Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: August 12

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (August 5 – 9) in Washington.  

The U.S. Department of Education announced that they have approved the NCLB waiver request from the California CORE Districts. This is the first district-level NCLB waiver granted by the Department. The districts include Fresno Unified, Long Beach Unified, Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified, San Francisco Unified, Sanger Unified, and Santa Ana Unified. The application is available here.

On Friday, President Obama signed into law H.R. 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The legislation sets interest rates on student loans based on the 10-year Treasury bill plus an add-on and a cap on rates, depending on the type of loan. For undergraduate loans, the add-on would be 2.05% and the cap would be 8.25%.  For graduate loans, the add-on would be 3.6% and the cap would be 9.5%.  For PLUS loans, the add-on would be 4.6% and the cap would be 10.5%.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum to all heads of federal departments and agencies on the use of evidence, evaluation, and innovation in the development of 2015 budget submissions. This memorandum follows on a similar, yet slightly less directive memorandum, from last year.

The U.S. Department of Education formally announced the list of negotiators for the upcoming negotiated rulemaking session on gainful employment issues.  The first meeting of the negotiators will be September 9 through 11.

The House and Senate are in recess and will return to session the week of September 9.

Senator Schumer publicly stated that he would be open to considering a series of bills on immigration reform, rather than a single bill approach.  The House of Representatives has signaled that immigration reform would be considered through a series of bills in that body, unlike the Senate approach of one comprehensive bill.

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