Washington Wrap Up – February 25, 2020

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


February 25, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will testify before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday, February 27 regarding the Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

The House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee is reportedly planning to mark up its FY2021 appropriations bill on April 29, with the full Committee subsequently marking up the bill on May 13.

ED announced the institutions of higher education participating in its new Federal Work-Study experimental site initiative.

ED reached a settlement with the American Bar Association (ABA) making the Association a qualified employer under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Related to this matter, the Washington Post reported that ED continues to have language on its website restricting PSLF eligibility to employees at nonprofits that have public service as their “primary purpose.” The Washington Post article includes an assertion by counsel to the ABA that this language may violate the terms of an order by a Federal district court judge, and reports that ED is working to remove any mention of the “primary purpose” condition from its website and other materials.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approved Ashford University as eligible to receive GI Bill funds, retroactive to July 1, 2019.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Ad Council campaign from White House task force will tout alternatives to bachelor’s degree [Inside Higher Ed]

Most Adults Favor Free Public College, Pew Finds [Inside Higher Ed]

California community college students would receive more financial aid under a new state proposal [EdSource]

Trustee censured for inaccurate email at Johnson County Community College [Inside Higher Ed]

Guidance to high school counselors: Brush up on your college advising [The Washington Post]

For student borrowers, confusion anew in the public-service loan-forgiveness program [The Washington Post]

Tracking Community College Bachelor’s Degrees [Inside Higher Ed]
Education Commission of the States Report: “Community College Bachelor’s Degrees: An Update on State Activity and Policy Considerations”

UCLA drops plan to use facial recognition security surveillance, but other colleges may be using technology [Inside Higher Ed]

More Students Report Talking With Their Professors Outside of Class. Here’s Why That Matters. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Dozens of Colleges Pledged to Enroll More Low-Income Students. So Why Did Their Numbers Go Down? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

In College and Homeless [The New York Times]

Success slows for project seeking increased enrollment of Pell students at high-achieving colleges [Inside Higher Ed]

HBCUs are trying to spare graduates from crushing student loan debt. It’s not easy. [The Washington Post]

Gender Pronouns Can Be Tricky on Campus. Harvard Is Making Them Stick. [The New York Times]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Education and Labor Committee 
February 27: Subcommittee Hearing: “Reauthorizing the National Apprenticeship Act: Strengthening and Growing Apprenticeships for the 21st century.”
Witnesses: to be announced
10:15 a.m. in 2175 Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Chairman Scott Calls on Trump Administration to Withdraw Proposals Supporting Taxpayer-Funded Religious Discrimination

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Senate Democrats to Trump Administration: E-Cigarette Backstep Would Open Loopholes for Tobacco Companies

Press Release: Murray, Democrats Push Departments of Education and Labor to Withdraw Rules Allowing for Federally Sanctioned Discrimination

Press Release: Murray, Wyden, Democrats Urge Secretary Azar to Halt Rule Expanding Federally Sanctioned Discrimination

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Appropriations Schedule for Week of February 24, 2020

House Committee on Appropriations 
February 27: Subcommittee Hearing: “Department of Education Budget Request for FY 2021”
Witness: The Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, Department of Education
10:00 a.m. in 2358-C Rayburn House Office Building or webcast

Press Release: The 2021 Trump Budget Hurts Communities of Color

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Factsheet: President Donald J. Trump Has Championed Reforms That Are Providing Hope to Forgotten Americans

White House Speech: Remarks by President Trump at a Commencement Address at Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony | Las Vegas, NV

White House Blog: “The American Dream is for Everyone!”

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Expands Earn and Learn Opportunities for Students at 190 Schools through Federal Work-Study Reform Initiative

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Announces Nearly $100 Million In Apprenticeship Grants To Close The Skills Gap

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:

H.R.5946 — To preserve knowledge and promote education about jazz in the United States and abroad.
Sponsor: Rep. Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18] (Introduced 02/21/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – House Administration; Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 02/21/2020 Referred to the Committee on House Administration, 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…

H.R.5922 — To direct the Secretary of Defense to establish the Ronald V. Dellums Memorial Fellowship for Women of Color in STEAM fields, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13] (Introduced 02/18/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Armed Services
Latest Action:  House – 02/18/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, 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…

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program Application. Comments due on or before March 25, 2020. 

ED Grant Notice: Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project. Application webinar: February 28, 2020, from 2–3 p.m. ET; Application webinar: March 9, 2020, from 2–3 p.m. ET; Office hours: March 25, 2020, from 1:30–2:30 p.m. ET. Applications due by April 15, 2020.

ED Comment Request: Measuring Educational Gain in the National Reporting System for Adult Education. Comments due on or before April 21, 2020. 

ED Notice: Arbitration panel decisions under the Randolph-Sheppard Act issued from July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.