Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up — April 18, 2016

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


In response to testimony this week by U.S. Education Secretary John King on Elementary and Secondary Education Act regulations pertaining to Supplement/Not Supplant, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander stated he would consider using the appropriations process and other means to overturn these regulations, should the U.S. Department of Education (ED) not make changes to its proposal.


The Senate Appropriations Committee approved subcommittee allocations for fiscal year (FY) 2017 by a vote of 29–1. The subcommittee allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill is $161.9 billion. This is slightly less than $300 million below the FY2016 allocation for this subcommittee. The House Appropriations Committee has not approved 302b allocations for all subcommittees yet, having only set an interim 302b level for the Military Construction Subcommittee.


ED will hold its third negotiated rulemaking session on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from April 18–19. Title I Assessments and Supplement/Not Supplant will be addressed. Materials for this session can be found here. Today’s meeting will be held at ED’s Potomac Center offices, 555 12th Street, SW.

Secretary King said that draft regulations related to accountability are currently with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and that ED expects to publish them later this spring or this summer for comment. He said ED is also planning to develop regulations on state plans and the innovative assessment pilot; he said he expects those regulations to be out for public comment by the fall. He said ED’s goal is to have all ESSA regulations finalized by the end of the year so that states are in the position to submit plans in the spring and summer of 2017 and implement them in September 2017.

ED announced a new process to proactively identify and assist federal student loan borrowers with disabilities who may be eligible for Total and Permanent Disability loan discharge through a data match with the Social Security Administration.

ED issued a Dear Colleague letter to states, districts, schools and education partners regarding maximizing federal funds to support and enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.