Washington Wrap Up – April 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.


April 28, 2020

COVID-19 Updates
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that in the coming weeks $127.5 million in grants will be available to expand short-term postsecondary programs and work-based learning programs.  ED expects more information to be out on this grant opportunity within two weeks. ED cautions that institutions of higher education (IHEs) should not seek to apply until the actual application is posted here. This funding comes from the 1 percent of Education Stabilization Funding (around $300 million total with approximately $180 million also being provided for K12 purposes), originally created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136).

There is very little substantive information out on this grant opportunity at this point, but the program will be designed to fund areas that have been highly impacted by COVID-19 (which at the moment ED indicates will be based on percentage of unemployed and percentage of total population that has confirmed COVID-19 cases).  More information on the grant opportunity will be included in a supplemental notice. The Notice Inviting Applications can be found here.

ED announced the application process for State educational agencies (SEAs) to apply for the SEA and local educational agency (LEA) share of Education Stabilization Funds provided by the CARES Act.

ED issued additional information regarding the higher education funding provisions of the CARES Act Emergency Stabilization Fund. Specifically, ED issued: (1) guidance (in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ)) on the emergency student grant aid portion of funds; and (2) the Certification of Agreement form and guidance (in the form of an FAQ) for the institutional portion of funds.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a press release asking wealthy institutions of higher education to not accept their portion of CARES Act formula funding.

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

The Senate and House both passed, and the President signed into law, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R.266). The bill provides $484 billion in funding for small-businesses, hospitals and for COVID-19 testing, including $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, originally created under the CARES Act.

The President signed an executive order which bans the issuance of new green cards for 60 days. The ban applies to foreign nationals seeking a green card who are outside of the U.S., but does not apply to those who are currently in the U.S. The order also does not affect temporary visas, including international student visas.

The National Center for Education Statistics released the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores for history, geography and civics.

The Government Accountability Office published a new report finding that ED should address “significant quality issues” with its restraint and seclusion data.

ED announced the 67 new schools that will participate in the Second Chance Pell experimental site, which allows Pell Grants for certain incarcerated individuals at participating schools.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, in a 2 to 1 decision, that the U.S. Constitution includes a right to a “basic minimum education” in a case pertaining to Detroit Public School students. No announcement has been made as to whether this case will be heard by the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals or a U.S. Supreme Court review will be sought.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Education Dept. expands Pell grant initiative for inmates to take college classes [The Washington Post]

Presidents’ biggest COVID-19 worries? Low-income students and colleges’ financial strain [Inside Higher Ed]

Op-Ed: College Campuses Must Reopen in the Fall. Here’s How We Do It. [The New York Times]

Op-Ed: Higher education’s ‘to-do’ list — the consequences of coronavirus [The Hill]

What The CARES Act Means For Your Student Loans [National Public Radio]

Betsy DeVos Releases Billions More in Coronavirus Education Aid [Education Week]

Colleges lay groundwork for fall, with or without pandemic [Inside Higher Ed]

More College Students May Need Remedial Help This Fall. Can They Get It Online? [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Congress allocates more than $1 billion in stimulus funds for struggling minority-serving institutions [Inside Higher Ed]

Coronavirus poses serious financial risks to US universities [The Brookings Institute]

Minority serving institutions and the financial impact of CARES [The Hechinger Report]

U.S. Appeals Court Recognizes a Federal Right of Access to Literacy [Education Week]

Congress promised coronavirus relief money. Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and Yale are turning it down. [The Washington Post]

Community colleges, regional publics lost in formula for CARES Act funds [Inside Higher Ed]

College Admission: Colleges resort to previously banned recruiting tactics [The Hechinger Report]


Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House

Press Release: Transcript of Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Today

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: McConnell Welcomes Bipartisan Agreement to Continue Coronavirus Relief

House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Chairman Scott Statement on House Passage of Interim COVID-19 Response Bill

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  

Press Release: Alexander Statement on “Nation’s Report Card” Results

Press Release: Murray, DeLauro, Scott Release Report Revealing DeVos’ Failure to Collect Usable Data to Protect Children from Excessive or Discriminatory Seclusion and Restraint

House Committee on Appropriations 
Press Release: House Passes Interim Coronavirus Relief Bill

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press ReleaseSenate Passes Critical Bipartisan Legislation to Address National Coronavirus Crisis

Press ReleaseShelby Urges Swift Passage of Comprehensive Coronavirus Bill

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Press Release: Chairwoman Johnson Statement On The Need For Racial And Ethnic Data Concerning Covid-19 Tests, Diagnoses, And Treatments

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Press Release: FCC Votes to Advance Proposed Rulemaking to Deploy 5G Services to Rural America

House Committee on the Budget

Press ReleaseHouse Budget Committee Examines Tying Extension of COVID-19 Relief to Economic Conditions

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

White House Press Release: [April 23th] Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Expands Second Chance Pell Experiment, More than Doubling Opportunities for Incarcerated Students to Gain Job Skills and Earn Postsecondary Credentials

DOL Press Release: ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor Acts To Help American Workers And Employers During The Coronavirus Pandemic

GAO Report: “Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Education”

IES Report: “The Nation’s Report Card: 2018 U.S. History, Geography, and Civics at Grade 8, Highlights Reports”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.266 — Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act
Sponsor: Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4] (Introduced 01/08/2019) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Appropriations
Latest Action:  04/24/2020 Became Public Law No: 116-139.
Press Release: McCollum Statement On Passage Of Interim Covid-19 Funding Bill

H.Con.Res.98 — Supporting the goals and ideals of GLSEN’s 2020 Day of Silence in bringing attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) name-calling, bullying, and harassment faced by individuals in schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16] (Introduced 04/24/2020) Cosponsors: (85)
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Judiciary
Latest Action:  House – 04/24/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, 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…
Press Release: Engel Marks 2020 Glsen Day Of Silence With Resolution Supporting LGBTQ Students

H.R.6600 — To authorize the Director of the National Institutes of Health to establish prize competitions to incentivize research by institutions of higher education on point-of-care testing for the detection of current or past infection with COVID-19, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8] (Introduced 04/23/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce; Science, Space, and Technology Latest Action:  House – 04/23/2020 Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 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…
Press Release: Beyer Introduces Legislation To Encourage COVID-19 Test Innovation

H.R.6597 — To extend zero interest rate benefits and payment suspension to certain Federal student loan borrowers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21] (Introduced 04/22/2020) Cosponsors: (7)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 04/22/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Stefanik Announces Introduction Of The Bipartisan Equity In Student Loan Relief Act

H.R.6322 — Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020
Sponsor: Rep. Takano, Mark [D-CA-41] (Introduced 03/23/2020) Cosponsors: (49)
Committees: House – Veterans’ Affairs; Armed Services
Latest Action:  Senate – 04/21/2020 Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
Press Release: Chairman Mark Takano’s GI Bill Fix for Student Veterans Impacted by COVID-19 Passes Senate

H.R.6559 — To require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promulgate an emergency temporary standard to protect employees from occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3] (Introduced 04/21/2020) Cosponsors: (29)
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  House – 04/21/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, 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…
Press Release: As Workplace Infections And Deaths Rise, House Democrats Introduce Bill To Protect Workers From Covid-19

H.R.6560 — To mobilize individuals in the United States in the fight against coronavirus by expanding volunteer opportunities in AmeriCorps, expanding employment opportunities at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and utilizing the expertise of Peace Corps volunteer leaders whose service ended on March 15, 2020, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Garamendi, John [D-CA-3] (Introduced 04/21/2020) Cosponsors: (6)
Committees: House – Education and Labor; Transportation and Infrastructure; Foreign Affairs
Latest Action:  House – 04/21/2020 Referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall…
Press Release: Garamendi Introduces Bill to Create National Testing and Contact Tracing Workforce for Coronavirus Response

H.R.6563 — To provide for E-Rate support for Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and connected devices during emergency periods relating to COVID-19, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] (Introduced 04/21/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  House – 04/21/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Meng Introduces $2 Billion Bill to Provide Internet Service to Students During COVID-19 Pandemic


Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Proposed Priorities-Innovative Rehabilitation Training Program. Comments due on or before May 27, 2020. 

ED Comment Request: Student Support Services Annual Performance Report. Comments due on or before June 26, 2020.

ED Grant Notice: Expanding Access to Well-Rounded Courses Demonstration Grants program. Applications due June 26, 2020.

ED Grant Notice: Training and Information for Parents of Children With Disabilities-Parent Training and Information Centers and Parent Information and Training Program
Date of 84.328M Pre-Application Meeting: OSERS will conduct a pre-application meeting specific to these competitions via webinar on May 4, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. In addition, no later than April 27, 2020, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) will post a pre-recorded informational webinar designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Information about the teleconference and the pre-recorded webinar may be found at www2.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​osep/​new-osep-grants.html. Applications due June 22, 2020.