E-Update for September 26, 2022

The information covered below is from Friday, September 16, through Thursday, September 22.
Highlights:

During the week of September 26, the House is likely to consider H.R. 7780, the “Mental Health Matters Act,” which is a comprehensive package aimed at building a pipeline of school-based mental health services providers, increasing students’ access to school-based mental health services providers and evidence-based trauma support services, and implementing evidence-based interventions in Head Start, among other provisions. The bill was approved by the House Education and Labor Committee on May 18 by a vote of 26-18 along party lines.
On September 21, the House passed by a vote of 232-193, S. 1098, the “Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act,” which allows two borrowers, who had previously consolidated their federal student loans, to sever their consolidated loan into two separate loans. The bill, which previously passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent will now head to the President’s desk, where he is expected to sign it.
On September 21, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to advance with bipartisan support, H.R. 8876, the “Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 6, 2022

Highlights:

On September 1, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published a report on a special administration of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), which showed steep declines in grade 9 reading and math scores across the country.
On August 31, the White House, U.S. Department of Education (USED), and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced new efforts to help strengthen the teaching profession and support schools in their effort to address teacher shortages as the new school year begins.
On August 26, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to USED regarding the proposed Changes in Ownership provisions within the Institutional Eligibility, Student Assistance General provisions, and Federal Pell Grant.

Administration:
Biden-Harris Administration holds meeting to discuss and announce actions to strengthen teaching profession and help fill vacancies: On August 31, the White House, U.S. Department of Education (USED), and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced new efforts to help strengthen the teaching profession and support schools in their effort to address teacher shortages as the new school year begins. The White House held […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 29, 2022

Highlights:

On August 19, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced the August F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence program, an $8 million grant competition aimed at increasing the diversity of the teacher workforce and preparing teachers to meet the needs of our most underserved students.
On August 22, Senator Rick Scott introduced S. 4772, the Changing Our Learning, Loans, Endowments, and Graduation Expectations (COLLEGE) Act, to hold institutions of higher education accountable for student outcomes.
On August 24, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new plan to target student loan debt and repayment, and make changes to the student loan system.

Administration:
Biden-Harris Administration announces student loan relief and extension of student loan pause: 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. 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 […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 22, 2022

Highlights:

On August 12, Democratic and Republican leaders on the relevant education committees in the House and Senate submitted official comments on USED’s proposed changes to existing federal student loan discharge programs.
On August 16, President Biden signed H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act.
On August 17, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid published a new fact sheet with an overview about the Fresh Start initiative, announced in April 2022 as a way to eliminate the negative effects of default for borrowers with defaulted federal student loans.

Administration:
White House:
President Biden signs H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: On August 16, President Biden signed H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act, after it passed in the Senate last week on a 51-50 vote. The Senate vote followed lengthy negotiations on a budget reconciliation package that initially sought to advance President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which included investments in education and child care. The final bill was scaled back to primarily include efforts to encourage and support renewable energy and address climate change, a new minimum tax on […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 15, 2022

Highlights:

On August 9, President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS-Plus Act, which authorizes funding for the National Science Foundation over five years and includes support for STEM education.
On August 11, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) hosted the Raise the B.A.R. (Bold + Action + Results) in College Excellence and Equity Summit, where USED Secretary Miguel Cardona announced his goals for the future of higher education and $5 million in funds to support a new College Completion Fund for Postsecondary Success (also known as Postsecondary Success grants).
On August 11, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced updated COVID-19 guidance, changing recommendations for quarantining and testing, which will allow students to remain in the classroom if exposed to the virus.

Administration:
CDC updates COVID-19 guidance to lessen required testing and quarantines for students: On August 11, the CDC announced updated COVID-19 guidance, revising recommendations for quarantining and testing. Specifically, the new guidance does not recommend that people who are exposed to COVID quarantine at home, regardless of their vaccination status. This applies to staff and students in school settings, making it possible […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 8, 2022

Note: With limited Congressional activity throughout the month of August, EducationCounsel may send E-Update on a reduced schedule. The information covered below is from July 29 through August 4. 
Highlights:

On July 29, the White House announced actions that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking aimed at strengthening school-based mental health services and addressing the youth mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
On August 1, Democratic Members of Congress, led by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), wrote to USED urging the Department to issue guidance to ensure that funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is used to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments and not to increase discipline or criminalization of marginalized student populations.
On August 2, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and 64 House Democrats filed an amicus brief in the case of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College.

Administration:
White House:
White House announces actions to address the youth mental health crisis: On July 29, the White House announced two new actions that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to strengthen […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 1, 2022

 As EducationCounsel’s E-Update was not published on July 25, this E-Update includes information from July 15 through July 29.
Highlights:

On July 19, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) issued guidance aimed at helping schools support students with disabilities and avoid discriminatory use of discipline.
On July 26, USED released the second of two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) which would strengthen the “90/10” rule for for-profit colleges, clarify procedures for institutions undergoing changes in ownership, and extend Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals.
On July 27 and July 28, the Senate and House, respectively, passed the bipartisan CHIPS-Plus bill, sending it to the President who is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Budget & Appropriations:
Democratic leaderships of the Senate Appropriations Committee releases the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Senate Appropriations Bills: On July 28, the Democratic leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee released its FY2023 Senate Appropriations bills, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations bill and report. The FY2023 Senate Labor/HHS bill proposes $83.4 billion for USED, which is $7 billion above the FY2022 level […]

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E-Update for the Week of July 18, 2022

Highlights:

On July 11, the White House hosted an event to commemorate the signing of S.2938, the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” which includes several provisions related to firearms and firearms safety, as well as resources to support school climate and safety improvement.
On July 12, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released a Notice Inviting Applications for the Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant program.
On July 14, USED announced the Engage Every Student Initiative, which will help education leaders ensure that every child has access to high-quality summer programming and other out-of-school time (OST) opportunities.

Administration:
National Park Service (NPS) announces $9.7 million to preserve Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): On July 8, NPS announced $9.7 million in grants will be issued to preserve 21 historic structures on HBCU campuses. The grant program funds projects that include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, campus preservation plans, and National Register nominations. North Carolina A&T State University, Mississippi Industrial College, and Selma University are among recipients of this year’s programs, all of which are using funds to preserve historical structures on […]

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