Washington Wrap Up – August 25, 2020

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

August 25, 2020

A new and smaller COVID-19 relief bill that reportedly includes $500 billion in overall funding has circulated and is likely to be introduced by the Senate GOP in the coming days. The “skinny” relief bill would include more funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), include liability protections and provide additional unemployment insurance (UI) at $300 per week. It would also provide the same funding and structure for education as the Senate GOP Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections and Schools (HEALS) Act introduced three weeks ago.

The House of Representatives is planning to reconvene on Saturday for a rare August recess vote on a bill that seeks to put constraints on recent systemic changes in the USPS adopted by the Trump Administration and provide additional funding for the USPS.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum stating that educators and educational staff should be viewed as essential workers.

The Trump Administration requested in a court filing last week that its recent appeal of a Federal judge’s decision allowing Title IV- ineligible California Community College students to receive Federal emergency student grant aid under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136) be put on hold. In addition, the Administration indicated in the same court filing that, based on comments received, it is considering “whether to retain or modify the rule” that restricts access to the CARES Act emergency funding only to students who are eligible for Title IV student aid.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a $28 million grant program funded through the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) under the CARES Act (P.L.116-136) focused on providing additional aid to institutions with unmet need.

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case this fall involving the use of “free speech areas” at a public Georgia college.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Education a Key Issue in 2020 Race Even Before the Pandemic, Poll Finds [Education Week]

College Reopening: The Outlook for In-Person Classes [The New York Times]

New federal data highlight differences in educational outcomes across many variables [Inside Higher Ed]

U of Arizona and Ashford are the latest case study in online expansion [Education Dive]

Education Department clarifies Trump executive order on student loans [The Washington Post]

More Than 6,500 Teachers Have Had Unfair Student Debts Erased [NPR]

Colleges and universities across US halt in-person classes and begin campus monitoring after rising coronavirus cases [CNN]

Ed Dept pitches new grants to help colleges rebound from the pandemic [Education Dive]

Hackers eye students returning to virtual classes as easy targets [The Hill]

Senate Democrats push HHS to tally college coronavirus outbreaks [POLITICO]

Move In, Move Out: For In-Person College, Everything Rests On The First Few Weeks [NPR]

Pressure Mounts on In-Person Holdouts [Inside Higher Ed]

Admissions Officials Urge Colleges to Put Standardized-Testing Policies to the Test [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Community Colleges Seek More Parity in COVID Aid [Inside Higher Ed]

Tennessee Promise Boosted Community College Enrollments [Inside Higher Ed]

A College’s ‘Free Speech Areas’ Face Supreme Court Review [The New York Times]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Dear Colleague Marking 100 Days Since House Passage of The Heroes Act

House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Chairman Scott Asks Secretary DeVos to Stop Misusing Emergency Education Funding, Again

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Murray Criticizes President Trump for Peddling Dangerous Conspiracy Theory, Presses FDA for Transparency on COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
Press Release: Clyburn Launches Investigation On Reported Mismanagement In USDA Pandemic Food Assistance Program

House Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Chairman Yarmuth: “Abandoning state and local governments will delay and endanger our national recovery”

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing | August 19, 2020

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Issues New Distance Learning Regulations to Spur High-Quality Distance and Competency-Based Programs, Better Serve Diverse Population of Higher Education Students

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Fully Implements President Trump’s Presidential Memorandum Extending Student Loan Relief to Borrowers Through End of Year

IES Report: “A 2017 Follow-up: Six-Year Persistence and Attainment at Any Institution for 2011–12 First-time Postsecondary Students”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.8086 — To provide additional appropriations for the public health and social services emergency fund, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Burgess, Michael C. [R-TX-26] (Introduced 08/22/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Budget; Appropriations
Latest Action:  House – 08/22/2020 Referred to the Committee on Appropriations, and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, 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 concerned.

H.R.8087 — To amend the Small Business Act and the CARES Act to establish a program for second draw loans and make other modifications to the paycheck protection program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Chabot, Steve [R-OH-1] (Introduced 08/22/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Small Business; Judiciary; Budget; Appropriations
Latest Action:  House – 08/22/2020 Referred to the Committee on Small Business, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, the Budget, and Appropriations, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the…

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: CARES Act 18004(a)(3) Discretionary Grant Application. Comments are due on or before September 24, 2020. 

ED Notice: Tests for review and approval for use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS). Applications are due on October 1, 2020.

ED Comment Request: William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request for Supplemental Information. Comments are due on or before September 23, 2020. 

ED Grant Notice: Institutional Resilience and Expanded Postsecondary Opportunity (IREPO). Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: September 10, 2020. Applications are due on October 20, 2020.