Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: September 24

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (September 17-21) in Washington.

The Administration released the report required by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 that provides further information on the impact of budget sequestration. The report states that there will be an 8.2% cut to non-defense discretionary programs, and a 7.6% cut to non-defense mandatory programs. For the most part, these cuts would be made across the board to education programs, with the exception of Pell which is exempt from sequestration cuts in FY 2013. Origination fees on student loans would be raised in proportion to the cut to non-defense mandatory programs.

The Department will be releasing the most recent 2 year and 3 year cohort default rates sometime next week. The 3 year cohort default rate, while official with this release, does not carry sanctions with it until there are three annual sets of such default rates.

The Institute of Education Sciences released a report with details on entities that received stimulus dollars for education, and evaluation of the Recovery Act’s role on education reform in those states and localities (analysis from Education Week).

The Department of Education released 2011 NAEP writing results last week, showing that only one quarter of students in grades 8 and 12 are performing at proficient level.

The House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training held a hearing on “Assessing College Data: Helping to Provide Valuable Information to Students, Institutions, and Taxpayers.”

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions filed their committee report on the ESEA reauthorization bill that was marked up by the committee in October 2012. The bill has been assigned a number (S. 3578), and while the Senate Report is not public as of yet, it should be released soon.

Appropriators released the text of the six month Continuing Resolution last week that will keep the federal government operating through the end of March 2013. The House passed the CR late on September 14th, and the Senate passed the CR early on Saturday morning, setting up the final vote for this week, or possibly next week.