Washington Wrap Up – October 4, 2016

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


House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), along with 68 members of Congress, issued a statement urging private universities and colleges to ensure the rights of teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) to form unions and collectively bargain. This statement follows the National Labor Relations Board decision, announced last month, that TAs and RAs at Columbia University are statutory “employees” entitled to the protection of the National Labor Relations Act.

The House passed the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, H.R. 6094, to require a six-month delay in the effective date of the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule.

The House and Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR), which maintains government operations through Dec. 9 and includes the full-year Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, $1.1 billion in emergency funding for the Zika virus, $500 million in grants to help States recover from recent floods and $37 million to address opioid abuse. The CR also continues the authority for the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.


Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), along with four other Senators, introduced legislation to stretch out, over five years, the administration’s increase in the salary threshold for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476, which is set to take effect on Dec.1, 2016. The bill would also require the Government Accountability Office to assess the rule after the first year of implementation and to exempt institutions from any further increases under the rule if the study finds adverse impacts.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary John King alleging that ED mistreated students who attended Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit institution of higher education that closed in 2015, by collecting on debt that she claims ED knew may be eligible for discharge.


ED released the 3-year 2013 Federal student loan cohort default rate, which dropped from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent for students who entered repayment between fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

ED Office of Inspector General released guidance for audits of proprietary schools and for compliance attestation engagements of third-party servicers administering Title IV programs.

The White House announced the launch of its White House Healthy Campus Challenge, which aims to engage college and university campuses across the country in health care enrollment efforts.

The White House released a Fact Sheet on providing students and families with comprehensive support and information for college, which also announced the launch of this year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available October 1st, three months earlier than the traditional January 1st date.

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

Google will add federal college data to search results [Article 8 – The Hill]

State-funded student aid rises [Article 9 – Inside Higher Ed]

Report: Free Public College Will Be Costly for States [Article 10 – Inside Higher Ed]
Campaign for Free College Tuition Report: “How Expensive Is Free College for States?”

Warren: Education Dept. Failing Corinthian Students [Article 3 – Inside Higher Ed]

Education Dept. Is Sued Over Debt Collection From Former Corinthian Students [Article 4 – The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Big 12 commissioner tells sports departments not to accept athletes with histories of violence [Article 8 – Inside Higher Ed]

Study: Remedial Education Costs Students $1.3B [Article 6 – Inside Higher Ed]
Generation Progress and the Center for American Progress Report: “Remedial Education: The Cost of Catching Up”

Financial aid fails to understand the modern family [Article 7 – The Atlantic]

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration
Department of Education

  • Blog: Validating My Seat at the Table

White House

  • Blog: Get Help Paying for College: Fill Out Your FAFSA Application

Institute of Education Sciences

  • Report: “Reaching the Limit: Undergraduates Who Borrow the Maximum Amount in Federal Direct Loans: 2011-12”

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

HHS Final Rule: Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program

ED Comment Request: Measures and Methods for the National Reporting System for Adult Education. Comments due November 28, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Designation As An Eligible Institution Under the Title III and Title V Programs and to Request A Waiver of the Non-Federal Cost Share Reimbursement (1894-0001). Comments due November 2, 2016.

ED Notice: Annual Notice of Interest Rates for Federal Student Loans Made Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program Prior to July 1, 2013

ED Notice: Annual Notice of Variable Interest Rates of Federal Student Loans Made Under the Federal Family Education Loan Program Prior to July 1, 2010