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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E-Update for the Week of March 1, 2021

Highlights:

On February 27, the House adopted H.R.1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act,” on a largely party line vote of 219-212 – only two Democrats voted against the bill. The Senate is expected t consider the bill this week.
On February 26, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced that the House will accept requests from Members for “Community Project Funding,” commonly referred to as earmarks.
On February 25, the Senate cleared a procedural vote on the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The Senate voted 66-32 to invoke cloture on the nomination.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
Cardona nomination goes through procedural vote, final Senate vote expected this week: The Senate cleared a procedural vote on the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The Senate voted 66-32 to invoke cloture on the nomination. It is expected the final vote will be held this week. The recorded vote is here.
February 25, 2021
Becerra faces HELP, Finance Committees: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 22, 2021

Highlights:

On February 19, President Biden announced his nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On February 19, the House Budget Committee released text for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in advance of its scheduled full Committee markup next week.
On February 16, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) sent a Dear Colleague Letter to the House Democratic Caucus with the update that the House will consider a vote on the American Rescue Plan during the week of February 22.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
TICAS president nominated to serve as USED Undersecretary: President Biden announced his nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). Kvaal is currently serving as the president of the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) and was previously a Deputy Domestic Policy Adviser in the Obama Administration. The announcement is here.
February 19, 2021
Executive Actions:
Biden rescinds Trump-era apprenticeship order, recommits to traditional apprenticeship programs: President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order titled, “Revocation of Executive Order 13801,” which rescinds President Trump’s executive […]

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Immediate Actions Policymakers Could Take to Support the CC/ECE Workforce

Immediate Actions Policymakers Could Take to Support the CC/ECE Workforce
By Gina Adams, Danielle Ewen, and Grace Luetmer
As COVID-19 began to spread in the United States last March, many child care centers and home-based child care providers closed. And although providers have slowly begun to return to work, as of December, the workforce is still nearly 20 percent smaller than it was before the pandemic.
When compared with the 6 percent national drop in employment over the same time period, the challenges facing the child care field are clear. These massive job losses plague a workforce already beset with low wages and challenging working conditions.
And because the child care/early childhood education (CC/ECE) field is disproportionately composed of Black and Latina women, who face inequitable opportunities and significant wage gaps, this crisis has had a major impact on the earnings and career trajectories of many women of color.

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E-Update for the Week of February 16, 2021

Highlights:

On February 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance titled, “Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation” to help education leaders in making decisions on how to safely bring students back into classrooms and/or remain open.
On February 11, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee favorably reported the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On February 9, the House Education and Labor Committee held a full Committee markup of a coronavirus relief bill allowing up to $357 billion in deficit spending, including $130 billion in relief funding for elementary and secondary schools, $40 billion for higher education, and $30 billion for early childhood education.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
HELP Committee reports Cardona out of Committee, floor vote pending: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee favorably reported the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). Cardona’s nomination was reported out of Committee on a bipartisan 17-5 vote. Senators who voted against the nomination include […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 8, 2021

Highlights:

On February 9 at 3:00 pm, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a markup of a proposal to provide additional pandemic-related relief for education, aligned with President Biden’s request for $170 billion to support schools and colleges.
On February 5, the Senate and House both adopted a fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget resolution, which includes reconciliation instructions for committees to develop a legislative package to provide additional coronavirus relief based on the major components of President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
On February 3, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a full Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary. Relatedly, on February 11 at 10:00 am, the Senate HELP Committee will vote on the confirmation of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as USED Secretary.

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Political Appointees:
Cardona outlines plans to support school reopening, Committee to vote on nomination Thursday: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a full Committee hearing to consider the nomination of […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 1, 2021

Highlights:

On February 3 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On January 29, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) sent a Dear Colleague Letter to financial aid administrators informing them of their ability to exercise professional judgement when determining eligibility of students for federal student aid.
On January 28, House Education and Labor Committee Democrats introduced three bills focused on supporting school reopening and recovery.

Biden Administration:
Cardona hearing scheduled for Wednesday: On February 3 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). Cardona previously served as the Connecticut Commissioner of Education and has experience as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. Following the hearing, it is expected that the Senate HELP Committee will consider Cardona’s nomination in the coming days. If the committee favorably reports the nomination, […]

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E-Update for the Week of January 25, 2021

Highlights:

On January 21, President Biden released the Administration’s national strategy to address the COVID-19 pandemic and established a COVID-19 Response Office, which will be charged with coordinating the federal response across all agencies and departments.
On January 20, President Biden signed multiple Executive Orders, some of which have direct implications on education. See our “Executive Orders” section for a full list of actions by the president on his first few days in office.
On January 18, the Biden-Harris transition team announced the intention to nominate Cindy Marten to serve as USED Deputy Secretary.

Coronavirus Updates (as related to education):
Administration:
White House:
Biden releases national strategy for federal response to the pandemic, outlines plans to support school, child care reopening: President Joe Biden released the Administration’s national strategy to address the COVID-19 pandemic and established a COVID-19 Response Office, which will be charged with coordinating the federal response across all agencies and departments. Within the strategy, the Administration describes seven goals focused on addressing the pandemic, one of which is focused on reopening the majority of K-8 schools and child care centers […]

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E-Update for the Week of January 19, 2021

Highlights:

On January 14, President-elect Joe Biden released details of his first proposal to address the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. The estimated $1.9 trillion plan includes $170 billion in investments for early childhood, K-12, and higher education programs.
On January 14, USED made available an additional $21.2 billion to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $21.2 billion released, $20.5 billion is for public and non-profit colleges and universities and $681 million is for for-profit institutions.
On January 12, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a Dear Colleague letter laying out his legislative agenda for the 117th Congress. The Democratic Leader noted specific priorities such as supporting schools, and state and local governments within the next pandemic relief package, and “significantly improving” the nation’s child care system.

Presidential and Congressional Transition:
Presidential:
Biden proposes $1.9 trillion ‘recovery’ plan, includes additional $170 billion in education investments: President-elect Joe Biden released details of his first proposal to address the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. The “American Recovery Plan” is the first of […]

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E-Update for the Week of January 11, 2021

Highlights:

On January 8, USED published a policy memorandum written by acting USED General Counsel Reed Rubinstein addressed to acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kim Richey. The memorandum details the Department’s interpretation and application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020). The Department notes it will largely not apply the Court’s ruling on Title VII discrimination to the Department’s enforcement of Title IX.
On January 7, USED Secretary DeVos submitted her resignation to President Donald Trump. The Secretary noted the recent riot on the U.S. Capitol as her main reason for resigning. Mick Zais, the current Deputy Secretary of Education, will become acting USED Secretary following DeVos’s resignation, according to the Department.
On December 23, President-elect Joe Biden announced that Miguel Cardona, a former public-school classroom teacher and the current Commissioner of Education for the state of Connecticut, will be nominated to serve as the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary. Cardona, the first Latino to serve as Education Commissioner of Connecticut, is a former fourth-grade public school teacher who became the youngest principal in […]

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