Washington Wrap Up — April 26, 2016

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

Of Note: The White House announced $100 million in grants to help community colleges partner with local businesses and organizations, such as nonprofits and workforce development boards, to expand tuition-free training programs.

Last Week in Congress and the Administration


The U.S. Department of Labor announced plans to invest $90 million in additional funds to expand apprenticeship through ApprenticeshipUSA.

A federal judge ruled that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools did not have to comply with a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau civil investigative demand issued in August, 2015.

The U.S. Department of Education released a letter providing clarification for accreditors on the flexibility that they have in differentiating their reviews. The letter encourages use of that flexibility in order to focus on student achievement and problematic institutions or programs.

The Brookings Institution announced that Former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has joined the Brookings Institution as a nonresident senior fellow in the Governance Studies program’s Brown Center on Education Policy.

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

Op Ed: Why Bernie Sanders’s free college plan doesn’t make sense [The Washington Post]

White House launches $100M competition to expand tuition-free community college [The Washington Post]

Education Dept. Warns of More Scrutiny for Accreditors [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

How Forgiving Student Loans Helps Farmers [The Atlantic]

Report: How Are Colleges Tackling Rising Wi-Fi Costs? [Inside Higher Ed]
Association for College and University Technology Advancement and the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International Report: 2016 State of the Residential Network

Critics protest handling of rights to hacktivist Aaron Swartz’s writings [Inside Higher Ed]

Benefits of Bernie Sanders’s free college plan are bigger for higher-income families, analysis finds [The Wall Street Journal]
Brookings Institute Report: “Who would benefit most from free college?”

Arne Duncan Joins Brookings Institution as a Fellow [Education Week]

i3 Grants to Focus on Diversity, Climate, College Readiness, Non-Cognitive Skills [Education Week]

As Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ turns two, officials believe it will endure [The Washington Post]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Press Release: Murray Highlights Her Continued Work to Expand Apprenticeships Across the Country

Senate Committee on the Budget
April 27: Full Committee Hearing: “Fixing the Budget Process: Better Budgets, Better Results”
Witnesses: Mr. Barry Anderson, Former Acting Director, CBO; Mr. James C. Capretta, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, American Enterprise Institute; Mr. Stan Collender, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP
10:30 a.m. in 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Budget Committee to Hold April 27 Hearing on Fixing the Budget Process: Better Budgets, Better Results

Documents and webcast of last week’s Full Committee Hearing: “Fixing Broken Budget Process and Restoring Stability to Govt. Operations”

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Schedule for the Week of April 25, 2016

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
Press Release: Commerce Schedules Legislative Markup of FCC Reauthorization and Six Other Bills

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

White House:

  • Blog: States and Local Leaders Join the Push for Free Community College
  • Press Release: Dr. Jill Biden to Deliver Address at Northern Virginia Community College
  • Press Release: Fact sheet: My Brother’s Keeper – Two Years of Expanding Opportunity and Creating Pathways for Success

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: Investing in Apprenticeship, Investing in Our People
  • Blog: A Pivotal Moment for Apprenticeships
  • Blog: DOL in Action

Institute of Education Sciences:

  • Report: Can scores on an interim high school reading assessment accurately predict low performance on college readiness exams?
  • Report: A Review of the Literature to Identify Leading Indicators Related to Hispanic STEM Postsecondary Educational Outcomes

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.4294: SAVERS Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6] (introduced 12/18/2015) Cosponsors (38)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Education and the Workforce
House Reports: 114-512 Part 1, 114-512 Part 2
Latest Major Action: 4/20/2016 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 392.

H.R.5016: To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require the Secretary of Education to provide student borrowers with instruction in general principles of financial literacy through its online counseling tool, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] (introduced 4/20/2016) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 4/20/2016 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.RES.692: Honoring the 250th anniversary of the founding of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Sponsor: Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] (introduced 4/19/2016) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 4/19/2016 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

S.AMDT.3787 to S.2012 To provide for the establishment of free market enterprise zones in order to help facilitate the creation of new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhanced and renewed educational opportunities, and increased community involvement in bankrupt or economically distressed areas.
Sponsor: Sen Paul, Rand [KY] (introduced 4/13/2016) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 4/19/2016 Amendment SA 3787 ruled out of order by the chair.

S.2837: An original bill making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL] (introduced 4/21/2016) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Appropriations
Senate Reports: 114-239
Latest Major Action: 4/21/2016 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 432.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Grant Notice: Investing in Innovation Fund—Development Grants. Notice of Intent to Submit Pre-Application due May 10, 2016. Pre-applications due May 25, 2016. Full applications deadline to be announced.

ED Meeting Notice: President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The meeting will be held on May 3, 2016 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. and May 4, 2016 from 9:00-12:00 a.m. at the U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., 10th Floor, Washington, DC. 

DOL Comment Re quest: Ready to Work Partnership Grants Evaluation. Comments due June 24, 2016.