Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: May 5

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (April 28– May 2).


The National Center for Education Statistics released a report on public high school four-year, on-time graduation rates and dropout rates for school years 2010-11, and 2011-12. The report states that the four-year graduation rate rose slightly to 80 percent in 2011-12.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a new Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program which will provide $150 million in funding to states to train unemployed workers.

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault issued its first report, which encourages colleges to conduct annual “climate surveys” to gauge the prevalence of sexual assaults and students’ knowledge of and attitudes on rape. The U.S. Department of Education also released policy guidance on Title IX and sexual violence, and a list of higher education institutions with open Title IX sexual violence investigations.

The White House released a report on data and privacy titled “Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.” Among other findings and recommendations, the report highlighted the need to ensure that individual student data can be used for educational purposes, but that privacy of this data must be maintained and protected.

President Obama plans to nominate Robert Gordon to be the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development at the U.S. Department of Education. Gordon is currently at the Brookings Institution, and is also a former acting Deputy Director at the Office of Management and Budget. Gordon will replace Carmel Martin, who left the Department last year. Gabriella Gomez is currently the acting secretary in this position.


The House Committee on Rules announced that it may meet this week to grant a rule to bring H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act, to the House floor. Members must submit amendments by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6.

Committee reports have been filed for H.R. 4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act, and H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act. Both bills were marked up by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in early April.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 8 to discuss issues surrounding the potential unionizing of student athletes.


The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 8 on the nomination of Secretary of Health and Human Services-Designate Sylvia Mathews Burwell.


The House of Representatives passed the FY 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill last week by a vote of 416 to 1.

The House Appropriations Committee released its FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which was marked up and approved by the CJS subcommittee on Thursday. The committee has not announced a date for full committee consideration.

The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 6 on the President’s FY 2015 education budget request, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan testifying.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education will hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 7 on the President’s FY 2015 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services.


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