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

January 7, 2020


The House and Senate were in recess and are returning this week.


The President signed the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations package (H.R.1865), which included Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations, into law.

The President signed the Building Blocks of STEM Act (S.737) into law. The bill modifies several National Science Foundation programs to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education research, including computer science education, focused on early childhood.

The President signed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020 (S.1790) into law.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) updated StudentAid.gov to include the student-facing features from the StudentLoans.gov, fsaid.ed.gov and nslds.ed.gov websites, meaning students can now get information on different student aid repayment plans, complete loan counseling and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in one web-based location.

ED’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) posted a notice indicating that it will study district and school uses of Federal education funds, including Titles I, II, III and IV funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Title I, Part B funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Public comments on the notice are due by February 24.

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

Annual Grapevine survey finds modest continued increases in public higher education funding [Inside Higher Ed]

Technology is changing election polling by colleges [Inside Higher Ed]

A ‘wildly intrusive’ way to help older college students get their degrees [The Hechinger Report]

Denying a Professor Tenure, Harvard Sparks a Debate Over Ethnic Studies [The New York Times]

California governor keeps higher education pledges but need for financial aid reform remains [EdSource]

Warren: ‘We Are Failing on Our Country’s Promise’ to Children With Disabilities [Education Week]

Trump Plan to Curb Teen Vaping Exempts Some Flavors [The Associated Press]

Higher Ed Inflation Lands at 2.5 Percent for 2019 [Inside Higher Ed]

Community college looks abroad and to faith groups to boost enrollment [Inside Higher Ed]

For students with kids, college can be a lonely struggle. One program aims to help [The Los Angeles Times]

Rhode Island leaders to focus on jobs, schools and budget [The Associated Press]

Minority students’ sense of place higher at two-year than four-year institutions [Inside Higher Ed]

Prisoners free their minds in Georgetown University class behind bars [The Washington Post]

Colleges want freshmen to use mental health apps. But are they risking students’ privacy? [The Washington Post]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Senator Murray: President Trump Has Broken Promise, “Sold Out Young People to Tobacco Companies,” With Weak E-Cigarette Policy

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Bill Announcement

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Delivers on Promise to Launch Centralized Federal Student Aid Information Hub for Students, Borrowers

IES Report: What Is the Price of College? Total, Net, and Out-of-Pocket Prices in 2015–16

Legislative Movement in Congress:
S.1608 — Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act
Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] (Introduced 05/22/2019) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions | House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  House – 12/23/2019 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Wicker, Brown, Capito, & Sinema Celebrate Senate Passage of Legislation to Promote Physical Activity

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Notice: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Programs; 2020-21 Award Year Deadline Dates

ED Comment Request: Application for Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment Form. Comments due on or before January 29, 2020.

VA Comment Request: Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program. Comments due on or before February 24, 2020.