Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: August 26

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (August 19 – 23) in Washington. 

The President announced, at a speech in Buffalo, NY, a new package of proposals focused on rating colleges based on certain outcomes and using these ratings to influence the amount of financial aid a student can receive. In addition the package calls on colleges to innovate through competency-based education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and award student aid based on class completion. These proposals were made as part of a multi-city series of visits President Obama is making to promote a focus on higher education. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline and Senior Democratic Member George Miller both put out statements in reaction to the President’s proposals. Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander also put out statements.

The U.S. Department of Education approved Pennsylvania’s request for an ESEA waiver. With this approval 41 States, the District of Columbia, and California’s CORE districts have been approved for ESEA waivers.

The U.S. Department of Education also issued guidance on bullying of children with disabilities in the form of a new Dear Colleague letter. The guidance states that bullying of a child with a disability that prevents the student from receiving meaningful educational benefit is a denial of a free appropriate public education under the law.

The Department of Education published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal register that would terminate the use of the 2% assessment (alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards) for students with disabilities under Title I of ESEA after the 2013-2014 school year.  Comments are due by October 7thon this NPRM.

House and Senate
The House and Senate were in recess this past week and are scheduled to reconvene on September 9th.

Penn Hill Group provides a weekly list of grant opportunities, and summaries for select grants, including Race to the Top-District. Please visit our website for more information.