Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – September 21, 2015

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


The House Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 2940, the Educator Tax Relief Act of 2015, which makes tax credits for teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies (up to $250 annually) permanent.

The Wall Street Journal reported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this year’s budget negotiations may lead to increased discretionary spending caps. They also reported Republicans are currently deciding on whether or not to pursue an effort to cut funding for Planned Parenthood as part of a short term continuing resolution.


The U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the College Scorecard, providing data on college costs and student outcomes. The Council of Economic Advisers also released a paper discussing how federal data can be used to measure and improve outcomes within higher education.

The Administration announced that beginning in 2016, Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) applicants will be able to complete the form starting in the month of October for the following academic year, utilizing “prior-prior” tax information (information from a student or family’s tax return that is filed two tax years prior to the year in which the student attends college).

ED and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance on the inclusion of children with disabilities in early learning programs.

ED announced Andrew Marcinek will serve as the first open education adviser in the Office of Educational Technology, focusing on expanding schools’ access to high-quality, openly-licensed learning resources.

HHS and several other agencies and departments released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on better protecting human subjects involved in research. This NPRM also aims to update a common set of regulations, first established in 1991, governing this type of research when it is funded by the federal government.