Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: October 17

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (October 10-14) in Washington.


Secretary Duncan released a statement supporting the Senate draft ESEA reauthorization bill:  “A bipartisan bill will not have everything that everyone wants, but it must build on our common interests: high standards; flexibility for states, school districts and schools; and a more focused federal role that promotes equity, accountability and reform. This bill is a very positive step toward a reauthorization that will provide our students and teachers with the support they need, and I salute Senators Harkin and Enzi for their good work and their bipartisan approach.”

The Department has reported that as of October 12, 39 States have submitted their intent to request ESEA Flexibility. Of those 39 states, 17 plan to apply by the first deadline of November 14, 2011:  CO, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, MI, MN, MS, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, TN, VT and WI. Penn Hill Group is tracking the waiver process in the attached chart.

Meetings continue as Chairman Kline works toward a possible fall/early winter mark-up on the remaining parts of ESEA that have not yet been considered by the Committee.

Chairman Kline issued his recommendations to the Deficit Committee today, in particular asking the committee to look at Pell Grant reforms included in the recent draft House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill.

Yesterday House Democratic Leader Pelosi issued the recommendations of the Democratic Committee Ranking Members to the Deficit Committee.  Recommendations from Education Committee Ranking Member George Miller were also included.  What is significant about the letter is the absence of any recommendations for cuts in education programs, including student aid programs.

The Senate HELP Committee continues to move forward toward its recently announced intention to mark-up an ESEA reauthorization bill, which they posted on the committee website earlier this week. However, the markup has been rescheduled from Tuesday to Wednesday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. The Manager’s Amendment in the form of a substitute was filed Monday at 10:00 a.m., and amendments need to be filed (off of that substitute) by Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.