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

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

The House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, and the bill passed the committee on a party line vote of 23-16. The bill would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Several amendments were offered during the markup:

  • Rep. Rokita (R-IN) offered a substitute amendment that was adopted.
  • Rep. Miller (D-CA) offered a Democratic substitute amendment that was not adopted.
  • Rep. Heck (R-NV) offered an amendment that would expand dual enrollment programs, and the amendment was adopted.
  • Rep. Thompson (R-PA) offered and then withdrew an amendment that would change the Title I funding formula.

Education Weekreported that the legislation is a possibility for House floor action during the month of July.

The House Education and the Workforce’s Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “School Meal Regulations: Discussing the Costs and Consequences for Schools and Students” on June 27.

The Senate continued debate on S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, and floor debate will continue into this week.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced in a letter to chief state school officers that the Department will allow states that have received ESEA waivers or Race to the Top grants to request a delay in implementing their teacher evaluation systems until the 2016-17 school year. The state must put in a request to the Department to implement this delay.  As part of this letter, Duncan also announced that states which are piloting new assessments next school year (2013-2014) may also request a waiver to assess students using the pilot or regular assessment (but not both) and freeze their current accountability status for one school year. The related materials released by the Department include a fact sheet and an ESEA flexibility state-by-state timeline implementation chart.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved FY14 302(b) spending allocations on Thursday. The Labor, HHS, Education allocation is $164.33 billion.  This compares to the House level of $121 billion for this subcommittee.  It is likely that the Senate subcommittee markup on the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill will take place in early to mid-July.

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