Washington Wrap Up – January 28, 2020

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


January 28, 2020

House Democrats introduced a $3.4 billion Puerto Rico disaster relief bill, which includes $100 million to support education-related relief, in response to the recent earthquakes on the island.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the creation of a new civil rights enforcement unit aimed at helping schools “proactively” comply with Federal civil rights laws. The unit is called the Outreach, Prevent, Education and Non-discrimination (OPEN) Center and will be housed in ED’s Office for Civil Rights.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced two new proposed rules that would loosen requirements for local school districts when serving school meals and provide flexibility for the Summer Food Service Program.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, over Montana’s Supreme Court finding a program that provided tax breaks to donors who funded scholarships that families could use as private schools, including religious ones, as not permissible under the State’s constitution.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Warren: I’m not telling parents ‘tough luck’ if they already paid off student debts [The Hill]

New evidence in admissions scandal [Education Week]

Mixed results for California’s experiment with community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees [EdSource]

Trump’s claim about saving HBCUs was false, but his administration has largely backed sector [Inside Higher Ed]

Largest gift in Howard University history to fund science and technology [The Washington Post]

Colorado College says it’s the first school in the region to reach carbon neutrality [The Hill]

Swiss bring apprenticeships to Salt Lake Community College [Inside Higher Ed]

What Happens When You Give Students Control of the Syllabus? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Politics, legal fights muddy picture for defrauded student loan borrowers [Inside Higher Ed]

Myth Busted: Turns Out Bankruptcy Can Wipe Out Student Loan Debt After All [National Public Radio]

By 2020, They Said, 2 Out of 3 Jobs Would Need More Than a High-School Diploma. Were They Right? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

The imperative to improve college learning [Inside Higher Ed]

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Proclamation on National School Choice Week, 2020

White House Press Release: Remarks by President Trump to the Nation’s Mayors on Transforming America’s Communities

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Announces New, Proactive Civil Rights Compliance Center within Office for Civil Rights

IES Announcement: A New Look for IES

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.J.Res.76 — Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to “Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability”.
Sponsor: Rep. Lee, Susie [D-NV-3] (Introduced 09/26/2019) Cosponsors: (162)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/21/2020 Received in the Senate.

S.3219 — A bill to ensure full labor protections for graduate student workers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT] (Introduced 01/21/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 01/21/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Lender’s Request for Payment of Interest and Special Allowance—LaRS. Comments due on or before February 26, 2020. 

ED Comment Request: Student Assistance General Provisions—Subpart K—Cash Management.Comments due on or before February 26, 2020.

ED Comment Request: William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program—150% Limitation. Comments due on or before March 27, 2020.

ED Comment Request: Loan Rehabilitation: Reasonable and Affordable Payments. Comments due on or before March 23, 2020.