Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – April 20, 2015

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 subcommittee hearing on April 22 on challenges facing Native American schools. Witnesses for this hearing have not yet been announced.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a markup on April 22 on the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, which reauthorizes the U.S. National Science Foundation and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related agencies.

SENATE

The Senate passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 by a vote of 92 to 8. This bill provides an additional $800 million in mandatory funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and restored funding for the lapsed Secure Rural Schools program. The bill was then signed by the President.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act, legislation that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), by a vote of 22 to 0. With 29 amendments approved, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he looks forward to the bill being taken up by the full Senate, with opportunity for further amendment, discussion and debate before the Memorial Day recess. Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) called for continued bipartisan compromise on key issues as the bill progresses.

BUDGET

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) and House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) announced that conferees for the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Conference will meet on April 20.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) fined Corinthian Colleges Inc. $29.6 million for 947 cases of misrepresentation of job placement rates for current and prospective students in Corinthian’s Heald College system.

Inside Higher Ed reported ED approved two more direct-assessment programs, programs that are not based on credit hours. The approval of Walden University’s Tempo Learning program and the Texas State College System’s industrial systems technology program brings the total number of institutions with approval from both ED and regional accreditors for direct-assessment programs to six.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group Team Members Compete in Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Jeopardy

On April 10, Penn Hill Group’s Principals Danica Petroshius and Alex Nock and Vice President Rich Stombres participated in an ESEA Jeopardy game hosted by the Education Task Force of Women in Government Relations (WGR). This ESEA Jeopardy was in honor of the 50th anniversary of the bill’s passage and upcoming ESEA markup in the Senate (happening now). Contestants’ knowledge of both the bill and the six reauthorizations of ESEA since its passage were tested.

As a former democratic deputy staff director of the Senate HELP Committee, Danica served as the democratic representative for the Senate team. Alex, a former democratic deputy staff director for the House Ed and Workforce Committee, and Rich, a former deputy director of education for the House Ed and Workforce Committee, served as the democratic and republican representatives for the House team, respectively. While the House team won, all contestants were “schooled” in ESEA trivia, using audience lifelines to help out.

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – April 13, 2015

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

HOUSE

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee budget hearing on April 14 on early education. Director of the Edward Zigler Center at the Yale School of Medicine Walker Gilliam, President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund Diana Rauner and Executive Director of Smart Start Oklahoma Debra Andersen will testify.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a committee hearing on April 15 on “Serving Students and Families through Child Nutrition Programs.” Witnesses for this hearing have not yet been announced.

The House was in recess last week but is in session this week.

SENATE

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released the Every Child Achieves Act, a legislative agreement that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The HELP Committee will hold an executive session on April 14 to discuss ESEA, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Technical Amendments Act, and nominations for Ericka Miller, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, ED.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human services, Educations and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee hearing on April 16 on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget request for ED. Secretary Arne Duncan will testify.

The Senate was in recess last week but is in session this week.

ADMINISTRATION

ED released the Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs, a free guide to help entrepreneurs apply technology to solve challenges in education.

ED released a Dear Colleague Letter, “Loan Counseling Requirements and Flexibilities,” providing new guidance on steps higher education institutions can take to help students avoid excessive loan amounts.

Secretary Duncan released a statement calling the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act a good step forward towards ESEA reauthorization, with further to go.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – April 6, 2015

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

HOUSE and SENATE

The House and Senate were both in recess last week and are also in recess this week.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) approved four-year renewals of state waivers under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia. Education Week also reported Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Texas and Louisiana will ask for extensions to apply for renewal of their ESEA waivers.

ED released a list of 544 colleges whose federal financial aid is being delayed under heightened cash monitoring, as of March 1, 2015. Inside Higher Ed reported ED also released the names of 20 additional institutions subject to heightened cash monitoring, who have been placed on a more strict level of monitoring.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

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

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

HOUSE

The Washington Post reported Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said he hopes a full House vote on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Student Success Act, will occur in April, after the House returns from recess.

The House passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 by a vote of 392 to 37, including an additional $800 million for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and restored funding for the lapsed Secure Rural Schools program. The bill now awaits a vote in the Senate.

The House is in recess until April 13.

SENATE

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released three staff white papers related to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act on accreditation, risk-sharing and data collection of consumer information. He has requested interested parties submit comments on these papers by 5:00 pm on April 24, 2015.

The Senate Democratic caucus wrote a letter to Senator Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) urging them to include investment and support for quality early childhood learning programs in reauthorization of ESEA. Education Week reported Senator Alexander said he would prefer to address early childhood education separately.

The Senate is in recess until April 13.

BUDGET

The full House passed the House Fiscal Year 2016 Budget by a vote of 228 to 199. The full Senate also passed their Budget Resolution by a vote of 52 to 46. Both resolutions include reconciliation instructions to their respective education committees to produce legislation savings of $1 billion over ten years and requirements to produce “fair-value accounting” estimates when the Congressional Budget Office scores student loan-related legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he looked forward to House and Senate leaders reconciling the differing versions. 

ADMINISTRATION

President Obama announced over $240 million in new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) private-sector commitments and a $25 million grant competition through the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to support the creation of science and literacy-themed media, specifically targeted towards young, low-income children.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a $27 million adult reentry grant program called Training to Work. These grants will fund career pathway models that link and coordinate education and training services for soon-to-be-released inmates to obtain industry-recognized credentials.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

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

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

BUDGET

The House Budget Committee passed the FY2016 Budget Resolution. Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) made a statement highlighting the passage and said he plans to bring the budget to the Floor for full House consideration next week.  Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) released a statement in opposition to the Committee approved Resolution.

The Senate Budget Committee passed the Senate Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2016. Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a statement highlighting this as an important first step and stating he looks forward to this resolution being considered by the full Senate next week. Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-VT) issued a press release in response to the Committee passed resolution.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released a proposed priority for the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) that implements language in the conference report accompanying the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill on high school reform and redesign.

ED announced six grant awards through the Charter Schools Program’s National Leadership Activities Program. The Department stated these grants, totaling $4.1 million, will strengthen charter schools and charter school authorizers while improving these schools’ capacity to serve English learners and students with disabilities.

ED’s National Center for Education Statistics released new data that indicates the graduation rates for black and Hispanic students increased by nearly four percentage points from 2011 to 2013, decreasing the gap in graduation rates between minority and white students.

Politico Pro reported that while on a panel at the National Lieutenant Governors Association’s 2015 federal-state relations meeting, Deputy Under Secretary of Education Jamienne Studley said the first full version of the federal college ratings system will be released by August 2015.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – March 16, 2015

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

HOUSE

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee hearing on March 17 on the budget for the Department of Labor. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will testify.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee hearing on March 17 on the budget for the National Science Foundation. National Science Foundation Director France Cordova will testify.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee oversight hearing on March 18 on the achievement gap in higher education. Gail Mellow, President of La Guardia Community College;  Aaron Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education; Benjamin L. Castleman, Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia; Carol L. Fischer, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Iowa; and Brian K. Fitzgerald, Ed.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Business-Higher Education Forum will testify.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will hold a subcommittee hearing on March 17 on higher education opportunities for veterans. Witnesses for this hearing have not yet been announced.

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training will hold a subcommittee hearing on March 17 on strengthening the higher education system. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., President of Purdue University; Dr. Christine M. Keller, Vice President of Research and Policy Analysis and Executive Director for the Voluntary System of Accountability and Student Achievement Measure at the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities; David A. Bergeron, Vice President of Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress; and Michael J. Bennett, Associate Vice President of Financial Aid Services at St. Petersburg College will testify.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a committee hearing on March 18 on the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal for the Department of Labor. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will testify.

The House was in recess last week.

SENATE

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement on March 9 on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. They stated they have made significant progress in their negotiations and aim to consider markup of legislation during the week of April 13.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will hold a committee hearing on March 18 on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission. Federal Communications Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Rielly, Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel and Tom Wheeler will testify.

ADMINISTRATION

President Obama launched a TechHire Initiative that will provide $100 million in competitive grants to joint initiatives by employers, training institutions and local governments that train and hire low-skilled workers for jobs in the technology field.

President Obama announced a Student Aid Bill of Rights with a Presidential Memorandum that is aimed at providing additional protections for borrowers with Federal student loans. President Obama also directed the US Department of Education (ED) to create a new online feedback system for borrowers to file loan-related complaints. The Administration also released state-by-state data on the number of federal student borrowers and the amount of outstanding loan balances.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the nationwide expansion of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative. This will provide school nutrition personnel nationally with technical assistance and peer-to-peer mentoring.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – March 2, 2015

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

HOUSE

The U.S. House of Representatives began consideration of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), on Thursday last week, and continued considering amendments to the bill on Friday. Forty-three amendments were offered to the bill: of those, 25 were adopted, 5 failed, 3 were withdrawn, and recorded votes on 10 amendments were postponed. According to a Whip notice sent on Friday afternoon, the House postponed further consideration of H.R. 5 due to ongoing consideration of Department of Homeland Security appropriations legislation. The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 5, which states that White House senior advisors recommend vetoing the bill.

The House passed H.R. 529 by a vote of 401-20; the bill makes changes to 529 college savings plans, including allowing computers as a qualified expense, and removing any penalty for re-depositing funds if a student drops out.

The House passed H.R. 1020, the STEM Education Act of 2015, by a vote of 412-8. The bill redefines STEM education to include computer science education and maintains informal STEM education programs at the National Science Foundation.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will testify in front of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee on March 4 on the budget for the U.S. Department of Education.

SENATE

During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on February 24 to discuss the findings of the task force on higher education de-regulation, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said that he intends to pass a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) this year, and will hold further committee hearings on the topic beginning in April.

ADMINISTRATION

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) has requested comments (due on March 9) on their draft NACIQI policy recommendations report. They will also hold a virtual meeting on March 23, 2015 to discuss the report.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

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

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

HOUSE

The House Rules Committee announced a process to consider amendments for when the House considers H.R. 5, the Student Success Act this week. The Rules Committee has established a deadline of 3 p.m. on Monday, February 23 for the submission of amendments. The bill, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), passed the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on February 11.

The House Committee on Appropriations will hold a subcommittee hearing on February 25 on the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell will testify.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a subcommittee hearing on February 26 on the budget for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NSF Director France Cordova, National Science Board chairman Daniel Arvizu, and NIST Acting Director Willie E. May will testify.

The House was in recess last week.

SENATE

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing on February 24 to discuss the findings of the task force on higher education de-regulation formed by Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO). William Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and Nicholas Zeppos, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, will testify at the hearing as the co-chairs of the task force

The Senate was in recess last week.

ADMINISTRATION

The Department of Education released proposed priorities for the next round of the First in the World Grant program. The First in the World program gives grants to support innovation toward college affordability and completion. The Department is seeking comments on the proposed priorities by March 25, 2015.

The Domestic Policy Council at the White House released a report entitled, “Investing in Our Future: Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College and Careers,” on H.R. 5, the ESEA reauthorization bill that passed the House education committee last week. It specifically addresses the funding levels in the bill, and the bill’s changes to Title I funding. House education committee Chairman John Kline’s (R-MN) response to the report is here.

President Obama also addressed issues around H.R. 5 and ESEA reauthorization in general in his weekly address.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Alex Nock Joins Ownership Team at Penn Hill Group

Alex-Nock-lgFebruary 12, 2015 — Penn Hill Group is pleased to announce that Alex Nock has joined Danica Petroshius, D’Arcy Philps and Vic Klatt as a part of the firm’s bipartisan ownership team.

Nock has served as Executive Vice President at Penn Hill Group since its opening in 2011. His experience and success in serving clients and advancing policy ideas made this an obvious next step for Penn Hill Group. The firm continues to grow and expand in part due to Nock’s work on behalf of numerous clients.

Penn Hill Group, Washington’s premier bipartisan education policy firm, has unmatched experience working on both sides of the aisle as senior Administration officials, congressional committee staffers, and high-level advisers to senators and members of Congress.

Nock brings more than 20 years of experience in federal education, disability, labor and health policy to Penn Hill Group. During his time in Washington, DC, Nock has been a part of every major piece of federal education and disability policy legislation.

Prior to his position with Penn Hill Group, Nock served as the Democratic deputy staff director for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor.

Nock led numerous reauthorizations while working on Capitol Hill, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Head Start Act. He was one of the lead staff members responsible for the No Child Left Behind Act. Nock has also played key roles in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment
Click on Map for Directions

Penn Hill Group