Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: August 19

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (August 12 – 16) in Washington.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that they have approved the NCLB waiver request from Maine. Forty states, D.C., and the California CORE Districts now have NCLB waivers. The Department has also sent letters to WashingtonKansasOregon approving their requests to extend their ESEA flexibility waivers through the end of the 2013 – 2014 school year.  However, citing concern with aspects of their implementation, these states have also been placed on “high-risk status” meaning further extensions are unlikely without addressing the outstanding conditions placed on the original approval of their flexibility waivers.

On August 13, the U.S. Department of Education published final amendments to the Education Department General Administration Regulations (EDGAR), which govern the administration of the Department’s formula and competitive grant programs. The Department published its initial proposals for EDGAR revisions in a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (NPRM) on December 14 of last year.

Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, who oversees higher education issues, announced that she is leaving the U.S. Department of Education to “return to academia.”

The U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter on State Authorization Regulations. The letter provides guidance on the documentation of “other actions” that institutions may use to establish that they have met the state authorization regulatory requirements, guidance regarding state recognition of educational programs beyond secondary education, and examples of alternative state approval or licensing.

House Committee on Education and the Workforce members, Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ.), asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine how enrollment levels of English Language Learners (ELLs) in charter schools compare to traditional public schools.  GAO was unable to compare ELL enrollment in charter schools to ELL enrollment in traditional public schools due to unreliable and incomplete data on school-level ELL enrollment.

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

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