A quick look back at the news from last week. Compiled by Penn Hill Group.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, and favorably reported it to the House, as amended, by a party-line vote of 23-17.
House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats released a statement opposing H.R. 4508.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown and keep the government open until January 19, 2018. In addition to extending the existing CR, which expires on December 22, the bill would fund U.S. Department of Defense appropriations for the entire fiscal year at a higher level than presently permitted under budget caps, extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five years and prohibit sequestration cuts from taking place. Press outlets have also reported that when the Senate considers the bill, the body may seek to strip the full year defense funding, add disaster relief aid and possibly establish new defense and non-defense spending caps, which would require that the legislation be sent back to the House.
House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a statement opposing ED’s decision to request comments on whether to delay, for two years, the effective date of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) disproportionality regulations promulgated during the Obama Administration.
Congressional leaders have announced that an agreement on the tax bill has been reached. The agreement is expected to be voted on by the House and Senate this week. Press outlets have reported that provisions related to graduate student tuition waivers and the student loan interest deduction will not be in the agreement while the State and local tax deduction will be limited to $10,000 in property and State income taxes.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved and sent to the Senate floor seven nominees for ED and the U.S. Department of Labor.
21 Democratic Senators sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to delay the proposed vote to repeal the net neutrality rules.
Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement opposing H.R. 4508.
Senators Patty Murray, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to ED Secretary DeVos and Federal Student Aid (FSA) Chief Operating Officer A. Wayne Johnson requesting information on ED’s plans to change monitoring and enforcement tactics for Federal student aid programs and urging ED to maintain aggressive enforcement and monitoring of colleges.
The Office of Management and Budget released a revised unified regulatory agenda. At ED, the agenda included future proposed regulations regarding criteria for charter school replication and expansion grants, as well as Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The agenda also indicated that proposed versions of new Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment regulations would be out in the late spring/early summer of 2018. In addition, the agenda signaled that the Administration will request comments on whether to delay, for two years, the effective date of the IDEA disproportionality regulations promulgated during the Obama Administration.
The FCC voted to repeal the net neutrality rules by a vote of 3-2.
The Washington Post reported that the California Attorney General sued ED for allegedly failing to process debt relief claims submitted by former Corinthian Colleges students. The attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York and Illinois also sued ED alleging that the Trump Administration is violating Federal law by refusing to hand down decisions on pending claims.
ED provided Maryland with feedback on their State plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act and requested clarifying or additional information.
ED Secretary DeVos hosted a Rethink School Summit to highlight innovation in higher education and plans to host a summit to highlight innovation in K-12 education in the coming weeks.
President Trump announced his intent to nominate Frank Brogan to be the Assistant Secretary of Education for Elementary and Secondary Education at ED. Brogan served as chancellor of Pennsylvania’s public universities and formerly served as Lieutenant Governor of Florida. Prior to that, Brogan served as Florida’s Commissioner of Education.
Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:
- POSTPONED: House Education and the Workforce Committee Markup: H.R. 4508, “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act”