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

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (May 14 – 18) in Washington.


The Department has announced an event to release the proposed requirements for Race to the Top district-level grants on May 22.  The Department will accept comments for a short period after the announcement, and award grants before the end of the calendar year.


The House Committee on Education & the Workforce continues discussions on a possble markup of  H.R. 4297 (the Workforce Investment Improvement Act) in the near future.

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing on Thursday on “Exploring State Success in Expanding Parent and Student Options” which covered state efforts to increase scholarship programs, expansion of charter school laws, and implementing a parent trigger.


Senator Coons (D-DE) and Senator Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bill on Thursday that would keep foreign-born U.S. grad students in the United States. The SMART Jobs Act of 2012 would create a new visa for foreign-born, American-educated holders of advanced degrees.

With the Senate failing to invoke cloture on Senator Reid’s bill (S.2343: Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012) last week, discussions continue to extend the 3.4 percent student loan interest rate on subsidized student loans.


The Senate Appropriations Committee may mark up a FY13 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill in early June.