Washington Wrap Up – May 26, 2020

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

May 26, 2020

COVID-19 Updates

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) published guidance on how Governors can spend the funding they receive through the Education Stabilization Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136).

ED updated its Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) webpage with several disclaimers related to student eligibility for emergency grant aid under HEERF, including that: guidance ED has issued under HEERF does not have the force of law; ED will “not initiate any enforcement action” based on the statements in the guidance regarding student eligibility of emergency financial aid; and ED is continuing to “consider the issue of eligibility for HEERF emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act and intends to take further action shortly.”

The House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800) by a 208 to 199 vote.

Congress sent H.J.Res.76, a Congressional Review Act resolution which would repeal the Administration’s final Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) rule, to the President for signature.

The Senate will be on its Memorial Day recess this week with only pro forma sessions scheduled. The House is expected to be in session and considering legislation next week.

ED approved the career and technical education (CTE) State plans for Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

ED estimated that Great Lakes Educational Loan Services provided incorrect information for roughly 4.8 million Federal student loan borrowers to credit bureaus. Great Lakes incorrectly reported borrowers’ accounts as “deferred,” instead of as making on-time payments as is required under the CARES Act.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance for reopening the U.S., including interim guidance for schools. Additionally, CDC published guidance for reopening institutions of higher education, specifically.

Seventeen States indicated their intent to apply for Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant funds through the Education Stabilization Fund under the CARES Act.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Trump Eyes Restrictions on Foreign Student Work Program [Inside Higher Ed]

College Presidents Say Fall Reopening Likely [Inside Higher Ed]

Picking A College For The Fall? Here’s How To Decide For An Unknown Future [National Public Radio]

Another Casualty of the Coronavirus: Summer Internships [The New York Times]

A Looming Financial Meltdown For America’s Schools [National Public Radio]

New report quantifies public four-year colleges’ value [Inside Higher Ed]
National Bureau of Economic Research Report: “The Economic Impact of Access to Public Four-Year Colleges”

Ed Dept backs off CARES grant eligibility guidance — sort of [Education Dive]

Schools would get $1 billion to help homeless students under bipartisan federal proposal [EdSource]

Schools need flexibility in coronavirus stabilization funds [Brookings Institute]

Sen. Alexander Splits From Betsy DeVos on COVID-19 Aid to Help Private Schools [Education Week]

DeVos Highlights Schools’ Innovation During COVID-19 Closures [Education Week]

Trump’s Dilemma: Reject DeVos Debt Forgiveness Rollback or Anger Veterans [The New York Times]

Key U.S. senator expresses optimism about physically reopening campuses this fall [Inside Higher Ed]

For In-Person College, Coronavirus Testing Will Be Key. But Is That Feasible? [National Public Radio]

Too Expensive to Re-Open Schools? Some Superintendents Say It Is [Education Week]

Colleges faced with whether to increase endowment spending as finances grow more dire [Inside Higher Ed]

UC makes landmark decision to drop ACT and SAT requirement for admission [The Los Angeles Times]

Institutions scramble to recruit and retain international students [The Hechinger Report]

Who Has Authority to Set Public Tuition Rates? [Inside Higher Ed]
Education Commission of the States Report: “50-State Comparison: State Policies on Postsecondary Tuition Setting, Capping and Freezing”

Lawmakers Tell Betsy DeVos Her COVID-19 Guidance Is ‘Robbing Public Schools’ [Education Week]

When Schools Reopen, All Staff Should Wear Masks, New CDC Guidance Says [Education Week]

CDC releases new guidance for colleges on reducing coronavirus spread [Inside Higher Ed]

COVID-19’s Turmoil Could Make Schools a Potent Election Issue [Education Week]

Young Adults Likeliest to Change Education Plans [Inside Higher Ed]

Expanding AmeriCorps could turn new grads into an army of contact tracers. It just needs funding. [The Washington Post]

How to Cope With Covid-19 Burnout [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Highlighting The Heroes Act’s Democracy-Saving Voting Provisions on Anniversary of House Passage of the 19th Amendment

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: McConnell on ‘The Story with Martha MacCallum’ 

House Education and Labor Committee
Press Release: Chairman Scott to Secretary DeVos: Stop Illegally Garnishing Wages on Student Loan Borrowers

Press Release: Scott, Murray Call on Secretary Azar to Help Displaced College Students Maintain Health Insurance During Pandemic

Press Release: House, Senate Education Leaders Call on DeVos to Abandon Guidance Robbing Public Schools of COVID-19 Relief Funding

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions 
June 3: Executive Session: Nominations including the Nomination of Sethuraman Panchanathan to be Director of the National Science Foundation
9:30 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Murray, DeLauro Slam DeVos’ Unauthorized Decision Squandering CARES Funds Reserved for Institutions Hardest Hit by COVID-19

House Ways & Means Committee
May 27: Full Committee Hearing: “The Disproportionate Impact Of COVID-19 On Communities Of Color”
Witnesses: Ibram X. Kendi, PhD, Founding Director, The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University; Raynald Samoa, MD, Endocrinologist, City of Hope, Los Angeles, CA; Thomas Dean Sequist, MD, MPH, Chief Patient Experience and Equity Officer at Mass General Brigham and professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School, with joint appointments in the Division of General Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Alicia Fernandez, MD, Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco; James Hildreth, PhD, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Meharry Medical College; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, PhD, President, The American Action Forum
12:00 p.m. via Cisco Webex

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
ED Press Release: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Names 161 Students as 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars

GAO Report: “Approaches and Strategies Used in College Campus Surveys on Sexual Violence”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.6959 — To amend the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to provide for immediate eligibility for former foster youth under Medicaid.
Sponsor: Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37] (Introduced 05/22/2020) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  House – 05/22/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Reps. Bass, Moore To Introduce The Dosha Joi Immediate Coverage for Former Foster Youth Act

H.R.7009 — To amend title 38, United States Code, to make a technical correction to clarify that colleges and universities located outside the United States may participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sponsor: Rep. Wexton, Jennifer [D-VA-10] (Introduced 05/22/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Veterans’ Affairs
Latest Action:  House – 05/22/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Press Release: Wexton Introduces Bipartisan Yellow Ribbon for Overseas Education Act

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:  House – 05/22/2020 Without objection, if a veto message on H.J. Res. 76 is laid before the House, then after the message is read and the objections of the President are spread at large upon the Journal, further consideration of the veto message and the joint resolution shall be…

S.Res.594 — A resolution calling for the payments to States for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program to be sufficient to cover losses experienced by child care providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sponsor: Sen. Loeffler, Kelly [R-GA] (Introduced 05/21/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 05/21/2020 Referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Press Release: Loeffler Takes Additional Action To Help Families During COVID-19

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Final Rule; Extension of the application amendment deadline: Impact Aid Program. The notice extends the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 application amendment period for Impact Aid program (IAP) applications from June 30, 2020, to August 31, 2020, by 11:59:59 p.m., to allow local educational agencies (LEAs) impacted by the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic additional time to submit their amended applications.

DOL Comment Request: Student Experience Assessment of Job Corps Centers. Comments due on or before June 22, 2020.

VA Comment Request: Monthly Certification of On-the-Job and Apprenticeship Training. Comments due within 30 days.