Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: October 21

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (October 14 –  18) in Washington.

On Wednesday, Congress passed and the President signed into law a measure (H.R. 2775) ending the government shutdown and extending the federal debt limit. This legislation passed the House on a 285-144 vote and the Senate on a 81-18 vote. The legislation contains a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that funds the federal government through January 15, 2014 at the FY2013 spending levels, and an extension of the federal debt limit until February 7, 2014. As part of the agreement to pass this legislation, the House and Senate have gone to conference on the 2014 budget resolution, with instructions to report back by December 13, 2013. The legislation also extends, through the 2015-16 school year, the authority provided in Department of Education regulations to consider teachers who do not yet have full state certification or licensure, but are in an alternative certification program, to be considered highly-qualified teachers under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The Senate will be in recess through October 28, 2013. The House of Representatives will be in session this week.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions rescheduled an Executive Session forOctober 30. At this session the nominations of the General Counsel and Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the Department of Education will be considered.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions filed their committee report for S. 1094, the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013, which was marked up in June of this year. The bill would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revised filing deadlines that occurred during the government shutdown or that will occur on or before October 21. This applies to the notice of proposed rulemaking on plans to modernize the E-Rate program for broadband in schools and libraries. Comments were due by September 16 and there was an additional deadline of October 16 to reply to posted comments, or expand and clarify your own comments. The new deadline for reply comments is November 8, 2013.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that 16 states and the District of Columbia have submitted applications for the second round of the Race to the Top -Early Learning Challenge program. There is $280 million available for this round of the competition.

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