Washington Wrap Up – April 21, 2020

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


April 21, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the application process for Governors to apply for the Governor’s share of Education Stabilization Funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136).
ED announced that career and technical education (CTE) programs can donate or loan personal protective equipment and other medical supplies purchased with Federal funds to public health agencies, private nonprofit hospitals and other licensed health providers in response to COVID-19.

ED’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) published guidance for State educational agencies to request waivers of the Tydings amendment, as allowed under the CARES Act, and extend the period of availability of State formula grant funds authorized by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that funding for the Paycheck Protection Program authorized under the CARES Act has run out. Congressional leaders are still negotiating over legislation that would add funding to the program.

The House and Senate are in recess until the week of May 4.

Both the House and Senate announced that they have extended their current congressional recesses until the week of May 4.

ED agreed to process nearly 170,000 pending Borrower Defense to Repayment claims within 18 months, and cancel debt for approved claims within 21 months, as part of a legal settlement. Under the settlement, if ED fails to decide a claim within 18 months, it must cancel 30 percent of a borrower’s debt for every month overdue, and if ED garnishes a student’s wages or takes their tax refunds while the student awaits a decision, ED must discharge 80 percent of the debt. Additionally, ED will waive all loan interest that has accrued while students await decisions on their claims.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Major Cost-Cutting Begins in Response to Covid-19, With Faculty and Staff Furloughs and Pay Cuts [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Some federal student loan borrowers, locked out of the bailout, consider a risky move for relief [The Washington Post]

Students sue universities for tuition and fee refunds [Inside Higher Ed]

The grading system upended, college students are pushing grad schools, employers to be flexible [The Washington Post]

Students on campus talk about experiences [Inside Higher Ed]

Students are pressing colleges to keep paying campus workers. Colleges are listening (for now). [The Washington Post]

Colleges Are Handing Out Billions in Coronavirus Stimulus Funding to Students. Can They Do It Fairly? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Report estimates that more than 450,000 undocumented immigrants are enrolled in higher ed [Inside Higher Ed]

College students are rebelling against full tuition after classes move online [The Washington Post]

After Coronavirus, Colleges Worry: Will Students Come Back? [The New York Times]

College groups release joint guidelines for accepting credit during coronavirus [Inside Higher Ed]

Community college students struggle for clinical hours as classes go online [Education Dive]

College Board cancels June SAT tests and floats an ‘unlikely’ scenario: College admission exams at home [The Washington Post]

Pandemic Presents Special Challenge to 2-Year College Built on a Cohort Model [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

As colleges brace for financial aid appeals, there’s a new tool to help students file them [The Washington Post]

As higher ed groups ask for more coroanvirus aid, $47B is ‘the floor’ [Education Dive]

For colleges, insurance against sexual misconduct is becoming harder to get [Education Dive]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
The House and Senate are in recess until the week of May 4. 

Speaker of the House
Press Release: Dear Colleague on Urging Federal Reserve to Include Nonprofits and Universities in CARES Act Lending Facilities

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Senator Murray Urges President Trump to Reverse Decision to Freeze WHO Funding, Which Undermines Global Fight Against COVID-19

House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: House Democrats Introduce Bill to Help Workers Keep Job-Based Health Coverage During COVID-19 Crisis

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: REAX Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Being Appointed To President Trump’s Council To Reopen America

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing | April 17, 2020

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Takes Action To Help American Workers During The Coronavirus Pandemic

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Announces $3 Billion in Emergency Education Block Grants for Governors

IES WWC Announcement: Studies of Distance Learning

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.6526 — To establish a STEM corps to enhance the STEM and computer science workforce of the Department of Defense and the defense industry, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Banks, Jim [R-IN-3] (Introduced 04/17/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Armed Services
Latest Action:  House – 04/17/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.
Press Release: Reps. Banks and Kim Introduce Bill to Establish STEM Corps

H.R.6491 — To amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to provide for a high-speed broadband deployment initiative.
Sponsor: Rep. Graves, Sam [R-MO-6] (Introduced 04/14/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Transportation and Infrastructure; Financial Services
Latest Action:  House – 04/14/2020 Referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Financial 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…
Press Release: Graves Introduces Bill To Spur High-Speed Broadband Projects In Rural Communities

H.R.6502 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for deferral of loan repayment for graduates during the period of the coronavirus.
Sponsor: Rep. Harder, Josh [D-CA-10] (Introduced 04/14/2020) Cosponsors: (12)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 04/14/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: STIMULUS: Harder Encourages Americans to Update Direct Deposit Info ASAP

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Loan Discharge Applications (DL/FFEL/Perkins). Comments due on or before June 16, 2020. 

DOL Comment Request: American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) Grants. Comments due on or before June 15, 2020.

ACF Comment Request: Guidance for Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Comments due within 60 days.