Washington Wrap Up – March 26, 2019

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


March 26, 2019

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a public witness fiscal year (FY) 2020 hearing on Tuesday, April 9. The deadline to submit written testimony is Monday, April 8.

The Administration released additional materials on its FY2020 budget, including the budget proposals for independent agencies such as the National Endowments, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The Administration released its principles that it would like to see in a Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization.

The President issued an executive order that directs Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to certify that institutions of higher education (IHEs) receiving Federal funds comply with existing Federal laws and regulations touching on free academic inquiry and that they comply with their “stated institutional policies” on freedom of speech. It also directs ED to: publish program-level data in the College Scorecard on measures of student outcomes; conduct a report on State and local best practices on transfer of credit; improve collections on defaulted student loans; and submit policy recommendations for developing a student financial aid risk-sharing system between the Federal government and IHEs.

Next week, ED will begin holding the last rounds of negotiated rulemaking sessions on a number of higher education topics. The Accreditation and Innovation Committee will meet from March 25 to March 28 and from April 1 to April 3 to conclude the negotiations.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will release a new H-1B Employer Data Hub on April 1, which will allow the public to access information about employers who use the program.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Three Things to Watch for When DeVos Defends Trump’s Budget to Congress [Education Week]

Elizabeth Warren: ‘It Would Be Pretty Fabulous’ to Have a Teacher in the White House [Education Week]

Kamala Harris to call for federal spending to raise teacher salaries [The Los Angeles Times]

Democratic lawmakers join chorus of critics on higher education as engine of inequality [Inside Higher Ed]

How Admissions Really Work: If The College Admissions Scandal Shocked You, Read This [National Public Radio]

The Two Sides of the Free-Speech ‘Crisis,’ in One Fox News Broadcast [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Staffing shortage at Education Department’s loan default units frustrates struggling borrowers [The Washington Post]

Meet the Latest Class of State Schools Chiefs [Education Week]

California colleges expand mental health services to meet rising needs [EdSource]

House lawmakers introduce bill in response to college admissions scandal [The Hill]

House Democrats’ election bill makes it easier for college students to vote, experts say [Inside Higher Ed]

How should colleges respond to new DeVos rules on campus sexual assault? [The Washington Post]

States and university systems are planning major online initiatives. How many can take off? [Inside Higher Ed]

A Prominent Economist’s Death Prompts Talk of Mental Health in the Professoriate [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

California Community Colleges Formally Shift Away From Placement Exams [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Calling for Passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions 
Press Release: Alexander Statement on President Trump’s Higher Education Executive Order

Senate Committee on Appropriations 
Press Release: Appropriations Schedule for Week of March 25, 2019

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Issues Statement on President Trump’s Higher Education Executive Order

White House Press Release: Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department of Labor’s Overtime Proposal Open for Public Comment

IES Tables: “A Look at High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Coursetaking as of 2013”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.1842 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow graduate students to exclude tuition reductions from gross income.
Sponsor: Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13] (Introduced 03/21/2019) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: House – 03/21/2019 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.1848 — To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to direct the Federal Communications Commission to carry out a grant program to make grants for the establishment or expansion of job training programs for communications tower service, construction, and maintenance.
Sponsor: Rep. Loebsack, David [D-IA-2] (Introduced 03/21/2019) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 03/21/2019 Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Education and Labor, 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…
Press Release: Reps. Loebsack, Mullin Reintroduce Legislation to Train Communications Tower Workers

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) Evaluation Protocol. Comments due on or before May 25, 2019. 

ED Revised Meeting Schedule Notice: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Location of Negotiations and Subcommittee Meetings-Accreditation and Innovation. The Accreditation and Innovation Committee’s third session will still occur March 25-28, 2019, but with extended meeting times; and the additional fourth session will occur April 1-3, 2019. All meetings of both sessions will be held in Barnard Auditorium, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 

ED Comment Request: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2019-20 through 2021-22. Comments due on or before May 20, 2019. 

ED Comment Request: Loan Cancellation in the Federal Perkins Loan Program. Comments due on or before May 20, 2019.