Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: March 17

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (March 3 – 7).   

The Senate passed S.1086, a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, by a vote of 96-2 on Thursday.

The Senate confirmed the nominations of James H. Shelton to serve as Deputy Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education and France Cordova to serve as Director of the National Science Foundation.

The House Subcommittee on Research and Technology marked up H.R. 4186, the FIRST Act, which reauthorizes the America COMPETES Act. The bill was approved by the subcommittee. A date has not been announced for a full committee markup.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold two field hearings next week. The first hearing on March 18 will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada and is titled, “Reviving our Economy: How Career and Technical Education Can Strengthen the Workforce.” The second hearing is on March 20 in Mesa, Arizona, on “Supporting a 21st Century Workforce.”

Education Week is reporting that Chairman Kline (R-MN) and Senior Democrat George Miller (D-CA) of the House Education and the Workforce Committee are working on a bipartisan charter school bill.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report that found that the U.S. Department of Education could improve its oversight of default loan management and the student loan rehabilitation process. The report release coincided with a hearing in the House on the same topic.

The Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Education released a report on “Third-Party Servicer Use of Debit Cards to Deliver Title IV Funds.”

The U.S. Department of Education released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the gainful employment regulation on Friday. The NPRM is open for public comment for the next 60 days. A Negotiated Rulemaking committee failed to come to a consensus on the proposed regulation in meetings late last year.

The U.S. Department of Education announced the beginning of the next round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) competition. There is $134.8 million available for this round of the competition. The Department is asking for development grant applications first. Applicants must submit a pre-application by April 14, and the highest-rated applicants will be invited to apply. Details on the validation and scale-up grants will come at a later date.

The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services are seeking additional comment on their Preschool Development Grants Competition funded through the Race to the Top initiative. Comments can be submitted through their dedicated website and are due by March 21, 2014. They will also host a public meeting to obtain additional input on March 20, 2014 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.  

Penn Hill Group provides a list of grant opportunities and summaries for select grants. Please visit our website for more information.