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


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and other Senate GOP leaders released the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections and Schools (HEALS) Act this week. The HEALS Act encompasses a series of bills that outline Senate GOP priorities for the next COVID-19 relief package, including the Coronavirus Response Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act (S.4320) and the Safely Back to School and Back to Work Act (S.4322), providing $105 billion in overall funding for education. The bill also includes provisions to reduce student loan repayment plan options to two options: a ten-year standard repayment plan and an income-driven repayment plan.

The House passed Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) Child Care is Essential Act (H.R.7027) and Rep. Nita Lowey’s (D-NY) Child Care for Economic Recovery Act (H.R.7327).

The House passed a $1.3 trillion, six-bill appropriations minibus that includes its Labor, Health and Human Services and Related Agencies (LHHS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations bill.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on how school districts can improve access for individuals with disabilities.

After last votes this week, Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that House Members would be kept up to date on COVID-19 relief package negotiations and that Members would be given 24 hours’ notice when they would be expected back in DC to vote on the package.


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week that it would not permit new international students taking classes entirely online to study in the U.S.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans this week to deny new applications to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and shorten the program’s status renewal period to one year.

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) voted 9-2 against ED’s recommendations to suspend the Higher Learning Commission’s accrediting powers for a year and will send the decision to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for review.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released its annual report on protecting students’ rights.


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