Washington Wrap Up — May 17, 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 the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act on Tuesday, May 17. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA); Paul Tse, Project Manager, Shapiro & Duncan, Inc.; Jason Bates, Manager, Toyota-Bodine Aluminum, Inc.; and Dr. Monty Sullivan, President, Louisiana Community and Technical College System will testify.


The recent auction of ten-year notes by the U.S. Department of Treasury means student loan interest rates will decrease for the 2016–2017 school year. The auction in May of each year establishes the baseline for student loan interest rates for the coming school year. For new undergraduate student loans, the interest rate will decrease to 3.76 percent, from the current 4.29 percent. The rate on direct loans for graduate students will decrease from 5.84 percent this year to 5.31 percent. PLUS loans interest rates will be 6.31 percent, in comparison to the current 6.84 percent.

ED released a new resource guide, “Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals,” which encourages college admissions to consider alternatives to questions around criminal backgrounds in applications.

ED released a report titled “The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce.” The report indicates that less than one in five U.S. public school teachers—18 percent—are individuals of color, while approximately half—49 percent—of public elementary and secondary school students are individuals of color.

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

The Life of ‘The Party Decides’ [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

ACT and College Board offer conflicting views on how to compare SAT and ACT scores [Inside Higher Ed]

Should colleges charge for academic credit earned from unpaid internships? [The Washington Post]

Discount rates rise yet again at private colleges and universities [Inside Higher Ed]

Op Ed: Money for something: Why we can and must increase college graduation rates [The Hill]

Trump’s campaign co-chair describes higher education policies being developed [Inside Higher Ed]

U.S. Directs Public Schools to Allow Transgender Access to Restrooms [The New York Times]

GOP Rep. King: I’ll likely hold hearing on Obama’s bathroom directive [The Hill]

Op Ed: President Obama’s horrible, terrible legacy on student loans [The Hill]

Bringing College to Students Who Can’t Leave Home [The Atlantic]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

House Education and the Workforce Committee
May 17: Full Committee Hearing: “Helping Students Succeed by Strengthening the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act”
Witnesses: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA); Paul Tse, Project Manager, Shapiro & Duncan, Inc.; Jason Bates, Manager, Toyota-Bodine Aluminum, Inc.; and Dr. Monty Sullivan, President, Louisiana Community and Technical College System
10:00 a.m. in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Scott Statement on Education, Justice Guidance on Transgender Students

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Press Release: Alexander: Interest Rate Cuts Will Save 400,000 Tennesseans $1.2 Billion on Student Loans

Press Release: Student Loan Rates Drop for Next School Year Thanks to Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Schedule for the Week of May 16, 2016

Senate Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Budget Bulletin: Overview of Senate Budget Process Reform Proposals

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

White House:

  • Press Release: Fact Sheet: White House and Department of Labor Announce $21 Million for Summer and Year-Round Jobs for Young Americans and Launch of 16 Summer Impact Hubs

Department of Education:

  • Press Release: Fact Sheet: Expanding College Access Through the Dual Enrollment Pell Experiment
  • Press Release: U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Joint Guidance to Help Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students
  • Blog: Helping Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students

Department of Labor:

  • Blog: DOL in Action
  • Blog: Career Pathways Leading Improved Services
  • Blog: What’s in Store for the Class of 2016

Institute of Education Sciences:

  • Report: “From Diplomas to Degrees: A Longitudinal Study of the College Enrollment and Graduation Outcomes of High School Graduates from the School District of Philadelphia”

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.5047: Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act of 2016
Sponsor: Rep Hice, Jody B. [GA-10] (introduced 4/25/2016) Cosponsors (11)
Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Major Action: 5/13/2016 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

H.R.5234: To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for behavioral and mental health outreach and education strategies to reduce stigma associated with mental health among the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander population.
Sponsor: Rep Chu, Judy [CA-27] (introduced 5/13/2016) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 5/13/2016 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.5204: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide an exclusion from income for student loan forgiveness for students who have died or become disabled.
Sponsor: Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6] (introduced 5/12/2016) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 5/12/2016 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

S.2707: Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act
Sponsor: Sen Scott, Tim [SC] (introduced 3/17/2016) Cosponsors (36)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Latest Major Action: 5/11/2016 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Hearings held.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

NSF Comment Request: National Science Foundation Proposal/Award Information—NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide. Comments due July 15, 2016. Penn Hill Group provides a list of grant opportunities and summaries for select grants. Please visit our website for more information.

DOL Meeting Announcement: Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA). Meeting will be June 15, 2016 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. and June 16, 2016 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC.

ED Comment Request: Program for International Student Assessment (PISA 2018) Recruitment and Field Test. Comments due July 11, 2016.