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

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


A floor vote for Speaker of the House is scheduled to occur on Thursday, October 29.

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a subcommittee hearing on career and technical education on Tuesday, October 27.


Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, requesting ED take immediate action against for-profit colleges who have access to federal funding and are under investigation for “fraudulent behavior.”

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) wrote U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Ashton Carter expressing concern over DOD’s recent decision to put the University of Phoenix on probation for its participation in the DOD’s Tuition Assistance program. They asked Secretary Carter to reconsider this decision.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a committee hearing on the nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday, October 28.


ED released a resource guide for educators, school leaders and community organizations regarding supporting undocumented students in high school and college.

ED released preliminary high school graduation rates for the 2013–14 school year, indicating 36 states have increased their overall graduation rates, while 6 states saw decreases and 8 states saw no change since the 2012–13 school year.

First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Better Make Room” public awareness campaign as a part of her “Reach Higher” initiative to encourage students to earn a degree or certificate beyond high school.

ED approved 16 additional states’ plans for equitable access to excellent educators. These plans are required by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Plans for 17 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are still under review.