Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – April 20, 2015

A quick look at the news from last week, compiled by Penn Hill Group: 


The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a subcommittee hearing on April 22 on challenges facing Native American schools. Witnesses for this hearing have not yet been announced.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a markup on April 22 on the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, which reauthorizes the U.S. National Science Foundation and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related agencies.


The Senate passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 by a vote of 92 to 8. This bill provides an additional $800 million in mandatory funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and restored funding for the lapsed Secure Rural Schools program. The bill was then signed by the President.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act, legislation that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), by a vote of 22 to 0. With 29 amendments approved, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he looks forward to the bill being taken up by the full Senate, with opportunity for further amendment, discussion and debate before the Memorial Day recess. Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) called for continued bipartisan compromise on key issues as the bill progresses.


Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) and House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) announced that conferees for the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Conference will meet on April 20.


The U.S. Department of Education (ED) fined Corinthian Colleges Inc. $29.6 million for 947 cases of misrepresentation of job placement rates for current and prospective students in Corinthian’s Heald College system.

Inside Higher Ed reported ED approved two more direct-assessment programs, programs that are not based on credit hours. The approval of Walden University’s Tempo Learning program and the Texas State College System’s industrial systems technology program brings the total number of institutions with approval from both ED and regional accreditors for direct-assessment programs to six.