Washington Wrap Up – June 20, 2017

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



House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released a statement supporting President Trump’s recently signed executive order (EO) that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a statement on President Trump’s EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

The House Education and the Workforce Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee held a hearing on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Committee Republicans and Democrats released statements on the hearing.


Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement supporting President Trump’s EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), along with over 150 Members of Congress, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos voicing their concerns about ED’s recent decisions surrounding Federal student loan servicing.

Senators Warren, Murray, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to ED Secretary DeVos requesting that she not delay the effective date of the Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) regulations.

The Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a hearing on President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where HHS Secretary Tom Price testified.


ED released two notices delaying the implementation of the BDR regulations and announcing their intent to conduct negotiated rulemaking to produce new regulatory versions of BDR, gainful employment (GE) and other regulatory matters starting this fall. ED also published its schedule of two public hearings, in Washington, D.C. and Dallas on July 10 and 12, respectively.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her intent to challenge in court ED’s announced delay of the BDR.

The National Women’s Law Center filed a lawsuit against ED in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking the release of information about Federal enforcement of Title IX.

President Trump signed an EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships; allow for third party, including employers, quality control mechanisms for apprenticeships; promote apprenticeships at institutions of higher education and Job Corps programs; establish a task force on apprenticeships; and evaluate existing job training programs and use such evaluations to inform the Administration’s 2019 budget priorities.

ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Acting Secretary Candice Jackson sent a memo to regional directors instructing OCR officials to shorten its scope when investigating civil rights claims in an effort to address them more swiftly.

The Supreme Court of the United States ordered all parties in the case involving President Trump’s travel ban EO to have their legal briefs filed by June 21, while they decide whether or not to take the case.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a Fact Sheet stating that the Obama Administration’s memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement supporting President Trump’s EO that seeks to expand funding for apprenticeships.

Inside Higher Ed reported that ED is “taking steps to update the data feeding the College Scorecard.”

Education Week reported that Jim Blew, the director of Student Success California, a 50CAN affiliate, is a top contender for Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Assistant Secretary at ED.

The White House released a memo, “Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” which they delivered to Cabinet members.


Penn Hill Group plans to provide clients with summaries of the following events next week:

  • June 20 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses”
  • June 22 House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing: “Student Safety in the Job Corps Program”

Education News Headlines

Education Department suggests less expansive approach to OCR investigations [Inside Higher Ed]

Memo Outlines Education Dept. Plans to Scale Back Civil-Rights Efforts [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

A Task Force With Falwell Is Happening, White House Says [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Comments from Betsy DeVos about unsettled law raise doubts about commitment to LGBT protections [Inside Higher Ed]

To Understand Betsy DeVos’s Educational Views, View Her Education [The New York Times]

Court Orders Education Department to End Delay in Ruling on Loan Discharge [Inside Higher Ed]

Bipartisan Bill on Competency-Based Education [Inside Higher Ed]

Lawmakers and Trade Group Criticize Education Dept. Move to Single Loan Servicer [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Education Department to hit pause on two primary Obama regulations aimed at for-profits [Inside Higher Ed]

White House apprenticeship push will include funding and focus on alternative providers [Inside Higher Ed]

21,000 apply for Excelsior Scholarship over five days [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Correspondence: Chairwoman Foxx Writes to Secretary DeVos on FSA COO

Press Release: Bonamici Condemns Education Department’s Decision to Reverse Student Loan Borrower Protections

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

  • Blog: Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Find and Fund Their Passions

White House

  • Press Release: President Trump Leads on Workforce Development
  • Blog: Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America
  • Blog: Remarks by President Trump at Signing of an Executive Order on Apprenticeship and Workforce of Tomorrow Initiatives

U.S. Department of Labor

  • Press Release: US Labor Department Awards $11.4M In Grants For State Workforce Programs

Legislative Movement in Congress

H.R.338 — To promote a 21st century energy and manufacturing workforce.
Sponsor: Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL-1] (Introduced 01/05/2017) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 06/12/2017 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Press Release: Rush Rally’s House to Pass Workforce Development Legislation

S.1356 — A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the use of Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to pursue independent study programs at certain educational institutions that are not institutions of higher learning, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK] (Introduced 06/14/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Action: 06/14/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Press Release: Inhofe, Cornyn Introduce Legislation to Expand GI Bill for Veterans

S.410 — Shawna Hill Post 9/11 Education Benefits Transferability Act
Sponsor: Sen. Crapo, Mike [R-ID] (Introduced 02/16/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Action: 06/15/2017 Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Hearings held.

S.473 — Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act of 2017
Sponsor: Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT] (Introduced 02/28/2017) Cosponsors: (11)
Committees: Senate – Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Action: 06/15/2017 Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Hearings held.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Grant Notice: High School Career and Technical Education Teacher Pathway Initiative. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 13, 2017.
Date of Pre-Application Webinar: For information about a pre-application webinar, visit the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) at http://cte.ed.gov/​. Applications due July 28, 2017. 

ED Final Rule; notification of partial delay of effective dates: Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program.

ED Comment Request; Public Hearing Notice: Federal Student Aid programs negotiated rulemaking committees. Comments due July 12, 2017. Two public hearings for interested parties to discuss the rulemaking agenda. The public hearings will be held: July 10, 2017, at the U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Barnard Auditorium, Washington, DC 20202; July 12, 2017, at Southern Methodist University, Underwood Law Library-Walsh Classroom, 6550 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas, TX 75275.