Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – December 21, 2016

A quick look back at the news from last week. 



House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and incoming Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued statements opposing U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary John King’s upholding of ED’s decision to terminate Federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) issued statements applauding ED’s final “disproportionality” rule, which amends the regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and focuses on the overrepresentation of students of color in special education.

The House Freedom Caucus released a list of rules, regulations and executive orders made by past administrations to examine and eliminate in the first 100 days of president-elect Trump’s Administration.


HELP Committee Ranking Member Murray and House Committee Ranking Member Scott issued statements applauding Secretary King’s upholding of ED’s decision to terminate the recognition of ACICS.


ED released the final regulations regarding disproportionality in the identification of students with disabilities under IDEA, as well as released a Fact Sheet on the regulations.

ED Secretary King upheld ED’s decision to withdraw Federal recognition of ACICS. ED is informing colleges accredited by ACICS of additional operating conditions required for continued participation in Federal student aid programs.

ED announced a new experimental site initiative on expanded loan counseling for student borrowers. ED also released a college completion toolkit.

ED announced a new grant competition—Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities—to support districts and their communities increase diversity in schools. All districts with schools that receive or are eligible to receive School Improvement Grant funds may apply. The application is open until February 13, 2017.

ED released final regulations on State authorization requirements for institutions with distance education programs to participate in the Federal student aid programs. The regulations also address State and Federal oversight of American colleges operating in foreign locations worldwide.

ED announced the launch of the Education Innovation and Research grant competition for 2017.

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule that updates equal employment opportunity requirements. It also extends protections against discrimination in apprentice hiring and provides apprenticeship programs with additional time to develop initial affirmative action programs.

The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report on the Administration’s work to advance equity for women and girls of color.

The White House released a Fact Sheet on the new Federal commitments in support of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.