Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – February 8, 2016

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 

HOUSE

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will hold a hearing on restoring state and local control at the K–12 level on Wednesday, February 10.

SENATE

The Senate passed H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act), by unanimous consent. This bill would require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to spend at least $2.5 million each year on dyslexia research. The bill had previously passed the House by a voice vote and now awaits the President’s signature.

BUDGET

The Administration announced that President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget will include a request for $5.5 billion for a First Job program to connect youth to either their first summer or year-round jobs, with a focus on at-risk and disconnected youth.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance for states on reducing testing at the K–12 level, with a particular focus on testing requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ED published a notice seeking nominations for a negotiated rulemaking panel to assist with the development of Title I ESSA regulations. Nominations are due February 25, 2016.

The Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) has denied recertification applications for Title IV eligibility to several Marinello Schools of Beauty and Computer Systems Institute locations following an FSA investigation that determined violations from both institutions related to false job placement rates for the latter and reporting and allocation of student aid issues for the former. The Marinello Schools of Beauty have since announced they will close all their locations.

President Obama announced a Computer Science for All initiative, which includes: (1) a call for $4 billion in funding in his FY2017 Budget to support states to train teachers, expand access to high-quality instructional materials and build regional partnerships; (2) over $135 million in investments by NSF and the Corporation for National and Community Service to train computer science teachers over five years, using existing funds; and (3) a call to action for other various stakeholders to invest resources.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – February 1, 2016

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 

HOUSE

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) notified Members that they must submit programmatic and language submissions for consideration in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Appropriations bill by March 24, 2016.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on personal data held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on Tuesday, February 2.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on educational opportunity and school choice on Wednesday, February 3.

SENATE

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) launched a tool for students and families to report their stories related to higher education costs and student debt.

ADMINISTRATION

ED announced James Cole Jr., current General Counsel to ED, will assume the duties of Deputy Secretary.

ED released a Dear Colleague letter outlining flexibilities for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for the 2016–17 school year. The letter addressed issues related to the use of FY2016 formula funds, school interventions and supports for English learners.

The White House announced federal actions to ensure low-income children have year-round access to meals, including indicating that the President’s FY2017 Budget will include $12 billion over 10 years to expand access to meals during the summer through a permanent Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children program. Additionally, the Administration announced a pilot program allowing states to use Medicaid enrollment data to certify children for school meals.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – January 26, 2016

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 

HOUSE

In an interview with The Hill, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the second-highest-ranking Republican member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, endorsed Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) as the Committee’s next Chairwoman. Current Chairman John Kline (R-MN) previously announced his plans to retire at the end of this Congress.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on educational opportunity and school choice has been postponed, it was originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 26.

SENATE

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee passed the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, a bill to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, by a voice vote. The bill now awaits floor consideration. A similar bill has yet to be introduced in the House.

ADMINISTRATION

The Administration announced two Pell Grant proposals: Pell for Accelerated Completion, which would allow full-time students to earn an additional Pell award for a third semester of Pell Grants in an academic year; and On-Track Pell Bonus, which would increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $300 for students who take at least 15 credits per semester in an academic year.

The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Research and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of the Early Learning Network, a new research network focused on early childhood education.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and HHS released a letter discussing the link between health and education and a toolkit to help districts integrate health services into schools.

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon sent a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) stating that in the coming months ED will publish a list of religious colleges that have received exemptions from certain provisions of Title IX, a gender-equity law.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics released its “Campus Climate Survey Validation Study Final Technical Report,” which indicated that about 1 in 10 female undergraduate students were sexually assaulted last academic year.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – January 19, 2016

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group:

HOUSE and SENATE

Senate Democrats launched the #InTheRed campaign to raise awareness of student loan debt and college affordability. They are expected to introduce legislation to allow student borrowers to refinance high-interest student loans, increase Pell Grant awards and establish a federal and state partnership to make community college free for qualified students.

ADMINISTRATION

Rohit Chopra, former assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has begun working at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on issues related to student loan borrowing protections and accountability.

Acting Secretary John King began an “Opportunity Across America” tour to highlight good work going on in schools and communities. The tour concludes on Friday, January 22. ED also released an outline for their plan around “Giving Every Child in America a Fair Shot at a Great Education.”

The U.S. Department of Defense has taken the University of Phoenix off of probation. This allows military members to enroll in the university using their military tuition assistance.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – January 12, 2016

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group:

SENATE

Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs James Lankford (R-OK) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Education John King expressing concern that two U.S. Department of Education (ED) Dear Colleague letters on colleges’ handlings of cases of sexual violence and harassment improperly created regulatory changes.

BUDGET

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan announced that the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget will be released on February 9.

ADMINISTRATION
President Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 12.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released data collected from winter 2014–2015 from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) on postsecondary graduation rates, financial aid and postsecondary admissions.

ED will begin negotiated rulemaking meetings next week on borrower defenses related to repayment of federal student aid. Meetings are scheduled from January 12–14. A list of negotiators can be found here.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – December 21, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 

HOUSE and SENATE

The House and Senate passed H.R. 3594, the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015, to extend the Perkins Loan Program through September 30, 2017. The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature.

The Senate passed S. 227, the Strengthening Education through Research Act, by unanimous consent. This bill reauthorizes the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) and reauthorizes authority for the Institute of Education Sciences. The House has not yet taken action on this bill.

BUDGET

The House and Senate passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 funding and a $680 billion package of tax cuts. In the omnibus, education spending will increase by $1.2 billion. Title I Grants to local education agencies (LEAs) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B state grants received increases of $500 million and $415 million, respectively, over FY2015. In addition, the Charter Schools Program received an increase of $80 million. Preschool Development Grants, the Investing in Innovation program (i3) and Promise Neighborhoods were also funded under the bill. In the U.S. Department of Labor, Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth funding streams under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) received nearly a $91 million increase collectively while the Job Corps line items are largely flat funded. Under the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Head Start receives a $570 million increase, AmeriCorps receives a $50.6 million increase and the Social Innovation Fund is level funded at $50 million.

ADMINISTRATION

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued warning letters to 17 colleges to improve their disclosure of school-sponsored credit cards.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that all Direct Loan borrowers may now enroll in the Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE) repayment plan.

ED’s National Center for Education Statistics released data indicating that the nation’s high school graduation rate for the 2013-14 school year is 84 percent, the highest rate it has been since states adopted a uniform way of calculating graduation rates five years ago.

ED’s Office for Civil Rights released a Dear Colleague letter outlining schools’ responsibilities under Title IX when partnering with outside organizations that provide single-sex programs to a school district’s students.

Through a Federal Register notice, ED called for comments within the next month on what aspects of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) should be regulated on. They also acknowledged that they must form a negotiated rulemaking committee on the issues of standards, assessments and supplement not supplant. ED will issue a future notice to initiate this negotiated rulemaking process.

ED issued a Dear Colleague letter providing guidance on their initial efforts to implement ESSA. Topics covered by the letter include: Title I Peer Review and the impact of ESSA on state waivers; annual measurable objectives used under Title I (prior to the passage of ESSA); annual measurable achievement objectives utilized under Title III of ESEA (prior to the passage of ESSA); priority and focus school designations; and educator evaluation and support system requirements under state waivers.

ED announced it is extending its call for nominations to the negotiated rulemaking committee that it seeks to establish to prepare proposed regulations on borrower defense under Federal Student Aid programs.

ED and HHS are requesting comments on a proposed policy statement that they have drafted regarding the implementation of effective family engagement practices from early years to early grades for all families. The deadline for comments has been extended to January 4, 2016.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – December 14, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 

SENATE

The Senate passed S.1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by a vote of 85–12 and President Obama signed the bill into law.

BUDGET

The House and Senate passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund government programs and services until Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education released its 2016 National Education Technology Plan, a policy document updated every five years that outlines national education technology policy.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – December 7, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group:

HOUSE and SENATE

The House passed S.1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by a vote of 359–64. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture on S. 1177. A Senate vote on cloture is expected Tuesday morning, December 8, with final passage possible for later that day.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) Special Master for Borrower Defense, Joseph A. Smith Jr., released a report indicating ED will begin forgiving more than $27.8 million in student loan debt owed by students who attended Corinthian Colleges’ Heald College campuses.

ED’s Office of Educational Technology Director, Richard Culatta, announced he will resign at the end of this month.

ED Secretary Arne Duncan released a statement praising the House’s passage of ESSA.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – November 30, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 

HOUSE and SENATE

The House and Senate return from recess today, November 30.

Education Week reported that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Conference Report could be on the House floor next week. The ESEA Conference Report is available here.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) approved a one year state waiver renewal under ESEA for Colorado.

Inside Higher Ed reported that Deputy Under Secretary and Acting Secretary of the Office of Postsecondary Education, Jamienne Studley, will leave ED on December 18. A replacement for Studley has not been named. Lynn Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation will take over Studley’s role on an acting basis.

ED published a Federal Register notice indicating a new interpretation of incentive compensation rules. Under the new interpretation, ED will allow payments to recruiters based on student graduation or completion. The notice also clarifies that ED will continue to ban payments to recruiters on the basis of enrolling minority students (as they presently do for enrollment purposes for any student).

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – November 23, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group:

HOUSE and SENATE

The House and Senate are in recess, they will return on November 30.

House and Senate conferees approved the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) conference report as amended by a vote of 38 to 1. Per Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), legislative language for this bill will be available on November 30 and a House vote on the bill may occur on December 2 or December 3. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) indicated senators would have at least a week to review the bill before a Senate floor vote might occur.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Member Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) announced his plans to retire from Congress in January 2017, at the end of his current term.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) approved nine additional states’ plans for equitable access to excellent educators. These plans are required by Title I of ESEA. Plans for eight other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are still under review.

ED released guidance clarifying that a student with a disability should have an individualized education program (IEP) that is aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

ED released its quarterly student aid report indicating enrollment in income-driven repayment plans have increased by 50 percent this year, delinquent student loan payments of 31 days or more have decreased 2.3 percent this year and two-thirds of freshman only designate one school on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

ED reported findings that programs at Corinthian Colleges’ Everest and WyoTech campuses misled students about their job placement after graduation. These campuses served approximately 85,000 students, who may now be eligible for student loan relief.

ED announced plans to expand their Competency-Based Education (CBE) experimental site to allow additional flexibility in how institutions provide federal student aid to students participating in CBE programs.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment
Click on Map for Directions

Penn Hill Group