conduct oversight. Two of the three resolutions concern the Biden Administration’s recent announcement to provide student loan forgiveness and ask for specific documents related to the PSLF and IDR program (H.Res. 1295) and the legal authority to forgive federal student loan debt (H. Res. 1296). In addition, the committee considered an ROI related to communication between the executive branch and the American Federation of Teachers on the reopening of schools (H. Res. 1273). In his opening remarks, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) said “Committee Democrats take very seriously our responsibility to conduct oversight and view our work as a critical constitutional function of Congress. To that end, the Committee has held 16 oversight hearings during the 117th Congress – which included nearly 50 hours of hearings with several Biden-Harris Administration officials, such as the Secretary of Education…and many others.” He also favorably compared the responsiveness of the Committee – both to Members in the majority and those in the minority – of the Biden Administration to that of the previous administration. In her remarks, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said, “Full transparency from the Biden administration about its imprudent decisions that harmed so many students is essential. I hope my colleagues will join us in supporting these resolutions since the documents being requested today will bring more transparency to Congress and the American people.” The committee voted, along party lines, to “unfavorably” report the resolutions – preventing Republicans from forcing a vote on the resolutions on the House floor. Relatedly, at a markup on September 14, the House Judiciary Committee considered similar, Republican-sponsored resolutions (H.Res. 1238 and H. Res.1239) seeking additional information on the Justice Department’s 2021 guidance on threats facing school boards across the country. The committee also voted to “unfavorably” report both resolutions.
September 15, 2022

Upcoming Events (Congress & Administration):

  • On September 20 at 10:15 am, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education of the House Education and Labor Committee will host a hearing titled, “Back to School: Meeting Students’ Academic, Social and Emotional Needs.” A webcast of the hearing and more information, including the witnesses for the hearing, here.

Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):

  • On September 20 at 1:00 pm, the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) will host a webinar titled, “The Civil Rights Road to Deeper Learning.” Speakers will discuss a new brief and key civil rights actions and education policy conditions essential to ensuring access to a meaningful education that prepares all students to thrive in our modern society. 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.

Publications (Outside Organizations):

  • On September 7, Just Equations and the National Association for College Admission Counselors (NACAC) published a new report titled, “Calculating the Odds: Counselor Views on Math Coursetaking and College Admissions.” In conversations with counselors, researchers found that for most high school counselors, calculus is a default mathematics course recommendation. And though most counselors believe calculus is not necessary for all students, many feel excessive pressure to recommend it. The report makes recommendations to colleges to: adopt clear admissions policies about math expectations, implement those policies consistently, and commit to transparency about aligning students’ math courses to their academic interests. For high schools, the authors recommend expanding math offerings to include relevant options aligned with college majors and careers, articulate college counseling with academic counseling as early as the transition to middle schools, and attend to students’ mental health and well-being.
  • On September 13, the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) released a new report titled, “The State of the American Student: Fall 2022.” The report found that the vast majority of K-12 students are still experiencing the impact of pandemic-related learning loss, though data shows that learning losses were smaller in school year 2021-22 than 2020-21. One key finding describes new discoveries made when students were not learning in the classroom, where students “found new space to explore their interests, affirm their identities, or tailor learning experiences to their needs.”

Legislation:

H.R. 8787
A bill to direct the Secretary of Education to conduct a study to determine the relationship between school start times and adolescent health, well-being, and performance.
Sponsor: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

H.R. 8803
A bill to provide for the long-term improvement of minority-serving institutions, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC)

H.R. 8822
A bill to direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a grant program to support the placement of students and licensed professional social workers in public libraries, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX)

H.R. 8826
A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to expand working hours for employees between the ages of 14 and 16 years during periods in which schools are in session, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD)

H.R.8837
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow students to take the saver’s credit.
Sponsor: Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX)

H.R. 8856
A bill to provide enhanced student loan relief to educators.
Sponsor: Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM)

H.R. 8872
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to double the Pell Grant award amount, improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and reduce interest rates, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

H.J. Res. 94
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: Rep. John Moolenar (R-MI)

H.Res. 1334
A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that all 50 States should include the events of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the curriculum of elementary and secondary schools so that the American people may never forget that fateful day.
Sponsor: Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY)

H.Res. 1360
A resolution expressing support for designation of the week of September 18 through 24, 2022, as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.
Sponsor: Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)

S. 4818
A bill to prohibit the use of Federal and local funds to impose or enforce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in District of Columbia schools, and to repeal the Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Regulation Amendment Act of 2021 enacted by the District of Columbia Council.
Sponsor: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

S. 4845
A bill to provide for safe schools and safe communities.
Sponsor: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

S. 4846
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1985 to require institutions of higher education to have an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response.
Sponsor: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

S. 4854
A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to repeal the Federal charter of the National Education Association.
Sponsor: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

S. 4855
A bill to protect the rights of student athletes and to provide for transparency and accountability with respect to student athlete name, image, and likeness agreements, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

S. 4867
A bill to provide enhanced student loan relief to educators.
Sponsor: Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

S. 4874
A bill to establish an Early Federal Pell Grant Commitment Program.
Sponsor: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

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