E-Update for the Week of October 26, 2020

Highlights:

On October 22, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a Dear Colleague letter to the House Democratic Caucus to provide Members with an update on ongoing negotiations with the White House for a next pandemic relief package. “Our conversation provided more clarity and common ground as we move closer to an agreement,” she wrote.
On October 22, House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) subpoenaed several USED career staff in an investigation into the Department’s role in the misconduct of Dream Center Education Holdings, a for-profit higher education company.
On October 21, the Senate did not advance a targeted coronavirus relief bill, which would have provided an estimated $500 billion in pandemic relief funding. The

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of October 23. 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:
Senate fails to advance skinny relief bill, once again: […]

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E-Update for the Week of October 19, 2020

Highlights:

On October 15, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a Dear Colleague letter to the House Democratic caucus regarding a recent offer from the White House for an additional coronavirus relief package.
On October 15, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released data from the 2017-2018 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).
On October 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate will consider a targeted coronavirus relief bill building on the Republican “skinny bill” considered by the Senate in September. The Senate is expected to consider the bill when it returns from recess on October 19.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of October 16. 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:
McConnell schedules Senate vote on targeted relief bill, PPP funding for this year: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate […]

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E-Update for the Week of October 12, 2020

Highlights:

On October 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will extend school meal program flexibilities to allow free meals to children throughout the entire 2020-2021 school year. This action follows the enactment of the recent Continuing Resolution, which provided USDA funding and authority to extend the waivers.
On October 8, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against Yale University related to the university’s use of race-informed admission practices.
On October 4, President Donald Trump announced, via Twitter, that he was directing U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discontinue negotiations with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). However, it appears that talks have resumed between the Speaker Secretary Mnuchin in an effort to try to reach an agreement. Although, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed that finalizing an agreement before the elections could be difficult.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of October 9. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional and administrative actions to address the growing pandemic, we […]

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E-Update for the Week of October 5, 2020

Highlights:

On October 2, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released an updated House floor schedule for the month of October. The Majority Leader noted that Members are advised that no additional votes are expected and a vote on an additional relief package may be possible during October.
On October 1, the House adopted H.R.8406, the updated “HEROES Act,” on a largely partisan 214-207 vote. The bill, which is a slimmer version of the measure that was passed by the House in May, would provide $2.2 trillion in pandemic relief funding.
On September 30, the Senate adopted a continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal funding until December 11. The CR was adopted on a largely bipartisan 84-10 vote.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of October 2. 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:
House:
House adjourns for October, could come back for potential pandemic relief bill: […]

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An Anti-Antiracist Federal Curriculum is Neither Patriotic nor Legal. Discuss.

The Trump Administration recently waded into waters reserved – not only by tradition but also by federal law – for state and local educational agencies: what curriculum is taught in public schools. Most significantly, the President threatened to withhold federal education funding from the state of California if it uses the 1619 Project curriculum. In a September 17 speech delivered at the White House Conference on American History, he described that particular curriculum (and other anti-racist approaches) as “toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together.” He also announced the creation of a 1776 Commission that would “promote patriotic education” and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant that would fund the creation of “a pro-American curriculum that celebrates the truth about our nation’s great history.”
Many education and legal experts quickly pointed out that federal law prohibits the federal government from getting involved in state and local decisions about curriculum. Most cited Section 8526A of the major federal education statute, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which states:
No officer or […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 28, 2020

Highlights:

On September 25, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos sent a letter to state education chiefs informing them that the Department will not enforce the interim final rule on equitable services related to funding received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
On September 23, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to USED Secretary DeVos urging the Department to reinstate Obama-era guidance on school discipline procedures.
On September 22, the House adopted a continuing resolution (CR), which will extend federal funding until December 11 beyond the September 30 deadline. The CR was adopted on a largely bipartisan 359-57 vote.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of September 25. 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:
HELP Committee holds last hearing of the year, focuses on federal response to pandemic: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 21, 2020

Highlights:

On September 17, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee held a full committee hearing titled, “Time to Finish Fixing the FAFSA.” The hearing was focused how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be simplified and made shorter to support increased completion.
On September 16, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) published a new website focused on providing information related to per pupil expenditure (PPE) data. The tool breaks down federal, state, and local funds that contribute to a total expenditure and the tool allows for examining the expenditures at the state and district levels.
On September 15, the House adopted H.R.2639, the “Strength in Diversity Act,” on a largely partisan 248-167 vote. The bill would provide grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to support voluntary desegregation efforts.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of September 18. 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 […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 14, 2020

Highlights:

On September 10, the Senate failed to move forward with debate on S.178, the “Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act,” which is the latest targeted or “skinny” coronavirus relief bill drafted by Senate Republicans.
On September 10, the House Education and Labor Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “On the Basis of Sex: Examining the Administration’s Attacks on Gender-Based Protections.” The hearing focused on implementation of federal law and regulations related to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
On September 4, a third federal judge ruled that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) interim final rule related to equitable services provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was illegal and that USED Secretary Betsy DeVos lacked the authority to add conditions to the funding appropriated by Congress.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of September 11. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional and […]

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E-Update for the Week of September 7, 2020

Highlights:

On September 3, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos sent a letter to chief state school officers regarding the Department’s plans to not issue waivers for federal requirements related to statewide assessments. In the letter, Secretary DeVos notes that several states have already inquired or submitted waiver requests for the 2020-2021 school year; however, the Secretary says that states “should not anticipate waivers being granted” this school year.
On September 2, USED announced that it intends to offer waivers to State education agencies (SEAs) to allow the use of federal funding under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program to provide services during the school day for the 2020-2021 school year.
On August 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Department would extend flexibilities related to the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option through December 31, 2020. The flexibilities will allow schools to continue serving meals to students, even if a school remains closed due to the pandemic.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus […]

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E-Update for the Week of August 31, 2020

Highlights:

On August 26, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging the Department to reverse its decision to not extend school meal flexibilities through the entire 2020-2021 school year.
On August 26, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and 24 Republican Members sent a letter to USDA urging the Department to extend the flexibilities needed for schools to continue providing meals to students while schools remain closed.
On August 26, a second federal judge blocked implementation of U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos’s interim final rule regarding equitable services provisions for funding received as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Coronavirus (as related to education issues):
Note that all information related to the coronavirus (or COVID-19) is up to date as of August 28. Given the fast-moving nature of congressional and administrative actions to address the growing pandemic, we will do our best to update this […]

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