Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: May 12

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (May 5– May 9):


The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act, a bill to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) by a voice vote.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act by a vote of 360-45.


The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ted Mitchell as Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

A bipartisan group of Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) members – Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) – introduced the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act, which would make changes to the federal Charter Schools Program. The bill is similar to H.R. 10, which passed the House this week.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 13 on “Strengthening Minority Serving Institutions: Best Practices and Innovations for Student Success.”

The Senate HELP Committee will mark up S. ___, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, during an Executive Session on Wednesday, May 14. This is Chairman Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) version of the President’s proposed state Pre-K proposal.


The House Appropriations Committee released its committee report on 302(b) allocations for FY 2015. The allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee is $155.693 billion, which is 0.7 percent less than the final FY 2014 allocation.

The House Appropriations Committee released its FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill, which was marked up and approved by the subcommittee on Thursday.

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill (committee report), which passed by a voice vote.


The U.S. Department of Education told chief state school officers that it will put off review of the teacher and principal evaluation portions of state’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver extension applications for states that are proposing substantive changes to their teacher evaluation system. Specifically the Department stated that it will make extension decisions based on the other elements of state’s waiver applications and review the teacher and principal evaluation sections separately.

The U.S. Department of Education released Executive Summaries for its new Preschool Development Grant competition and is seeking comment on the summaries. There are two competitions –a development grant competition for states with small or no state-funded preschool program, and an expansion grant competition for states that have more robust programs or that have been awarded a Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge grant. Comments are due by May 16, 2014.

Education Secretary Duncan and Attorney General Holder released guidance for elementary and secondary schools to ensure that schools are enrolling all students regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.


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