Washington Wrap Up — February 22, 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


The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a committee hearing on policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on Wednesday, February 24. Acting Secretary of Education John King will testify.


The Senate HELP Committee will hold an executive session on the nomination of John King to serve as Secretary of Education on Thursday, February 25.


The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) budget on Thursday, February 25. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell will testify.


President Obama signed H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act), into law. This law requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to spend at least $2.5 million each year on dyslexia research.

ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid issued a Dear Colleague letter notifying schools of the extension of the Perkins Loan Program through September 30, 2017, a result of the passage of the Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015.

ED continued negotiated rulemaking sessions this week on defense of repayment and other matters. A third session of meetings is expected to take place March 16–18.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]

Clyburn: Sander’s Plan would kill black colleges [The Hill]

Study: Faculty members skeptical of digital course materials, unfamiliar with OER [Inside Higher Ed]
Independent College Bookstore Association Report: “Going Digital: Faculty Perspectives on Digital and OER Course Materials”

Better Advising Beats Free Tuition for Improving Degree Completion, Say Experts [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Ithaka S+R Report: “Higher Ed Insights: Results of the Fall 2015 Survey”

‘Completion Grants’ Are Just One Part of the Student-Success Puzzle [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Report: “Foiling the Dropout Trap: Completion Grant Practices For Retaining and Graduating Students”

Op Ed: How to Help More College Students Graduate [The New York Times]

When Low-Income Parents Go Back to School [The Atlantic]

Carson hits Sanders on free college [The Hill]

New Paper Proposes Starting All Over on Federal Student Aid [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
New America Report: “Starting from Scratch: A New Federal and State Partnership in Higher Education”

Middle-class minorities are most at risk of falling behind on student loans, report says [The Washington Post]
The Washington Center for Equitable Growth Project:  “Mapping Student Debt”

Community college links increased student success to shorter terms but faculty members say there’s more to the story [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

House Education and the Workforce Committee
February 24: Full Committee Hearing: “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education”
Witness: Dr. John B. King, Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
10:00 a.m. in room 2175 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
February 25: Executive Session: Nomination of Dr. John King to serve as Secretary of Education
2:00 p.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Alexander: Congress Should Pass Bills this Year to Make it Easier for Tennessee Students to Attend College, Repay Loans

February 25: Hearing: Department of Health and Human Services
Witness: Honorable Sylvia Burwell, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
10:00 a.m. in 2358-C Rayburn House Office Building

Senate Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Budget Bulletin: President’s FY 2017 Budget – Education Proposals

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

Department of Education:

  • Blog: Learn the Secret to Expanding Your Student Loan Repayment Benefits
  • Blog: Which Income-Driven Repayment Plan is Right for You?

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: Innovation, Social Risk and the Future of Work
  • Blog: A Spotlight on Service: Leonard J. Howie III
  • Blog: DOL in Action

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Client Assistance Program (CAP). Comments due March 21, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-2019. Comments due April 18, 2016.

ED Meeting Notice: National Assessment Governing Board. Quarterly Meeting to be held March 3, 2016 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; March 4, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; March 5, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Hilton Arlington, 950 Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22203.

ED Comment Request: Student Assistance General Provisions—Financial Assistance for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. Comments due March 18, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) Evaluation Protocol. Comments due April 18, 2016.