Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – November 23, 2015

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


The House and Senate are in recess, they will return on November 30.

House and Senate conferees approved the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) conference report as amended by a vote of 38 to 1. Per Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), legislative language for this bill will be available on November 30 and a House vote on the bill may occur on December 2 or December 3. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) indicated senators would have at least a week to review the bill before a Senate floor vote might occur.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Member Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) announced his plans to retire from Congress in January 2017, at the end of his current term.


The U.S. Department of Education (ED) approved nine additional states’ plans for equitable access to excellent educators. These plans are required by Title I of ESEA. Plans for eight other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are still under review.

ED released guidance clarifying that a student with a disability should have an individualized education program (IEP) that is aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

ED released its quarterly student aid report indicating enrollment in income-driven repayment plans have increased by 50 percent this year, delinquent student loan payments of 31 days or more have decreased 2.3 percent this year and two-thirds of freshman only designate one school on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

ED reported findings that programs at Corinthian Colleges’ Everest and WyoTech campuses misled students about their job placement after graduation. These campuses served approximately 85,000 students, who may now be eligible for student loan relief.

ED announced plans to expand their Competency-Based Education (CBE) experimental site to allow additional flexibility in how institutions provide federal student aid to students participating in CBE programs.