Washington Wrap Up – March 17, 2020

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


March 17, 2020

The Senate passed Congressional Review Act resolution H.J.Res.76, which would repeal the Administration’s recently finalized Borrower Defense to Repayment rule, by a 53 to 42 vote.

Senate Democrats released proposals for additional COVID-19 relief, including: a six-month payment forbearance on student loans for affected borrowers; Federal funding for schools, institutions of higher education and child care providers to help response efforts; emergency grant aid for basic needs of college students, such as housing transportation and child care; and protection for students against the loss of Pell Grants and other financial aid if they are sent home or take a break in their studies. Subsequently, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced S.3489, which incorporates many of these proposals.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) published new COVID-19 guidance for schools regarding: protecting student privacy; ensuring students with disabilities continue to receive services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and flexibilities around accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would remove GI Bill benefits eligibility from five institutions of higher education – Temple University, the University of Phoenix, Colorado Technical University, American InterContinental University and Bellevue University.

At a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger said that CFPB and ED have reached an agreement to conduct joint oversight of Federal student loan servicers.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was appointed as White House Chief of Staff, replacing Mick Mulvaney.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Biden and Sanders Spar on Free College [Inside Higher Ed]

Trump suspends interest on all federal student loans to ease financial impact of coronavirus [The Washington Post]

Cap and Gone? College Commencements Confront the Coronavirus [The New York Times]

As coronavirus closures force colleges to move students online, ed-tech experts see opportunity — but also risk [Inside Higher Ed]

In some states high school seniors get into college without even having to apply [The Hechinger Report]

Everybody Ready for the Big Migration to Online College? Actually, No [The New York Times]

Preparing for Emergency Online Teaching [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Future unclear for support staff on empty college campuses [Inside Higher Ed]

Op-Ed: State universities say they want diversity but recruit well-off, white, out-of-state students [The Los Angeles Times]

Why are some colleges closing over virus concerns while others stay open? [Inside Higher Ed]

Federal judges say universities must prevent further harassment [Inside Higher Ed]

UC to consider a new type of tuition hikes over next five years [EdSource]

Spring outbreak: Universities issue strict warnings as coronavirus spreads  [The Washington Post]

If Coronavirus Closes School, Who Gets Paid and How? [Education Week]

Workers With Skills But No Degree [Inside Higher Ed]
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper: “Searching for STARs: Work Experience as a Job Market Signal for Workers without Bachelor’s Degrees”

Can a college completion crisis be solved by students sharing their struggles? [The Hechinger Report]

A Growing Number Of U.S. Colleges Cancel Classes Amid Coronavirus Fears [National Public Radio]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Chairman Scott Introduces Bill to Support K-12 and Higher Education Students Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: CORONAVIRUS: Murray Introduces Bill to Support Students, Teachers, School Staff Amid School Closures

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press ReleaseAppropriations Vice Chair Leahy REAX On President Trump’s National Security Declaration

House Committee on Appropriations 
Fact Sheet: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
FCC Press Release: Commissioner Rosenworcel On Broadband Companies’ Pledge To Keep Americans Connected: This Is A Good Start, But We Need To Do More

White House Press Release: President Donald J. Trump Has Mobilized the Full Resources of the Federal Government to Respond to the Coronavirus

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Issues Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program Final Rule

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Releases New Resources for Educators, Local Leaders on K-12 Flexibilities, Student Privacy, and Educating Students with Disabilities During Coronavirus Outbreak

USDA Press Release: Secretary Perdue Announces Proactive Flexibilities to Feed Children When Schools Close

IES Data Table: National Graduation Rate Increases in School Year 2017-18 for U.S. Students

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.6275 — To support children and students in responding to safety and health risks presented by qualifying emergencies, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3] (Introduced 03/13/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 03/13/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.R.6276 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit treatment of student loan payments as elective deferrals for purposes of employer matching contributions, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Davis, Danny K. [D-IL-7] (Introduced 03/13/2020) Cosponsors: (7)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action:  House – 03/13/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means
Press Release: Reps. Davis And Lahood Introduce The Retirement Parity For Student Loans Act Of 2020

H.R.6220 — To amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to provide for leave with respect to a public health emergency, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3] (Introduced 03/12/2020) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Oversight and Reform; House Administration
Latest Action:  House – 03/12/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committees on Oversight and Reform, and House Administration, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the…
Press Release: Committee Democrats Introduce Legislation To Secure Workers’ Access To Emergency Family And Medical Leave In Response To COVID-19

H.R.6230 — To amend the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program under the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require an on-line portal, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Boyle, Brendan F. [D-PA-2] (Introduced 03/12/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 03/12/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor

S.3191 – Industries of the Future Act of 2020
Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] (Introduced 01/14/2020) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action: Senate – 03/11/2020 Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Ordered to be reported with an amendment favorably.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Annual Report of Children in State Agency and Locally Operated Institutions for Neglected and Delinquent Children. Comments due on or before May 15, 2020. 

ED Grant Notice: Ready to Learn. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 6, 2020. Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than March 23, 2020, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) will post an informational webinar on the Ready to Learn Programming website at oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/innovation-early-learning/ready-to-learn-television-rtl/. Applications due May 15, 2020.

ED Comment Request: Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Program: Lender’s Application for Insurance Claim Form and Request for Collection Assistance Form. Comments due on or before May 12, 2020. 

VA Comment Request: Availability of Educational, Licensing, and Certification Records. Comments due on or before May 11, 2020. 

DOL Final Rule: National Apprenticeship Act.

HHS Comment Request: Survey of Youth Transitioning From Foster Care. Comments due within 30 days. 

ED Grant Notice: Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP). Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 9, 2020. Applications due May 26, 2020.