Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up: August 18

A quick look at the news from last week:


The House and Senate are in recess until September 8.

House education committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senate education committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) look into the Department of Education’s waiver policies for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, specifically what information the Department based state wavier decisions on, how states have been impacted by the waivers and how timelines and policies in the waivers are being implemented or adjusted.

Senate education committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the other Republican members of the committee wrote Education Secretary Duncan requesting information on the authority Duncan is utilizing to adopt the new Results Driven Accountability system for states under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Specifically the letter questioned the Department’s use of National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) tests as an element of the accountability matrix on which states are being measured.


The U.S. Department of Education announced the opening of the Preschool Development Grant competition — $250 million is available for states through Development or Expansion Grants for preschool programs for low- and moderate-income families. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. Grant applications are due October 14, 2014.

The U.S. Department of Education granted extensions of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) state waivers for five states: Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin. They join 13 other states that thus far have been granted extensions on their waivers through the 2014-15 school year.

The U.S. Department of Education has asked for public comments on implementing certain portions of the recently-passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Specifically, they’ve asked for comments on issues relating to the WIOA sections on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Title IV in WIOA) and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II in WIOA). Comments are due August 29, 2014.