Washington Wrap Up – March 6, 2018

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

March 6, 2018

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) in response to his February 15 letter requesting a hearing on school safety following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Foxx letter supported increased funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a needed step to help schools prevent and respond to such tragedies.

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) issued a statement expressing opposition after the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a  two-year delay of the Equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (or significant disproportionality) rule, which addresses disproportionate identification, placement and disciplinary treatment of students of color in special education.

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations has requested that Members send their programmatic and language submissions for consideration in the FY 2019 appropriations bill by March 19. Please note that other subcommittees have different deadlines for submissions.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced March 7 votes on several of President Trump’s nominees, including Frank Brogan to be Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and Mark Schneider to be Director of the Institute of Education Sciences.  Former Florida Lt. Governor Brogan has been heading ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education as he awaits Senate confirmation.

Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Sen. Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Secretary Alex Azar at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) noting her long-standing agreement with his stated position that the Dickey Amendment, which states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot use federal funds “to promote or advocate gun control,” does not impede the Department’s ability to conduct research on gun control.

The Membership of the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform has been finalized. This Committee is required to report of reforms in the budget and appropriations process later this year.

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

This week the White House announced Johnny C. Taylor Jr. as chairman of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Mr. Taylor was most recently the president and chief executive officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and is currently the chief executive of the Society for Human Resource Management.

President Trump, Vice President Pence and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress met on School and Community Safety.

ED announced it would soon release the application packages for $2.7 billion in education disaster assistance provided by Congress to help with recovery from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires. The bulk of this funding is for recovery efforts for K-12 schools and students, but $175 million is specifically allocated for higher education purposes.  Additional information about ED’s assistance for Hurricane recover can be found here.

ED has issued an updated version of its Office for Civil Rights Case Processing Manual and made the updates effective March 5. This is the first update to the manual since 2015.

News outlets have reported that ED will officially declare that companies that service Federal student loans are to be overseen only by the Federal government and not subject to State oversight.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider, the Trump Administration’s request to bypass the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on lower court decisions blocking the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Secretary DeVos issued her final “supplemental priorities” for awarding funds through discretionary grant programs, including the expansion of school choice and the promotion of STEM and computer science education. Secretary DeVos proposed 11 priorities last fall and the 11 issued in this final notice are largely the same. The final priorities and related definitions were officially published in the Federal Register on Friday.

ED released a noticed correcting earlier statements in two Federal Register notices about the scope of the public comments in connection with ED’s review of 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), both of which are currently undergoing review for purposes of recognition by the Secretary of Education.  The corrections clarified that the actual application and compliance report would not be made available for public review.

ED announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a two-year delay of the Equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (or significant disproportionality) rule, with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities and as children with a particular impairment from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022.


Education News Headlines
Why Colleges Are Embracing the #NeverAgain Movement [The Atlantic]

DACA continues for now, but colleges and students face uncertainties [Inside Higher Ed]

Maryland lawmakers and state higher ed commission at odds over for-profit college fund [The Washington Post]

How College Campuses Are Trying to Tap Students’ Voting Power [The New York Times]

7 Times in History When Students Turned to Activism [The New York Times]

Among Vulnerable Lawmakers in Mid-Term Elections, Few Deal Much With Education [Education Week]

Court denies student loan servicer’s bid to dismiss Massachusetts lawsuit [The Washington Post]

Accreditor’s decision on Grand Canyon’s nonprofit bid coming soon [Inside Higher Ed]

Here’s how a national database could help colleges fight sexual assault [The Hill]

DeVos Announces Additional Aid for Students Impacted by Hurricanes and Wildfires [Education Week]

Betsy DeVos Wants to Direct Federal Funds to School Choice, STEM, Workforce Readiness [Education Week]

Well-known advocate to lead White House board on historically black colleges [The Washington Post

HBCU leaders meet, say strategy under Trump is paying off [Inside Higher Ed]

Applications for California grants to undocumented college students lag as officials encourage more [EdSource]

More Community Colleges Using Multiple Measures for Readiness [Inside Higher Ed]

Parental involvement drastically changes students’ college experience, study shows [Inside Higher Ed]

Education Dept. Opens New Investigation Into Michigan State’s Handling of Nassar Scandal [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Editors discuss new collection on civil rights issues raised by accountability push [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: Rep. Takano Slams Proposal to Shield Unethical Student-Loan Debt Collectors from Accountability

Press Release: Bonamici Blasts Department of Education for Blocking State Consumer Protection Laws

Press Release: Scott & Murray on the Rollback of Civil Rights for Students with Disabilities, Students of Color

Press Release: Foxx Seeks School Safety Action, Invites Bipartisan Support

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Senator Murray Commends Bipartisan Legislation for Families and Communities at HELP Executive Session

Press Release: Murray Asks for Details of Department’s Plan to Prioritize Gun Violence Research

House Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Womack to Chair Joint Select Committee on Budget Process Reform

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Bipartisan Members of Congress in Meeting on School and Community Safety

White House Press Release: Executive Order on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Assistance for Hurricane Impacted Students, Schools

ED Press Release: DeVos Announces New Investigation into Michigan State Title IX Compliance

ED Press Release: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Announces Initial Recovery Support for Parkland

DOL Press Release: Statement By U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta Regarding Women’s History Month

ED Blog: Rural Montana Students Become Citizen-Scientists through Place-Based Learning

IES Report: Regional Educational Laboratory researcher-practitioner partnerships: Documenting the research alliance experience

IES Report: “Impact of providing information to parents in Texas about the role of Algebra II in college admission”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.5135 — To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to provide for additional grants for school security, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Granger, Kay [R-TX-12] (Introduced 03/01/2018) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Judiciary
Latest Action:  House – 03/01/2018 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Press Release: Granger Proposes National School Security Initiative

H.R.5146 — To amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to establish the American Technical Training Grant Program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Esty, Elizabeth H. [D-CT-5] (Introduced 03/01/2018) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 03/01/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

H.R.5153 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit against tax for charitable donations to nonprofit organizations providing workforce training and education scholarships to qualified elementary and secondary students.
Sponsor: Rep. Smucker, Lloyd [R-PA-16] (Introduced 03/01/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action:  House – 03/01/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Press Release: Smucker Introduces Bill To Create New Tax Credit To Support Workforce Development and Apprenticeships

S.2479 — A bill to amend the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to address deferred maintenance at agricultural research facilities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI] (Introduced 03/01/2018) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate – Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Latest Action:  Senate – 03/01/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
Press Release: Hirono, Van Hollen Introduce Legislation to Clear Maintenance Backlog, Improve Agricultural Research Facilities

S.2483 — A bill to provide greater access to higher education for America’s students.
Sponsor: Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] (Introduced 03/01/2018) Cosponsors: (13)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 03/01/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Make Community and Technical School More Affordable

S.2486 — A bill to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and amendments to that Act.
Sponsor: Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY] (Introduced 03/01/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Judiciary
Latest Action:  Senate – 03/01/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

S.2464 — A bill to improve border security and to provide conditional provision residence to certain long-term residents who entered the United States as children.
Sponsor: Sen. Flake, Jeff [R-AZ] (Introduced 02/27/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Latest Action:  Senate – 02/28/2018 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 338.
Press Release: Flake, Heitkamp Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Extend DACA Protections and Improve Border Security

H.R.5110 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to report revenue generated by each sports team, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Price, David E. [D-NC-4] (Introduced 02/27/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 02/27/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Press Release: Congressman Price Introduces Legislation To Promote Financial Transparency in College Athletics

H.R.5119 — To direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a STEM grant program.
Sponsor: Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11] (Introduced 02/27/2018) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
Latest Action:  House – 02/27/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

S.Res.416 — A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Career and Technical Education Month.
Sponsor: Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA] (Introduced 02/27/2018) Cosponsors: (44)
Latest Action:  Senate – 02/27/2018 Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Grant Notice; Correction: Lead of a Career and Technical Education Network under the Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice Program. This correction notice modifies the original notice to provide information on a grantee’s authority to award subgrants to institutions of higher education, public and private non-profit organizations, and agencies identified in an approved application.

ED Final Priorities and Definitions: Discretionary grant programs.

ED Final Regulations: Troops-to-Teachers (TTT).

NASA Meeting Notice: Ad Hoc Task Force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 12:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. This meeting will be open to the public telephonically and by WebEx.

ED Comment Request; Correction: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). This notice corrects our earlier statements in those two Federal Register notices about the scope of the public comments.

VA Comment Request: Dependents’ Application for VA Education Benefits, VA Form 22-5490. Comments due April 30, 2018.