Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: February 21

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (February 13-17) in Washington.


The Department of Education approved New Mexico’s request for a No Child Left Behind waiver, making it the 11th state to receive a waiver in the first round. The approved requests for all 11 states are available on the Department’s ESEA Flexibility page.

In other ESEA Flexibility news, the Department of Education added an option for states that need more time to develop their waiver applications, allowing them to apply to freeze their AMOs (annual measurable objectives) at this year’s level.The Department released a guidance document for this provision, and the AMO Waiver Template.

On Wednesday, Secretary Duncan held a town hall on “RESPECT”— a new Administration teacher reform initiative. The program proposal is available here.

Congress passed, and the President is expected to sign into law, legislation extending the payroll tax reduction, unemployment insurance and payment rates to Medicare providers through the remainder of 2012.  Dropped from this legislation before its passage was a requirement that individuals receiving unemployment compensation had to have a high school diploma or GED.


Chairman Kline held a hearing on the final pieces of his ESEA reauthorization proposals on Thursday: the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990).


The Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety held a hearing on Thursday titled, “Addressing Workforce Needs at the Regional Level: Innovative Public and Private Partnerships.”  Among those testifying was Andrew Sherrill, Director U.S. Government Accountability Office, who discussed a GAO report released this week titled, “WIA Innovative Collaborations between Workforce Boards and Employers Helped Meet Local Needs.”


The Administration released the President’s FY13 Budget (Department of Education budget materials).