Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: January 23

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (January 16-20) in Washington.

The Department of Education released a notice in the Federal Register requesting information on best practices to prevent, detect, and respond to irregularities in academic testing.

The Department of Education held its negotiated rule making sessions on Teacher Preparation and Student Lending on January 18-20. The next session will be held in February.

The Department of Education continues to work with states on its ESEA waiver application process.  States have been adjusting their plans in accordance with the comments put forward by the Department’s peer reviewers and Departmental staff.  The initial round of waiver approvals could be announced in the next few weeks.

The Department of Education’s office of Civil Rights released a Dear Colleague and a Frequently Asked Questions document on implementation of the 2009 ADA Amendments Act requirements in schools.

The President’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 24 will likely have a few education components, including a focus on college costs.

Chairman Kline and his staff continue to work to finalize the drafts of the recently released Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act, with the goal of having a bill to introduce and be marked up by the Committee within the next few months.

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) is holding a field hearing in Illinois on January 23 that will discuss federal aid to veterans and current members of the military that attend for-profit schools.  Veterans advocate Holly Patreaus is expected to be the headline witness. Senator Durbin plans to introduce legislation aimed at reducing incentives for for-profit colleges to recruit veterans and service members, Bloomberg reports, citing comments from the Senator’s office.

The Senate HELP Committee is also working on a hearing for early February that will focus on access to instructional materials in postsecondary education.  This hearing is likely to focus in part on the AIM Commission report that was issued recently on increasing the access of postsecondary instructional material to students with disabilities.