Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: December 12

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (December 5-9) in Washington.

The Department of Education is expected to announce the Negotiated Rulemaking participants for both the Title II/Teach Grant and Title IV panels as early as this week.

On December 14-16 the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (F.R. Page 51014) will hold a meeting that will, among other things, review and finalize their report to the Secretary outlining their recommendations concerning the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

There is no recent action on ESEA and action is not likely to take place this year.  Next year however continues to be a possibility for ESEA reauthorization activity.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization activity could be picking up with the introduction of two bills amending WIA this week, one focused on changes to local workforce boards (H.R. 3611, Local JOBS Act) and another focused on significant consolidation of programs (H.R. 3610, Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act) .

Senate staff continue to finalize the ESEA bill passed by Committee in late October.  Floor time on this legislation is not likely for the remainder of this year, but remains a possibility for next year.

The GAO released a report titled “Student Outcomes Vary at For-Profit, Nonprofit, and Public Schools.” The report found that for-profit colleges have higher graduation rates than other institutions for certificate programs, similar graduation rates for associate-degree programs, and lower graduation rates for bachelor’s-degree programs, even when student demographics were taken into account.

Appropriations discussions are still on-going with policy riders continuing to encumber the resolution of Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations issues.  How savings will be generated to preserve the current $5,550 maximum Pell grant also remains undecided.