Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: January 21

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (January 13 –  17). 

The House and Senate passed an FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill last week sending the measure to President Obama for signature. The bill includes all 12 separate appropriations bills, including Labor, Health and Human Services and Education programs. The bill text and report language can be found here (Department of Education programs are in Division H, Title III of the omnibus bill.)

Many programs are increased above FY 2013 post-sequester levels but not completely restored to their pre-sequester levels. Even large and widely supported Department of Education programs (Title I, IDEA Grants to States, Career and Technical Education State Grants) are not completely restored to their pre-sequester FY 2013 levels. In addition, signature Obama Administration initiatives such as Investing in Innovation (i3) and School Improvement Grants are funded at post-sequester levels, and Race to the Top was cut below its pre-sequester FY 2013 level.

The House and Senate are in recess this week.

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, announced last week that he will not seek reelection at the end of the year. Also announcing his retirement at the end of this year is Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), a former Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and current member of the committee.

Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) announced his intention to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to amend the Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) to provide parents and students with increased access to their educational records, correct inaccuracies in their records and more closely control education records housed by third parties for school districts.

President Obama held a summit at the White House on Thursday with over 100 college leaders to discuss college access and affordability. College presidents were asked to commit to expanding college access for low-income students in order to attend the summit.

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