E-Update for the Week of April 11, 2022

Highlights:

On April 4, a group of Senate Democrats and Republicans announced they reached an agreement on a plan to provide an additional $10 billion in COVID-19 relief primarily for therapeutics, testing, and vaccine distribution, which will be offset by unspent funds from prior coronavirus relief bills, including funding for higher education. The agreement is currently stalled over a non-related immigration issue.
On April 4, the Biden Administration announced an “Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure,” an initiative that aims to “upgrade” the nation’s public schools with modern, clean, energy efficient facilities and transportation, while helping districts lower energy costs.
On April 6, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Social and Emotional Learning and Whole Child Approaches in K-12 Education.”

Budget & Appropriations:
Senate pandemic aid deal would cut $500 million from higher education pandemic funding, as USED extends deadline to spend Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) funds: On April 4, Senate Democrats and Republicans announced they reached an agreement on a plan to provide an additional $10 billion in […]

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E-Update for the Week of April 4, 2022

Highlights:

On March 28, President Biden released his fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request, which includes $88.327 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Education (USED), a $11.9 billion or 15.6% increase over the FY2022 level.
On March 28, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona issued a nationwide call to action for states, districts, and higher education leaders to use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to address the teacher shortage and aid student recovery.
On March 31, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the President’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) for FY2023, during which HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra testified.

Budget & Appropriations:
President Biden releases his FY2023 budget request: On March 28, President Biden released his FY2023 budget request, which includes $88.327 billion in funding for USED, a $11.9 billion or 15.6% increase over the FY2022 level. The largest increases in the USED budget request are proposed for the core programs — Title I, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Pell Grants (See below). Additionally, […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 28, 2022

Highlights:

On March 28, the Biden Administration is expected to release its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget request, which will include proposed appropriations for all federal agencies, including USED. The budget will be released here. Relatedly, at 3:00 pm on March 28, USED will hold a budget briefing. The briefing will be livestreamed here.
On March 22, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing titled, “Child Care and Preschool: Cutting Costs for Working Families.” During the hearing, witnesses spoke to the need for families and children to have access to high-quality, affordable child care and preschool services, as well as the ongoing challenges facing the child care industry.
On March 24, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Miguel Cardona sent a letter to educators and parents regarding new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their impact on children with disabilities.

Coronavirus Updates (as related to education):
Administration:
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
USED Secretary Cardona holds roundtable with faith leaders in New York: On March 18, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona held a roundtable discussion […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 21, 2022

Highlights:

On March 16, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced on that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that have recently experienced a bomb threat are eligible to apply for grant funds under the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) program. Relatedly, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on federal support for HBCUs facing violent threats on March 17.
On March 16, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate HELP Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) called on the Biden Administration to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through at least the end of the year.
During the week of March 14, USED held its third and final Negotiated Rulemaking session covering institutional accountability topics such as gainful employment, the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision, changes in ownership, and recent statutory changes to the 90/10 revenue rule for proprietary institutions.

Nominations and Personnel:
President Biden announces nominee for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education: On March 18, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Dr. Nasser Paydar for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 14, 2022

Highlights:

During the week of March 7, the House and Senate passed the final Omnibus Appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2022, including a $2.9 billion increase above FY2021 for the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and a $11.3 billion increase above FY2021 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The final bill includes increases, compared to FY2021, of $1 billion for Title I, $558 million across the core early childhood education programs within HHS (including Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG), Head Start, and Preschool Development Grants (PDG) Birth through Five), and a $400 to the maximum Pell Grant award.
On March 14 to 18, USED will hold its third and final Negotiated Rulemaking session on Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility covering topics such as gainful employment, financial responsibility, changes in ownership, and recent statutory changes to the 90/10 revenue rule for proprietary institutions.
Recently, both the House and Senate passed resolutions unanimously condemning threats of violence against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In remarks on the House resolution, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated, […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 7, 2022

Highlights:

On March 1, President Biden delivered his first State of the Union Address to Congress, in which he both recognized the ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic and outlined his plan to address the burden of increased costs on American families.
On March 2, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment held a hearing to examine the role of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in serving historically underserved students.
On March 1, the Senate Finance Committee advanced to the full Senate several nominations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including January Contreras, who is nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Family Support.

Coronavirus Updates (as related to education):
Administration:
White House:
White House considering continuing to extend the freeze on student loan payments and interest: According to Politico, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in an interview on March 3 that the Biden Administration is considering once again extending the freeze on federal student loan payments and interest before it expires on May 2. “The president […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 28, 2022

Highlights:

On February 22, the White House held an event during which U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Gender Policy Council Director Jen Klein, and Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Mobility Carmel Martin met with parents and their children to discuss the Administration’s proposal to reduce child care costs for families, while increasing the supply of high-quality child care.
On February 23, the U.S. Department of Education (USED)’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) released a Request for Information outlining its new strategy to overhaul the federal student loan servicing systems to be known as the “Unified Servicing and Data Solution.”
On February 25, USED released a new fact sheet highlighting ways states and school districts are using ARP funds to reengage students and enhance academic learning by expanding CTE opportunities.

Coronavirus Updates (as related to education):
Administration:
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
Institute of Education Sciences (IES) awards grants using ARP funds to support use of longitudinal data in state recovery policymaking: IES’s National Center for Education Research awarded three new grants, funded through the use […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 22, 2022

Highlights

On February 18, President Biden signed a continuing resolution (CR) into law to extend funding for the federal government through March 11.
On February 15, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing titled, “Supporting Quality Workforce Development Opportunities and Innovation to Address Barriers to Employment,” during which Committee members called attention to the importance of strengthening workforce development programs as part of rebuilding the economy, as well as the need to improve workforce supports and to address systemic barriers to employment.
On February 11, USED released a final guidance document to aid states, school districts, and schools in implementing accountability and school improvement requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) using data from the 2021-22 school year.

Budget and Appropriations:
President Biden signs CR avoiding government shutdown: President Biden signed a continuing resolution (CR) into law on February 18 to extend funding for the federal government through March 11. Prior to becoming law, the Senate passed the CR by a vote of 65-27 and the House by a vote of 272-162. Relatedly, House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership have reached a […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 14, 2022

Highlights:

On February 8, the House passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) by a vote of 272-162 to extend funding for the federal government through March 11.
On February 8, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that they are working on a bipartisan effort to reauthorize and expand federal mental health and substance use disorder programs. Additionally, Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced that the Senate Finance Committee is similarly working on bipartisan legislation aimed at reforming the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid to ensure families can afford mental health care for their children.
On February 7, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released updates to its College Scorecard that, according to the Department, “make the tool more useful for students and families weighing college options.”

Budget and Appropriations:
House passes CR extending government funding through March 11, congressional Appropriators announce agreement on FY2022 framework: The House passed a CR by a vote of 272-162 to extend funding for the federal government through March 11. The Senate is expected […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 7, 2022

Highlights:

On February 4, the House passed by a vote of 220-210 the America Competes Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), which aims to boost the nation’s economic competitiveness.
On February 2, U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Miguel Cardona spoke at the Department’s 2022 Advancing Equity in Career-Connected Education Summit. In his remarks, he highlighted the Biden Administration’s expansion of Second Chance Pell, and announced that next year, he hopes to expand eligibility to all incarcerated students enrolled in prison education programs.
On February 1, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing titled, “Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Responding to the Growing Crisis,” during which Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) expressed concern over the sharp increase in mental illness since the beginning of the pandemic, including among children.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law:
Administration:
White House:
White House releases Bipartisan Infrastructure Law guidebook: The White House released the first edition of its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law guidebook to help state, local, Tribal and territorial governments access and implement the infrastructure funding included in the Act. The guidebook provides comprehensive information on program level […]

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