Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up — June 13, 2016

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


House Republicans released a new set of proposals focused on poverty, opportunity and upward mobility, the first piece of their policy agenda, A Better Way. This included recommendations for strengthening early childhood development, supporting at-risk youth, improving career and technical education, strengthening America’s higher education system and improving nutrition for students and working families.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a committee hearing on implementation of the Child Care Development Block Grant on Wednesday, June 15. Linda Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary For Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Sheila Hoyle, Executive Director, Southwestern Child Development Commission; Le’Vaughn Johnson Westbrook, Parent; Margaret Williams, Executive Director, Maryland Family Network; and Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, Commissioner, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood will testify.


The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed their Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill by a vote of 29 to 1. The bill provides $12.04 billion for the U.S. Department of Labor, cutting the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State formula programs by $74 million; $76.9 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health; and $ 67.8 billion for the U.S. Department of Education (ED), a $220 million decrease compared to FY2016. The ED portion of the bill restored a version of the Summer Pell program and rescinded $1.2 billion in unobligated Pell Grant funding from the current near $8 billion projected surplus.


ED’s Office of Civil Rights released new data from the 2013–2014 school year that indicates continued gaps in educational equity and opportunity for students, including disparities around incidents of discipline, restraint and seclusion, access to courses and programs that lead to college and career readiness, teacher equity, rates of retention and access to early learning.

The White House and ED announced 20 new communities that have joined the My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentors Initiative, an initiative focused on chronic student absenteeism.

The White House will host the United State of Women Summit on Tuesday, June 14. The summit will focus on economic empowerment, health and wellness, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation and leadership and civic engagement.

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report, Public Education Finances: 2014, which indicates that per pupil spending in K-12 education rose 2.7 percent from 2013 to 2014 — the largest rate increase since 2008.