E-Update for the Week of July 6, 2020

Highlights:

On July 1, the House passed H.R.2, the “Moving Forward Act,” which is a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. The bill was adopted on a largely partisan 233-188 vote. As part of the package, the bill includes $130 billion for school construction as part of the “Rebuild and Reopen America’s Schools Act.”
On June 30, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the “Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA).” The bill would provide $430 billion to address the national child care and education crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
On June 30, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion on the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The case revolved around the exclusion of private, religious schools from being included within a state voucher program.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of 3:00 pm on July 2, 2020. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional and Administrative […]

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EducationCounsel supports efforts to protect rights of transgender students across the country

Through its long-standing engagement with GLSEN, a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting and supporting LGBTQ+ inclusive schools, EducationCounsel has authored numerous amicus briefs along with Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP on behalf of GLSEN, the National PTA, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists (referred to as “amici” below) in the U.S. Supreme Court and several federal circuit courts of appeal.
While equitable access to school restrooms may seem unimportant and tangential to some, being able to use the restroom that matches his gender identity has been the plight of Gavin Grimm, and to an increasing number of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, for many years. His journey continues with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing oral arguments on his case late last month — for the second time.
Last year, EducationCounsel filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of Gavin (Grimm v. Gloucester Country School Board). Gavin, who identifies as transgender, is a former student of Gloucester County Schools and has been fighting for relief […]

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E-Update for the Week of June 29, 2020

Highlights:

On June 25, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos published an interim final rule in the Federal Register related to equitable services requirements for districts when spending funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
On June 25, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced, on behalf of Democrats from their respective committees, H.R.7327, the “Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.”
On June 23, POLITICO reported that Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) indicated his support for additional federal financial support to schools and colleges so they can continue to respond and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of 8:00 pm on June 25, 2020. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional and Administrative actions to address the growing pandemic, we will do our best to update this information as quickly as possible.
Congress:
Senate:
Schumer, Senate Democrats to push […]

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E-Update for the Week of June 22, 2020

Highlights:

On June 19, POLITICO reported that House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) sent a Dear Colleague Letter to members of the Appropriations Committee and outlined that the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) Subcommittee will mark-up its fiscal year (FY) 2021 bill at 5:00 pm on July 7.
On June 18, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House will move forward with its consideration of the “Moving Forward Act,” which is House Democrats’ infrastructure proposal combining several related bills into one infrastructure package, including House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) school infrastructure bill. Speaker Pelosi indicated that she plans to move the bill to the House floor by the end of June.
On June 17, a U.S. District Judge from California blocked USED Secretary DeVos from implementing her interim final rule regarding student eligibility to receive an emergency aid grant under the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund, as authorized by the CARES Act.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is […]

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E-Update for the Week of June 15, 2020

Highlights:

On June 11, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released a rule for public comment related to student eligibility to receive emergency aid grants, as provided by the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund included within the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The interim final rule requires that institutions may only provide emergency aid grants to Title IV student aid eligible students, which will prohibit undocumented and international students from receiving emergency aid grants.
On June 10, CQ reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee plans to begin mark-ups on fiscal year (FY) 2021 bills the week of June 22.
On June 10, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a full Committee hearing titled, “COVID-19: Going Back to School Safely.” The hearing, which was conducted virtually, focused on how elementary and secondary schools can reopen safely in the fall, given the continued impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of 4:00 pm on June 12, 2020. […]

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E-Update for the Week of June 8, 2020

Highlights:

On June 5, POLITICO reported that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) is considering issuing a regulation to restrict the eligibility of students to receive emergency grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund, which was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
On June 4, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee held a full Committee hearing titled, “COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely.” The hearing focused on how higher education institutions can prepare for a fall reopening and what changes and supports are needed to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff.
On June 4, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) sent a Dear Colleague Letter to all House Appropriations Committee Members. In her letter, the Chairwoman outlined that all subcommittee and full committee markups will be held the weeks of July 6 and July 13.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of 1:00 pm on June 5, 2020. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional […]

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EducationCounsel’s Statement on Racial Justice

June 3, 2020
The horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black people, combined with the nationwide protests that followed, have once again laid bare the painful truth that systemic racism and inequities remain an unconscionable blight on our nation.  In criminal justice.  In housing.  In healthcare. In employment. And also in education.
In this moment, like too many that have preceded it, we hear, honor, and share the grief and outrage of our Black family members, friends, and colleagues; and we commit to speaking up and taking action—Black lives matter.

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Building Back Better: Ensuring Equitable Funding for the Students Who Need it Most

May 28, 2020
Cathy Holahan & EducationCounsel
The K-12 public education system has a long way to go towards providing truly equitable student experiences and outcomes for students — ones that prepare them to thrive in school and beyond. We know that in order to create equitable learning environments we must aspire to a number of key characteristics for schools — including culturally affirming curriculums, safe and empowering climates, and flexible designs that meet the needs of all learners.

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E-Update for the Week of June 1, 2020

Highlights:

On May 29, President Donald Trump vetoed H.J.Res.76, which provided for “congressional disapproval… of the rule submitted by [USED] relating to borrower defense.” The resolution was intended to enact the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to prevent USED Secretary DeVos from enacting or enforcing her rule related to borrower defense.
On May 27, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced “Child Care is Essential Act.” The bill would create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund.
On May 22, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) sent a letter to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in response to the organization’s challenge against the Department’s guidance regarding use of funding from the CARES Act. The Department indicated that USED Secretary Betsy DeVos would be issuing an interim final rule within the “next few weeks” to “resolve any issues in plenty of time for the next school year.”

Coronavirus (as […]

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E-Update for the Week of May 26, 2020

Highlights:

On May 21, USED released an update to its guidance on uses of funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund of CARES Act. The update clarifies that previous guidance on HEER funding uses “lack the force and effect of law” and only “represent [USED’s] current thinking on a topic.”
On May 20, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos calling for her to rescind guidance on uses of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide equitable services.
On May 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released revised guidance on how businesses, child care centers, and schools can reopen safely due to impacts of the coronavirus. The guidance is more detailed than previously released versions and outlines specific steps and benchmarks that child care programs and schools […]

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