Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – August 3, 2015

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

HOUSE

The House is in recess and will return on September 8.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) met to discuss forming a conference committee to reconcile the two chambers’ bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). They also agreed to recommend Rep. Kline as the conference committee chair.

SENATE

As a part of a series of hearings related to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, the Senate HELP Committee will hold a committee hearing on Wednesday, August 5, on improving student success. Stan Jones, President, Complete College America; R. Scott Ralls, President, North Carolina Community College System; Timothy Renick, Ph.D., Vice Provost And Vice President For Enrollment Management And Student Success, Georgia State University; and Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Ph.D, President, Young Adults and Postsecondary Education, MDRC will testify

The Senate HELP Committee will also hold an executive session on Thursday, August 6, where they will consider several bills and nominations, including the nomination of Dr. Kathryn Matthew to serve as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education announced a “Second Chance Pell Pilot program,” which would establish experimental sites that allow incarcerated individuals to receive Pell Grants for their postsecondary education. Rep. Kline and Sen. Alexander both expressed concerns over this approach.

Inside Higher Ed reported the White House hosted a summit on short-term training programs. The Administration is considering an experimental sites project related to these programs.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – July 27, 2015

HOUSE

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a committee hearing on Tuesday, July 28, on policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will testify.

SENATE

As a part of a series of hearings related to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will hold a committee hearing on Wednesday, July 29, on combating campus sexual assault. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) will testify on the first panel. Janet Napolitano, President, University of California; Dana Bolger, Co-Founder, Know Your IX; Dolores Stafford, Executive Director, National Association of Clery Compliance Officers; and Mollie Benz Flounlacker, Associate VP for Federal Relations, Association of American Universities, will testify on the second panel.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) approved state waiver renewals under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for Tennessee, Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Utah. Tennessee received a four-year renewal, Utah received a one-year renewal and all others received three-year renewals.

ED and the U.S. Department of Justice hosted a conference for superintendents, principals and teachers on rethinking school discipline. ED also released maps based on data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), illustrating out-of-school suspension rates across the country.

As a part of her Reach Higher initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a 2015 Beating the Odds Summit for at-risk college-bound students, to support them in their transition to college and provide them with necessary resources.

ED, America Achieves, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) released a parent checklist with questions and resources for parents to use to advocate for their child’s education.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Discover Bank and its affiliates to pay $18.5 million for illegal private student loan servicing practices. CFPB also filed a complaint against Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. for alleged illegal sales and billing practices when assisting students in completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They have proposed the company pay a $5.2 million fine.

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) submitted its 2015 Accreditation Policy Recommendations to ED Secretary Arne Duncan. These recommendations include giving NACIQI final decision-making authority on recognition of accrediting agencies.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group Principal Discusses Data Privacy

On Friday, June 12, Penn Hill Group Principal Danica Petroshius participated in panel at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Los Angeles, California, under the conference theme of “Equity by Design.” Other participants included Cathy Casserly, a Fellow at the Aspen Institute Communications & Society Program; Steve Bowen, the Director of Innovation at Council of Chief State School Officers; Jennie Magiera, the Digital-Learning Coordinator at Academy for Urban School Leadership; and Arthi Krishnaswami, the Founder and CEO of Ryecatcher.

Panelists discussed how student data privacy policies at all levels can help or hinder progress toward the goals of creating opportunities for youth to learn anytime, anyplace and at any pace, using resources in- and out-of-school as well as online. They discussed how privacy policies can affect the creation of “trusted learning environments,” which exist when youth and their learning support networks have confidence in using technology to engage in learning, especially when it involves students’ data. Audience members asked questions and gained insight about how they can become advocates for policies that support (rather than impede) the creation of and equitable access to trusted learning environments.

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Meet Penn Hill Group’s Intern: Madison Smith

Meet Madison Smith, a rising senior at Washington and Lee University, who has joined Penn Hill Group as an intern this summer. With an interest in poverty studies, Madison is an economics major and education policy minor.

Madison Smith

Madison Smith

See our interview with Madison below to learn more about her and what she brings to our office. Welcome, Madison!


What drew you to DC?

I’m excited to be in DC because there are so many changes happening with education at the federal level. I wanted to be in DC to be where the action is.

What do you hope to do or learn during this internship?

During this internship, I hope to learn more about how policy in the education system is changing. I’m specifically interesting in learning more about renewing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and college affordability.

What are some of your hobbies?

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and traveling. I also play club volleyball.

How will this internship fit in with your future goals?

In the future, I aspire to work on the Hill and this internship is giving me insight into the policy world. It is also helping me figure out what specific education policies I care about and am interested in.

What interests you most about education?

I see education as a very important platform for all kids, no matter their background, to learn the skills and gain the knowledge they need to be successful. I am also interested in how teaching soft skills is continuing to become a part of our education system.

What did you do last summer?

I spent last summer also working on education issues, but in Vietnam. I worked with teachers and principals, learned more about their education system and what local universities over there are doing to try and fill in different educational gaps.

 

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

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

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

HOUSE

The House Committee on Rules will meet for a second time to consider H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), on Tuesday, July 7 at 5:00 p.m. Education Week reported this could lead to House floor consideration and a vote on this legislation as early as Wednesday, July 8.

The House was in recess last week, they will return Tuesday, July 7.

SENATE

The Senate will begin consideration of S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, which reauthorizes ESEA, on Tuesday, July 7.

The Senate was in recess last week, they will return Tuesday, July 7.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education released “A Set of Family Rights,” outlining the Administration’s view on what families should expect for their child’s education.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – June 29, 2015

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

HOUSE

The House is in recess this week.

SENATE

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the full Senate will plan to begin debate on the Every Child Achieves Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), on July 7. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a joint statement in support of debate of this bill by the full Senate.

The Senate is in recess this week.

BUDGET

The House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill by a party-line vote of 30­–21. The bill would: reduce funding for education programs by $2.8 billion compared to FY2015; eliminate funding for a number of education programs; provide increases for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State Grants and charter schools; and reduce the amount of funding available for Pell Grants. The bill also includes a number of prohibitions on the U.S. Department of Education (ED)’s implementation of higher education regulations and initiatives, including gainful employment, state authorization and teacher preparation regulations and the Administration’s college ratings system.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies approved its FY2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill by a party-line vote of 16–14. The bill would: reduce funding for education programs by $1.7 billion compared to FY2015; eliminate and reduce funding for a number of education programs; and provide increases for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State Grants, Title I, charter schools and Head Start. The bill also includes a number of prohibitions on ED’s implementation of higher education regulations and initiatives, including gainful employment, state authorization and teacher preparation regulations and the Administration’s college ratings system.

ADMINISTRATION

ED announced it will no longer be releasing a college ratings system, and will instead release college “ratings tools” later this summer. These tools would be designed to allow students and others to come to their own conclusions on the benefits of one college or university over another.

ED appointed Joseph Smith, Jr. as Special Master to advise on loan discharges for former Corinthian Colleges students and others who are seeking similar relief.

ED approved state waiver renewals under ESEA for Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. New York received a four-year renewal while all others received three-year renewals.

A federal court ruled in favor of ED in the case APSCU v. Arne Duncan. This ruling upholds ED’s gainful employment regulations.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – June 22, 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 June 24 on the cost of compliance under Child Nutrition programs. Melody Schopp, Secretary of Education, South Dakota Department of Education; John Payne, President, Blackford County School Board of Trustees; Donna Martin, Director, School Nutrition Program, Burke County Public School; and Lynn Harvey, Chief, School Nutrition Services, Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division, North Carolina Department of Instruction will testify.

BUDGET

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill by a party-line vote. The bill would: reduce funding for education programs by $2.8 billion compared to FY2015; eliminate funding for a number of education programs; provide increases for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State Grants, Title I and charter schools; and reduce the amount of funding available for Pell Grants. The bill also includes a number of prohibitions on the U.S. Department of Education’s implementation of higher education regulations and initiatives, including gainful employment, state authorization and teacher preparation regulations and the Administration’s college ratings system. The full Appropriations Committee will hold a markup of this legislation on June 24.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will hold a markup on June 23 on its FY2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a notice of proposed rulemaking related to Head Start programs, including requiring all Early Head Start programs to serve preschoolers for a full day and a full school year.

The Washington Post reported Rohit Chopra, student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has resigned. His last day at the CFPB will be this week.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a proposal to allow low-income families to access broadband services under the Lifeline Program, which has historically only provided voice services to low-income families. The FCC also adopted a proposal further strengthening existing rules that restrict service providers from contacting consumers via telephone, including baring the use of predictive dialing devices.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – June 15, 2015

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

HOUSE

Education Week reported the House may resume consideration of the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as early as this week.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a committee hearing on June 16 on federal rules and regulations for child nutrition programs. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will testify.

SENATE

Education Week reported the Senate may consider the Every Child Achieves Act, which reauthorizes ESEA, as early as the week of June 22.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a committee hearing on June 17 on accreditation as part of its series of hearings on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. Peter Ewell, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; George Pruitt, President, Thomas Edison State College; Albert Gray, President and CEO, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools; and Ann Neal, President, American Council of Trustees and Alumina will testify.

BUDGET

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill. This bill would fund the National Science Foundation at $7.34 billion, the same funding it received for FY2015.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related Agencies will hold a markup on June 17 of the FY2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced its debt relief process for Corinthian Colleges’ students whose schools have closed down, or who believe they were victims of fraud, regardless of whether their school closed.

The Administration has withdrawn Ericka Miller’s nomination to be ED’s Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Miller has been serving as a senior advisor at ED since November, 2013.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – June 8, 2015

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

SENATE

The Senate confirmed Michael Yudin as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Prior to his confirmation, Yudin had been in an acting role in the position for which he was confirmed, as well as playing a role in the Department’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization efforts.

BUDGET

The House passed the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act by a vote of 242­–183. This bill would fund the National Science Foundation at $7.4 billion for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, an increase of $50 million over FY2015 and approximately $330 million below the President’s request.

ADMINISTRATION

ED released a report to Congress on highly qualified teachers enrolled in alternative certification programs. The report found that while just 1.5 percent of all teachers are both categorized as highly qualified and enrolled in an alternative certification program, these teachers were more likely to be teaching in low-income and urban areas during the 2013–14 school year.

ED and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that the Miccosukee Indian School will receive flexibility from ESEA to use a different definition of Adequate Yearly Progress. The school is operated by the Bureau of Indian Education and this waiver is the first of its kind to such a school.

Posted in Washington Wrap-Up | Leave a comment

Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – June 1, 2015

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

HOUSE

The House was in recess last week.

SENATE

The Senate was in recess last week.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a committee hearing on June 3 on college affordability, as part of its series of hearings on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. Witnesses include: Judith Scott Clayton, Assistant Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Elizabeth Akers, Fellow, Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brookings Institution; Michael Mitchell, Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; F. King Alexander, President and Chancellor, Louisiana State University; and James Kennedy, Associate VP for University Student Services and Systems, Indiana University.

ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) released reviews of four loan servicers, Navient, Great Lakes, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and Nelnet. ED found that in the vast majority of cases related to loan interest rates for active-duty servicemembers, the servicers complied with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) circulated proposals to expand the FCC’s Lifeline program, including providing internet service to low-income individuals. Presently the program pays for low-income individuals’ phone service.

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

Penn Hill Group