Washington Wrap Up – June 2, 2020

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


June 2, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said, in a letter to the Council of Chief State School Officers, that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends issue a rule regarding the equitable participation requirements included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136).

ED updated its webpage for the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund-FIPSE program created under the CARES Act, informing institutions of higher education (IHEs) that “revisions are being made in the formula allocation table and methodology for [the] program.” This program is designed to distribute funding to IHEs with the greatest unmet need, particularly to those that received less than $500,000 in other HEER funding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) publicly signaled that negotiations on another COVID-19 relief package would begin in the “next month or so.”

The House passed the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (H.R.7010) by a 417 to 1 vote.

A Federal judge granted preliminary approval of a legal settlement that would require ED to process nearly 170,000 pending Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) claims within 18 months and cancel debt for approved claims within 21 months.

ED approved the career and technical education (CTE) State plans for Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a letter of impending enforcement action to school districts in Connecticut, arguing that the districts violated Title IX when implementing the State’s policy which requires schools to allow transgender students to play on sports teams that match their gender identity.

The Administration is planning to cancel the visas of Chinese graduate students and researchers in the U.S. who have affiliations with Chinese IHEs associated with the Chinese military.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Trump stands with DeVos, vetoes measure to overturn her controversial student loan forgiveness rule [The Washington Post]

Higher Ed Groups Ask Congress for Billions [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges Face Student Lawsuits Seeking Refunds After Coronavirus Closures [National Public Radio]

Op-Ed: The key issue isn’t whether colleges should reopen in the fall but how to do it safely [Inside Higher Ed]

As George Floyd Protests Rock Cities, Students and Presidents Condemn Systemic Racism [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Op-Ed: All In this together? Don’t forget the community college students [The Hill]

State lawmakers wrestle with scope and timing of higher ed budget cuts [Education Dive]

Senator Murray Opposes Request by College Groups for Liability Protection [Inside Higher Ed]

Watch: The CDC Guidance on Reopening Schools, Explained [Education Week]

Gap years and delayed enrollment may be a concern during pandemic. [Inside Higher Ed]

Plan to monitor colleges’ financial health renews oversight debate [Education Dive]

The Covid-19 Census Could Cost College Towns Millions [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

University of Kentucky will avoid layoffs in budget [Inside Higher Ed]

FAFSA Renewals Down, Especially for Lower-Income Students [Inside Higher Ed]

Remember the MOOCs? After Near-Death, They’re Booming [The New York Times]

One report expects college enrollment to grow. Will the pandemic affect the trend? [Education Dive]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release:  Pelosi Statement on President Trump Veto of CRA to Roll Back Borrower Defense Rule

House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Scott Statement on Trump Vetoing Bipartisan Resolution to Protect Students from Predatory Schools

Press Release: Foxx Applauds Trump Efforts to Stop Chinese Intellectual Theft

Press Release: Committee Holds Virtual Briefing on Impact of COVID-19 on America’s Child Care System

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Murray, DeLauro, Scott, Members Introduce $50 Billion Child Care Stabilization Fund Legislation

House Committee on Energy & Commerce
June 2: Subcommittee Hearing: “On the Front Lines: How Governors are Battling the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Witnesses: Governor Jared Polis, State of Colorado; Governor Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan; Governor Asa Hutchinson, State of Arkansas
11:30 a.m. via webex

House Committee on Appropriations 
June 4: Subcommittee Hearing: “COVID-19 Response”
Witness: Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
11:00 a.m. in 1324 Longworth House Office Building or webcast

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Presidential Veto Message to the House of Representatives for H.J. Res. 76

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Approves Second Wave of Perkins Career and Technical Education State Plans

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Awards Nearly $24 Million In Grants For Job Corps Scholars Program For At-Risk Youth

IES NCEE Blog: Reducing the Burden to Grantees While Increasing the Public’s Access to IES Funded Research

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.943 — Never Again Education Act
Sponsor: Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12] (Introduced 01/31/2019) Cosponsors: (302)
Committees: House – Education and Labor | Senate – Energy and Natural Resources
Latest Action:  05/29/2020 Signed by President.
Press Release: Maloney’s Never Again Education Act Signed Into Law

H.R.7029 — To facilitate the re-opening of schools through study of children’s role in transmitting SARS-CoV-2, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Gonzalez, Anthony [R-OH-16] (Introduced 05/27/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  House – 05/27/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Gonzalez and Fudge Introduce Bill Aimed At Helping Schools Reopen In The Fall

H.R.7034 — To modify the deadline for completing the 2020 decennial census of population and related tabulations, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12] (Introduced 05/27/2020) Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: House – Oversight and Reform; Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 05/27/2020 Referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform, 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…

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: Study of An Information Strategy to Increase Enrollment in Postsecondary Education. Comments due on or before July 27, 2020.  

ED Grant Notice: School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program. Applications due July 13, 2020. 

DOL Comment Request: Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium. Comments due on or before June 29, 2020.  

ED Comment Request: CARES Act, Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement (Institutional Aid). Comments due on or before July 27, 2020.