Washington Wrap Up – February 27, 2018

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

February 27, 2018

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee has requested Members send their programmatic and language submissions for consideration in the FY2019 appropriations bill by March 19. Please note that other subcommittees have different deadlines for submissions.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) asked the public for comments or suggestions for the Committee’s consideration of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Comments are due today, Friday, February 23.

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will accept written testimony from outside witnesses for Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations. Submissions are due by June 1, 2018.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) called for public comment on the criteria that are used to determine whether a student loan borrower has an “undue hardship” as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. Comments are due on or before May 22, 2018.

Pursuant to a recent court order, ED is extending the public comment period until March 1, 2018, for the submission of comments on the application of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) for initial recognition and the compliance report submitted by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Several news outlets have reported that ED has developed a plan to reorganize and shrink the number of offices that oversee Department functions and programs.

ED completed the final round of negotiations to restructure the Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) regulations. The Administration has delayed the current BDR regulations while they have been conducting negotiated rulemaking to develop new rules. The final round ended last week without any consensus on a new regulation.

ED restarted their efforts to adopt a new student loan servicing system through a bidding process for new contractors to handle various aspects of the servicing process.

The Employment and Training Administration and the Department of Labor announced a meeting notice for the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

The White House issued a press release on President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary of Education DeVos meeting with  students, teachers and community leaders to discuss how America must improve safety at schools across the country.

Secretary Betsy Devos expressed support expanding school choice for military children.

President Trump hosted a School Safety Roundtable at the White House with State and local leaders.


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

Supreme Court rejects Trump request to weigh in quickly on Dreamers [Politico]

Ryan, Pelosi name members to new budget and pension committees [The Hill]

Trump plan would protect student-loan debt collectors from state investigations [The Los Angeles Times]

Public expresses more confidence in ‘higher education’ than in ‘colleges or universities’ [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges offer micro grants to get cash-strapped students across finish line [EdSource]


Education Department Officially Proposes Delay of Special Education Bias Rule [Education Week]

Education Dept. releases records at center of a lawsuit over accrediting panels [The Washington Post]

States add restrictions to tuition-free college plans [Inside Higher Ed]

Ashford U. Faces New Setback in Battle Over GI Bill Funds [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Higher ed group seeks key role in alternative credential landscape [Inside Higher Ed]

Education Dept. Eyes Changes in Bankrupt Borrowers’ Ability to Discharge Loans [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Public universities band together on completion rates and achievement gaps [Inside Higher Ed]

Community colleges question whether online courses meet accessibility requirements [Inside Higher Ed]

Betsy DeVos’ Team Moves to Cut Political Positions, Merge Federal Education Programs [Education Week]

‘We serve the top 100 percent’: California community college chief responds to Trump [The Washington Post]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: Committee Democrats Urge Majority Hearings Examining School Shootings

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Alexander, Murray Seek Input on Reauthorization of Higher Education Act

House Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Chairman Womack Appointed to Select Committee on Budget Process Reform

Press Release: Yarmuth Named to Select Committee on Budget Process Reform

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
ED Blog: HBCUs: Vital to U.S. Competitiveness

White House Press Release: Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Local and State Officials on School Safety

White House Press Release: After Parkland, President Trump Demands More Than Just Action. He Demands We Get It Right

ED Blog: President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP): Celebrating Student Achievement and Hard Work in the Classroom

IES Report: Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2014

IES Report: Digest of Education Statistics, 2016

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.5084 — To amend section 6906 of title 31, United States Code, to provide funding for the payment in lieu of taxes program for an additional five years, to provide a five-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2] (Introduced 02/23/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Natural Resources, Agriculture
Latest Action:  House – 02/23/2018 Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, 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.

H.Res.746 — Supporting the goal and ideal of increasing the number of African American women and girls in the engineering profession.
Sponsor: Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12] (Introduced 02/23/2018) Cosponsors: (25)
Committees: House – Science, Space, and Technology, Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 02/23/2018 Referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 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

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Program for International Student Assessment (PISA 2018) Main Study. Comments due by March 26, 2018.

ED Comment Request; Extension: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Comments now due by March 1, 2018.

ED Comment Request: 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B: 08/18) Full-Scale. Comments due March 23, 2018.

ED Request for information: Evaluating Undue Hardship Claims in Adversary Actions Seeking Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy Proceedings. Comments due May 22, 2018.

ETA, Labor Meeting Notice: Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The meeting will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2018, and adjourn at approximately 3:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.

ED Comment Request: Assurance of Compliance—Civil Rights Certificate. Comments due April 23, 2018.