Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up — April 11, 2016

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


The House is in recess and will return on Tuesday, April 12.


The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a committee hearing on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act in states and school districts on Tuesday, April 12. Secretary of Education, John King, will testify.


The U.S. Department of Education (ED) completed its second negotiated rulemaking session. Consensus was not reached on Title I Assessments and Supplement/Not Supplant. The negotiated rulemaking committee will hold a third session on April 18 and 19.

ED has transmitted other Title I regulations on state plans and accountability requirements to the Office of Management and Budget for review. This likely means a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be out in the next few months.

ED’s Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Michael Yudin, has announced he will be leaving ED on April 30. Deputy Assistant Secretary Sue Swenson will lead the office.

The White House sent three nominations for ED positions to the Senate for confirmation. These nominations include: Matthew Lehrich to be Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach; Amy McIntosh to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development; and Antonia Whalen to be Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

ED proposed new standards around how and when college accreditors have to alert ED about troubled institutions. ED is soliciting public comments on a letter it plans to send to accreditors that outlines these new standards and a spreadsheet that accreditors will use to report this information. Comments are due June 6, 2016.

ED announced plans to implement a new student loan servicing system that includes: standard, ED-branded communication to borrowers; a single web portal; reduced instances of loan transfers; enhanced oversight and accountability; and a single platform for all federal student loans.

ED published two Federal Register notices this week on Title IV student aid program integrity issues. First, ED has made technical corrections to the final cash management regulation that was published in October of last year. ED made a number of corrections that would have otherwise limited institutions in disbursing non-Title IV aid (i.e. private scholarships, etc.) along with Title IV aid. These corrections will take effect on July 1, 2016. Second, ED is using its ability to expedite the effective dates of regulations for two provisions of the program integrity rules regarding repeat coursework and a depository requirement under the cash management rules. The repeat coursework rules allow Title IV aid to be used to pay the costs of a course previously taken, up to one retaking of a course, for the purposes of determining a student’s full-time status. The cash management requirement pertains to institutions maintaining Title IV aid in an interest-bearing depository account and rules for foreign institutions in selecting such an account. These provisions became effective April 7, 2016.