Washington Wrap Up – April 18, 2017

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



The House and Senate are in recess until the week of April 24.

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) issued a statement in opposition to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision to rescind policy memos issued by the Obama Administration pertaining to student loan servicing.


ED Secretary DeVos sent a memorandum to ED’s Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer James Runcie withdrawing three policy memos issued by the Obama Administration pertaining to student loan servicing. DeVos’ memo also provided some indication that ED intended to continue with the existing servicing procurement.

The White House sent a 14-page memorandum to agency heads outlining the lifting of the Federal hiring ban President Trump initiated in January, as well as outlining personnel cuts based on President Trump’s “skinny” budget, released last month.

ED Secretary DeVos announced several personnel appointments at ED, including the appointments of Josh Venable as Chief of Staff, Jason Botel as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and Acting Assistant Secretary, Ebony Lee as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Candice Jackson as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights and Acting Assistant Secretary, Jose Viana as Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition and Jim Manning as a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau announced that, in 2017, they will be identifying new and emerging fair lending risks in the areas of home and business lending, as well as student loan servicing.

ED Secretary DeVos released a statement supporting President Trump’s Strategy and Policy Forum Listening Session and highlighting the importance of career and technical education.

ED Secretary DeVos released a statement, following her meeting with higher education groups, saying that “increasing access to and affordability of higher education is a top priority for this Administration.”


Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the 113th Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Education News Headlines

CUNY, SUNY plan major expansion of OER efforts [Inside Higher Ed]

U.S. Department of Education Announces Key Hires [Education Week]

If DeVos Wants More Protection for Transgender Students, Here Are Options [Education Week]

DeVos’s Rollback of Servicing Guidance Raises Fears Among Borrowers’ Advocates [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Students tend to overspend on college, report finds, often by choice [Inside Higher Ed]
The Manhattan-Institute Report: “The Affordability Conundrum: Value, Price, and Choice in Higher Education Today”

Medicaid funding changes pressure state higher ed funding [Inside Higher Ed]

Mandating Child-Care Degrees [Inside Higher Ed]

Controversial Georgia sexual assault bill prompts debate on reporting [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges can get free doses of naloxone for students overdosing on heroin and other opioids [The Washington Post]

New York State reaches deal to provide free tuition for SUNY and CUNY students [Inside Higher Ed]

Senators Want Pell Eligibility for Dual Enrollment [Inside Higher Ed]

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

  • Press Release: Readout of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ Meeting with Chancellor Steve Wrigley of the University of Georgia System and Georgia State Rep. Earl Ehrhart
  • Press Release: Statement from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Meeting with Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.2084 — To improve the Federal Pell Grant program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40] (Introduced 04/08/2017) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action: 04/08/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Notice: Notice of Revision of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Confidentiality Pledges Under Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) and Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA 2002)

VA Comment Request: Application and Training Agreement for Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training Programs. Comments due May 12, 2017.

VA Comment Request: Evidence for Transfer of Entitlement of Education Benefits. Comments due June 12, 2017.