Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up — June 27, 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, July 5.

The House Education and Workforce Committee passed the following bills by voice vote: H.R. 5529, Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act; H.R. 5530, HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act; H.R. 5528, Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act; H.R. 3179, Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act; and H.R. 3178, Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act. These bills now await consideration by the full House or Representatives.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a committee hearing on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with an update from the U.S. Secretary of Education John King on proposed regulations on Wednesday, June 29.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Transportation will markup S. 3084, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act on Wednesday, June 29.


The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released joint guidance for States, school districts and child welfare agencies on provisions in ESSA for supporting children in foster care.

ED released a Dear Colleague letter on the importance and utility of stakeholder engagement as States and local educational agencies (LEAs) implement ESSA. ED included guidance, resources and examples of stakeholder engagement for States and LEAs to consider.

ED announced ten winners of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge. The challenge entailed high schools creating models for transforming classrooms and other available spaces into places where students have access to tools to design, build and innovate.

ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid updated its data center to include data on district-level Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates and the total fiscal year-to-date dollar amount recovered in defaulted student loans by guaranty agency and collection type.

ED announced the 16 States that won School Improvement Grants to continue their work to turn around the persistently lowest-achieving schools in their States.


The Supreme Court upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race and ethnicity in their college admissions process in a 4–3 ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.