E-Update for the Week of May 10, 2021

Highlights:

On May 7, the USED Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced it will hold a series of virtual listening sessions related to the Department’s efforts to improve enforcement of Title IX.
On May 6, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced during a webinar with the Brookings Institute, that the House will mark up fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending bills in June, ahead of floor votes in July
On May 3, President Biden appointed Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to serve as the head of the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) at the U.S. Department of Education (USED).

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel:
Biden taps former CFPB director as head of USED Federal Student Aid office: President Joe Biden appointed Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to serve as the head of the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) at the U.S. Department of Education (USED). “It is critical that students and student loan borrowers can depend on the Department of Education for help paying for college, support […]

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E-Update for the Week of May 3, 2021

Highlights:

On April 30, USED announced it has published resources to the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse.
On April 28, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Roberto Rodriguez, the current President and CEO of Teach Plus, to serve as Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On April 28, President Biden unveiled his American Families Plan, which is his third proposal to support recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The American Families Plan would provide an estimated $1.8 trillion over ten years and builds upon the president’s previously proposed $2.5 trillion American Jobs Plan, which is focused on the nation’s infrastructure, and the already-enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel:
Biden taps former Obama education advisor to serve as USED planning, evaluation, policy lead: President Biden announced his intent to nominate Roberto Rodriguez, the current President and CEO of Teach Plus, to serve as Assistant Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education (USED).  In a statement from USED Secretary Miguel Cardona, the […]

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E-Update for the Week of April 19, 2021

Highlights:

On April 16, the White House announced the president’s intention to nominate Gwen Graham to serve as USED Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs.
On April 15, the Senate HELP Committee held a full Committee hearing to begin consideration of James Kvaal to serve as USED Under Secretary.
On April 15, the White House announced that it will be releasing child care funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel:
HELP Committee expected to advance Marten, Kvaal nominations this Wednesday: On April 21, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a full Committee executive session during which they will consider the nominations of Cindy Marten to serve as USED Deputy Secretary and James Kvaal to serve as USED Under Secretary. Given statements of Republican members of the Committee during their nomination hearings, it is expected both nominees could advance through the Committee with some Republican support and will move to the full Senate for confirmation. More information is here.
April 21, 2021
White House announces first USED assistant secretary nomination, proposes Gwen Graham as […]

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Transforming the Education Sector into a Learning System: Perspectives from the Field and Recommendations for Action

In 2019, we made the case for why our education agenda must prioritize adopting a learning systems approach in education at all levels, and we articulated a framework for what such a system should look like and include.
More recently and in collaboration with Carnegie Corporation of New York, we attempted to answer the question of how we begin to make and accelerate these shifts, drawing on the insights and experiences of those leaders in the field doing the hard work to create a learning systems approach in their own contexts. The research for this paper reinforced an important lesson for anyone seeking to advance a learning system approach: we must be learners ourselves, adjusting our strategies in response to new information. This includes understanding how our theories are playing out in reality, including the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the economic crisis as well as ongoing challenges to racial justice in our schools and communities.

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E-Update for the Week of April 12, 2021

Highlights:

On April 15 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of Education of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On April 9, President Biden released his initial budget proposal to Congress for FY2022. For USED, the President’s budget requests $102.8 billion in annual (also known as discretionary) funding for an increase of $29.8 billion or 41 percent over the FY2021 level.
On April 9, USED released Volume 2 of its COVID-19 Handbook, titled “Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs.” This guidance focuses on initial strategies for providing equitable educational opportunities that address the impact of COVID-19 on students, educators, and staff, with a focus on underserved students.

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel: 
HELP Committee to begin consideration of Kvaal as USED Undersecretary this Thursday: On April 15 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of Education of the U.S. Department of Education […]

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E-Update for the Week of April 5, 2021

Highlights:

On April 1, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona joined a roundtable discussion with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and students to discuss the impact of student loan debt.
On March 31, President Joe Biden released details of his American Jobs Plan, which would invest an estimated $2 trillion this decade in traditional infrastructure, such as school and child care facilities, roads, bridges, and research and development.
On March 26, USED issued determination letters to the states of Colorado, Georgia, and South Carolina, amongst others, related to the states’ waiver requests for administering statewide summative assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.

Biden Administration:
Biden releases $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, will include funding for schools, child care facilities, community colleges, and HBCUs:  President Joe Biden released details of his American Jobs Plan, which would invest an estimated $2 trillion this decade in traditional infrastructure, such as school and child care facilities, roads, bridges, and research and development. Additionally, the president released a Made in America Tax Plan, which is focused on corporate tax changes and if passed alongside the […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 29, 2021

Highlights:

On March 24, USED announced the release of $81 billion of funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds appropriated by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP ESSER. The Department will release the remainder of the ARP ESSER funds (approximately $40.6 billion) after states submit their implementation plans for using ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen schools and meet the needs of students.
On March 24, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Cindy Marten to serve as U.S. Department of Education (USED) Deputy Secretary. Marten is currently serving as Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).
On March 24, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) published data from its NAEP 2021 School Survey. The data offers the first nationally representative picture of what proportion of schools offer remote learning, in-person learning, or a hybrid of the two

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel:
HELP Committee begins consideration of Marten as USED Deputy Secretary: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 22, 2021

Highlights:

On March 24, USED will hold the National Safe School Reopening Summit starting at 12:00 pm. The summit will feature remarks by First Lady Jill Biden and will focus on how schools can reopen safely and quickly.
On March 18, the Senate voted 50-49, largely on party lines, to confirm Xavier Becerra to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican Senator to vote for Becerra’s confirmation.
On March 17, USED announced that it will begin dispersing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) to states by the end of March.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
Becerra confirmed as HHS Secretary with 50-49 vote: The Senate voted 50-49, largely on party lines, to confirm Xavier Becerra to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican Senator to vote for Becerra’s confirmation. Prior to being confirmed, Senate Finance Committee Republicans unanimously opposed Becerra resulting in a tied committee vote of 14-14 and requiring the full Senate […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 15, 2021

Highlights:

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R.1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” which will provide $1.9 trillion in funding to support the continued relief and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 9, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent a Dear Colleague Letter announcing that the deadline for Members to submit requests for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee is 6:00 pm on April 14.
On March 8, President Biden signed an Executive Order titled, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The Order specifically notes that the Secretary will review the Trump Administration’s regulation related to Title IX (sexual assault).

Biden Administration:
Executive Actions:
Biden directs USED to review Trump Admin Title IX regulation: President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order titled, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The Order directs the USED Secretary to review, within 100 days, all existing regulations, orders, guidance […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 8, 2021

Highlights:

On March 6, the Senate adopted an amended version of H.R.1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act.” The Senate adopted the bill on a 50-49 party line vote.
On March 3, the Senate Finance Committee was tied with a 14-14 vote to report the nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) out of Committee. Senate Finance Committee Republican Members unanimously opposed the nomination.
On March 1, the Senate confirmed Dr. Miguel Cardona as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
With tied vote, Senate Finance Committee moves forward Becerra nomination: The Senate Finance Committee held a full Committee hearing to report on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Committee was tied with a 14-14 vote to report the nomination out of Committee. Senate Finance Committee Republican Members unanimously opposed the nomination. Under the rules of the Senate, notice of the tied vote will be transmitted to the Secretary of the Senate, thereby giving either the […]

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