Washington Wrap Up — January 25, 2016

Below is an abridged version of RAMC’s weekly Washington Wrap Up. Find out more about Wrap Up and other RAMC resources here.

Last Week in Congress and the Administration


In an interview with The Hill, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the second-highest-ranking Republican member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, endorsed Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) as the Committee’s next Chairwoman. Current Chairman John Kline (R-MN) previously announced his plans to retire at the end of this Congress.

The House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on educational opportunity and school choice has been postponed, it was originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 26. 


The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee passed the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, a bill to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, by a voice vote. The bill now awaits floor consideration. A similar bill has yet to be introduced in the House. 


The Administration announced two Pell Grant proposals: Pell for Accelerated Completion, which would allow full-time students to earn an additional Pell award for a third semester of Pell Grants in an academic year; and On-Track Pell Bonus, which would increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $300 for students who take at least 15 credits per semester in an academic year. 

The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Research and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of the Early Learning Network, a new research network focused on early childhood education. 

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and HHS released a letter discussing the link between health and education and a toolkit to help districts integrate health services into schools. 

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon sent a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) stating that in the coming months ED will publish a list of religious colleges that have received exemptions from certain provisions of Title IX, a gender-equity law. 

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics released its “Campus Climate Survey Validation Study Final Technical Report,” which indicated that about 1 in 10 female undergraduate students were sexually assaulted last academic year.  

Education News Headlines

[Click on the link to read the article online]

State support for higher education rises 4.1 percent in 2016 [Inside Higher Ed]

Why the price tag of a college degree continues to rise [The Washington Post]
Delta Cost Project Report: “Trends in College Spending: 2003-2013: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does It Go? What Does It Buy?”

When College Scholarships Falter [The New York Times]

Senate Democrats launch campaign to reduce student debt [The Washington Post]

New Complete College America data on remediation show progress [Inside Higher Ed]

The Cost of Balancing Academia and Racism [The Atlantic]

Op Ed: Student privacy legislation requires a surgical approach [The Hill]

Professors’ Union Bid at Private College Fails Under New Federal Standards [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

The 2016 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Chief Academic Officers [Inside Higher Ed]

Op Ed: Religious exemptions or equal protection in education? [The Hill]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

House Education and the Workforce Committee 
POSTPONEDJanuary 26: Full Committee Hearing: “Expanding Educational Opportunity Through School Choice”
Witnesses: to be announced
10:00 a.m. in room HVC-210 Capitol Visitor Center

Senate Committee on the Budget
January 26: Committee Hearing: “Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2016 – 2026”
Witness: Dr. Keith Hall, Director, Congressional Budget Office
10:30 a.m. in 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Committee on the Budget
January 27: Committee Hearing: CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook
Witness: Keith Hall, Director, Congressional Budget Office
9:30 a.m. in 210 Cannon House Office Building

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

White House

  • Blog: The President and First Lady Address the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Department of Education:

  • Blog: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Women Developers Got Game

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: We All Need Mentors!
  • Blog: DOL in Action

Legislative Movement in Congress

S.2462: A bill to amend section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude Federal student aid from taxable gross income.
Sponsor: Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] (introduced 1/21/2016) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 1/21/2016 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
Press Release: Blumenthal Announces Comprehensive Legislation to Ease Student Loan Debt

S.2463: A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for a percentage of student loan forgiveness for public service employment, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] (introduced 1/21/2016)      Cosponsors (1)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 1/21/2016 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S.2457: A bill amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the exclusion for employer-provided education assistance to employer payments of student loans.
Sponsor: Sen Warner, Mark R. [VA] (introduced 1/20/2016) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 1/20/2016 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Campus Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) Survey. Comments due March 21, 2016.

ED Grant Notice Correction: Talent Search program

ED Notice: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs 2016-2017 award year deadline dates