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


The U.S. Senate confirmed Gwen Graham to be the Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Roberto J. Rodríguez to be the Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at ED and Elizabeth Merrill Brown to be ED’s General Counsel. All nominees were confirmed by a voice vote.

The U.S. Senate voted, by a 50 to 49 margin, to discharge the nomination of Catherine Lhamon to be the Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights at ED from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Further Senate floor action on the Lhamon nomination has not been announced at this time.

The U.S. Senate voted 50 to 48 to extend the Federal debt limit by $480 billion. The legislation now returns to the House where it is expected to be considered on Tuesday of next week.


ED announced changes it intends to make to improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and released a fact sheet on these changes.

ED conducted its first of three negotiated rulemaking sessions on higher education affordability and student loans.

ED announced the establishment of an Office of Enforcement within Federal Student Aid (FSA).

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an effort to pursue civil penalties against for-profit institutions of higher education if such institutions make deceptive or misleading claims related to career outcomes of their graduates and other related matters.

ED approved four more State plans (Missouri, Arizona, Michigan and Wyoming) for the use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds under the American Rescue Plan.


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