Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap Up – March 19, 2018


Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is scheduled to testify before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Appropriations on her agency’s FY2019 budget request. The hearing is scheduled for March 20.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) issued a statement after the Trump Administration released its proposals for school safety.

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing entitled “Strengthening Access and Accountability to Work in Welfare Programs” to discuss the role of work in welfare programs.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Appropriations  held a hearing entitled “An Overview of the National Science Foundation Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2019” to discuss the agency’s funding request.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing entitled “FY2019 Budget Hearing – Department of Health and Human Services” to discuss funding for a variety programs within the agency.

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations has requested that Members send their programmatic and language submissions for consideration in the FY2019 appropriations bill by March 19. Please note that other subcommittees have different deadlines for submissions.


The Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled “See Something, Say Something: Oversight of the Parkland Shooting and Legislative Proposals to Improve School Safety” to focus on the tragic shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida and discuss potential legislation to address school safety.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved by voice vote the nominations of Frank Brogan to be Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and Mark Schneider to be Director of the Institute of Education Sciences. Former Florida Lt. Governor Brogan has been heading ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education as he awaits Senate confirmation. There is no timeline yet for when the full Senate will consider these nominations.

HELP Committee Raking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a statement on ED’s announcement asserting that State laws protecting students do not apply to student loan companies.

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Appropriations will accept written testimony from outside witnesses on FY2019 appropriations. Submissions are due by June 1, 2018.


Secretary DeVos announced the reallocation of $22.9 million in unexpended funds to assist students at colleges and universities located in Federal Emergency Management Agency-declared major disaster areas impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as postsecondary schools across the nation that have enrolled a significant number of students from the affected areas.

Secretary DeVos announced full forgiveness of the hurricane relief loans provided to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Secretary DeVos announced  new Federal assistance for students and schools impacted by the October 2017 California wildfires. The California Department of Education will receive $2 million in Project SERV funds to aid in their recovery efforts.

The Administration announced that Secretary DeVos will lead a school safety commission. The Commission will be comprised of Federal officials that will hear ideas and thoughts from people such as education practitioners, school safety experts and university officials among others.

This week the White House announced the nomination of Mark Schultz to be Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration at ED. Schultz is currently a Deputy Commissioner in the Nebraska Department of Education and he previously served as the Director of Vocational Rehabilitation.

ED concluded its third and final session of negotiated rulemaking on gainful employment regulations without reaching consensus. The Administration will now move forward with developing a proposed regulation that is not bound by the negotiated rulemaking process.

President Trump released a statement applauding the House for passing H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, and referred to it as an important step towards keeping American students safe.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with a summary of the following event next week:

  • March 20: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies: “FY2019 Budget Hearing – Department of Education”


Penn Hill Group provides a list of grant opportunities and summaries for select grants. Please visit our website for more information