Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – August 7, 2017

A quick look back at the news from last week. Compiled by Penn Hill Group.



House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos expressing their concerns about ED’s new approach to reviewing States’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. Bobby Scott released a joint statement praising the Senate’s passage of S.860, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2017.

The Senate confirmed Peter Oppenheim as Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) introduced S.354, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy, or RAISE Act, which is backed by President Trump. The bill aims to reduce overall legal immigration by half, while putting in place a new points-based system for applicants for employment-based green cards that would favor graduates of American universities.

The House and Senate will be in recess until after the September 4th Labor Day Holiday.

The Senate will convene several times during recess in pro forma sessions. No legislative business is expected, but keeping the Senate in session will prevent President Trump from making recess appointments.


ED published a Federal Register notice laying out new requirements for direct grants under the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) to bring the EDGAR evidence requirements into line with the tiered standards for evidence defined in ESSA.

ED Secretary DeVos approved Delaware’s ESSA plan, making it the first State to receive approval of its State plan under ESSA. Previously, ED questioned the ambitiousness of the State’s long-term goals and the use of Advanced Placement assessment scores as an accountability indicator.

New Jersey has asked ED Secretary DeVos for an ESSA waiver to test middle school students with an end-of-course math assessment in grades other than 8th grade, joining Florida and Kentucky, which also intend to ask for waivers.

ED announced that it is canceling an existing student loan servicing procurement and intends to issue a new procurement for Federal student loan servicing in the future.

ED Secretary DeVos released a statement following the Senate confirmation of Peter Oppenheim as Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs.