Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – May 26, 2015

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


The House passed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 by a vote of 217 to 205. This bill reauthorizes the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related agencies.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced four Higher Education Act reauthorization working groups on accountability, accreditation, college affordability and financial aid and campus sexual assault and safety.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee passed the STEM Education Act of 2015 by a voice vote. This bill, passed by the House in February, 2015 by a vote of 412 to 8, would add computer science to the definition of STEM and supports existing STEM education programs at NSF.


The Senate Appropriations Committee approved their 302b allocations (individual subcommittee allocations). The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee received an allocation of $153.2 billion for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations bill. This amount is nearly identical to the House 302b for their subcommittee and is $3.6 billion less than the FY2015 level.


The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a First Look for Public School Safety and Discipline: 2013–14, providing data on safety and discipline plans as well as practices and frequencies of specific discipline issues.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) reported that according to new NCES data, the reported prevalence of bullying among students ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22 percent in 2013, after remaining at approximately 28 percent for a decade.

Inside Higher Ed reported the Administration may be considering an experimental sites initiative allowing incarcerated individuals to access Pell Grants.

ED updated its regulatory agenda for pending rules, officially shifting the anticipated timeline for a final teacher preparation rule from mid-2015 to October, 2015.