Washington Wrap Up – August 28, 2018

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


August 28, 2018

The House was in recess this week and will return the week of September 4.

The Senate passed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 combined Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills by a vote of 85 to 7.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has stepped down from his House committee assignments, including from the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

The Administration announced that Robert King will be nominated to be the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

The New York Times reported that ED is considering allowing States to use Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant funding to purchase guns for educators.

The Federal Commission on School Safety held its final field visit in Las Vegas this week and is scheduled to hold its final listening session in Alabama next week.

The U.S. Department of Treasury issued proposed rules that would eliminate Federal tax deductions for contributions made to State charitable services funds. These funds were recently set up by certain States that largely opposed the capping of the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act as a means to provide taxpayers a credit for payments for State services above the law’s $10,000 cap on SALT. The proposed rules could also eliminate Federal tax deductions received by taxpayers making contributions to school choice and university-related activities.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Student Loan Watchdog Quits, Blames Trump Administration [National Public Radio]

Trivia app promises student loan payoffs, but higher ed experts question the benefits for borrowers [Inside Higher Ed]

Students are dropping out of college before even starting. Here’s how educators are trying to stop the trend. [The Washington Post]

John McCain Focused Education Work on Choice, NCLB, Native American Students [Education Week]

State Attorneys General Tell Betsy DeVos: Keep Obama School Discipline Guidance [Education Week]

Betsy DeVos Eyes Federal Education Grants to Put Guns in Schools [The New York Times]

Researcher says DeVos misrepresented her work to justify repeal of student loan rule [Inside Higher Ed]

Study: Students with high GPAs can successfully balance academics and enjoying sports [Inside Higher Ed]

Black Colleges Have to Pay More for Loans Than Other Schools [The Atlantic]

Perspective | The Common App will no longer require disclosure of criminal history. But what it still asks is more troubling. [The Washington Post]

NYU’s Move To Make Medical School Free For All Gets Mixed Reviews [National Public Radio]

S.C. Technical Colleges to Grant 4-Year Manufacturing Degrees [Inside Higher Ed]

A Tech Whiz Is Conquering College Admissions. It Takes Charm, Innovation, and Dancing Sharks. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

State higher ed leaders praise pick for key U.S. higher ed post [Inside Higher Ed]

Betsy DeVos Is Not Popular, But Is Approval for School Choice Increasing? [Education Week]

Trump Picks Robert L. King for Key Higher Ed Post [Inside Higher Ed]

States showing some progress on closing racial equity gaps [Inside Higher Ed]

California community colleges urged to plan now for fewer students in remedial courses [EdSource]

Op-Ed: As the Higher Ed Opportunity Act Turns 10, Here’s How the Landscape Has Changed [EdSurge]

New education research? A good chance it’s from North Carolina. [Chalkbeat]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
The House is currently in recess and will return the week of September 4.

House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: Ranking Member Bobby Scott on Report of DeVos’s Proposal to Arm Teachers

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Alexander: U.S. Must Keep Advantage in Basic Research, Continue to Support NIH Breakthroughs

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Senate Approves Third Appropriations Package, Marking Passage of Nine Bipartisan Funding Bills

Press Release: Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Statement On Senate Passage Of The Defense, LHHS “Minibus” Appropriations Bill

Press Release: Senate Passes Defense, LHHS “Minibus” Appropriations Bill

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation 
Press Release: Commerce Announces Markup on August 29

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate, Appoint, and Designate Personnel to Key Administration Posts

ED Media Advisory: Federal Commission on School Safety to Hold Fourth and Final Listening Session

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department of Labor To Host Listening Sessions About Proposed Overtime Rule

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.6157 — Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019
Sponsor: Rep. Granger, Kay [R-TX-12] (Introduced 06/20/2018) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Appropriations Committee Reports: H. Rept. 115-769
Latest Action:  Senate – 08/23/2018 Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 85 – 7.

S.3371 — A bill to provide consumer protections for students.
Sponsor: Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR] (Introduced 08/23/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 08/23/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Merkley, Durbin Introduce Bill To Protect Students From Worthless Degrees, Overturn DeVos Giveaway To Predatory For-Profit Colleges

S.Amdt.3721 to S.Amdt.3695 — Purpose: To authorize student aid administration funds to be available for payments for student loan servicing to an institution of higher education that services outstanding Federal Perkins Loans. Amends Bill: H.R.6157
Sponsor: Sen. Blunt, Roy [R-MO] (Submitted 08/16/2018) (Proposed 08/23/2018)
Latest Action: 08/23/18 Amendment SA 3721 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
Press Release: Blunt Touts Health, Education, & Workforce Priorities in Senate-Passed Funding Bill

S.Amdt.3810 to S.Amdt.3695 — Purpose: To require the Secretary of Education to report to Congress regarding coordination between the Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation on STEM programs for students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Amends Bill: H.R.6157
Sponsor: Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV] (Submitted 08/21/2018) (Proposed 08/23/2018)
Latest Action: 08/23/18 Amendment SA 3810 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.

S.Amdt.3862 to S.Amdt.3695 — Purpose: To provide $10,000,000 to the Department of Education to fund a demonstration program to test and evaluate innovative partnerships between institutions of higher education and high-needs State or local educational agencies to train school counselors, social workers, psychologists, or other mental health professionals qualified to provide school-based mental health services in order to expand the employment pipeline and address employment shortages relating to school-based mental health services in low-income public elementary schools and secondary schools
Amends Bill: H.R.6157
Sponsor: Sen. Nelson, Bill [D-FL] (Submitted 08/21/2018) (Proposed 08/23/2018)
Latest Action: 08/23/18 Amendment SA 3862 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.

S.Amdt.3883 to S.Amdt.3695 — Purpose: To provide a sense of Congress that computer science education programs, including coding academics, can provide important benefits to local industries and the economy and help meet in-demand workforce needs, and the Department of Education and Department of Labor should work together with industry to improve and expand computer science education programs and opportunities, including through apprenticeships.
Amends Bill: H.R.6157
Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] (Submitted 08/21/2018) (Proposed 08/23/2018)
Latest Action: 08/23/18 Amendment SA 3883 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
Press Release: Wicker Votes for Defense, Health-Care, Education Funding

S.Amdt.3908 to S.Amdt.3695 — Purpose: To provide a sense of the Senate the dedicated funding for coding courses in kindergarten through grade 12 education should be a top priority.
Amends Bill: H.R.6157
Sponsor: Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D-WA] (Submitted 08/21/2018) (Proposed 08/23/2018)
Latest Action: 08/23/18 Amendment SA 3908 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
Press Release: Cantwell Continues Push for Coding Education, Focuses on Rural, Underserved Areas

S.3362 — A bill to provide grants to communities affected by substance use disorder to enable those communities to plan for and implement full-service community schools.
Sponsor: Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] (Introduced 08/22/2018) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 08/22/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Brown Introduces Legislation to Expand Community School Model As Ohio Schools, Students Struggle With Addiction Epidemic

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
DOL Comment Request: Evaluation of the American Apprenticeship Initiative. Comments due September 24, 2018.

DOL Comment Request: Evaluation of the American Apprenticeship Initiative. Comments due October 26, 2018.

DOL Meeting Notice: Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) Meeting. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210, Conference Room N-4437 C&D on Thursday, September 20, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at approximately 4:00 p.m. (EST).

USDA Notice of listening sessions and stakeholder feedback opportunities. “NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives.” (A) Online Input: Written comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern time November 30, 2018. Written comments must be submitted electronically through https://nifa.usda.gov/​nifalistens or emailed to NIFAlistens@nifa.usda.gov. (B) In-person Listening Sessions: The in-person listening sessions will take place at conference facilities in Hartford, CT (October 11, 2018), New Orleans, LA (October 18, 2018), Minneapolis, MN (October 25, 2018), and Albuquerque, NM (November 1, 2018). Each session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled to end no later than 5:00 p.m.

ED Meeting Announcement: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board. The Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, at Room 1W128, Lyndon Baines Johnson Building, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202.

VA Comment Request: Monthly Certification of On-the-Job and Apprenticeship Training. Comments due September 20, 2018.