Washington Wrap Up – September 1, 2020

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

September 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) directed Federal Student Aid (FSA) to continue the suspension of interest, payments and involuntary collections on Federal student loans as has taken place under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136) through the end of the year.

ED issued a final rule this week pertaining to distance learning and competency-based education. The rule is effective July 1, 2021, but ED is allowing IHEs and accreditors to implement its provisions earlier.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance reflecting new procedures for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initially announced in July.

Federal judges in California and Washington State issued injunctions blocking ED from enforcing its equitable services provision related to the Education Stabilization Fund’s portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L.116-136).

The U.S. Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report on persistence and attainment at post-secondary institutions.

IES released a report on revenues and expenditures for public elementary and secondary education in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Colleges want professors to stay mum on student COVID-19 cases [Inside Higher Ed]

Looking to Reopen, Colleges Become Labs for Coronavirus Tests and Tracking Apps [The New York Times]

Mayors Of College Towns Brace For The Economic Impact Of Remote Learning [NPR]

Federal student loan disbursement down for the summer [Inside Higher Ed]
The Century Foundation Report: “Student Loans Plummeted for the Summer Term”

Professors plan to strike for racial justice [Inside Higher Ed]

Admissions group urges public colleges to go test optional next academic year [Education Dive]

Colleges pressed to provide information on decision triggers for scaling back campus operations [Inside Higher Ed]

[Rep. Anna Eshoo] Op-Ed: The pandemic highlights the need of connectivity for college students [The Hill]

Some Colleges Planned Early for an Online Fall. Here’s What They Learned. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Colleges Prepare to Weather Hurricanes and Fires [Inside Higher Ed]

COVID-19 Roundup: 6% of a College’s Students Have It [Inside Higher Ed]

Major public universities haven’t always been forthcoming with statistical modeling in fall reopening plans [Inside Higher Ed]

Universities sound alarm as coronavirus cases emerge just days into classes — 530 at one campus[The Washington Post]

Tracking Coronavirus Cases at U.S. Colleges and Universities [The New York Times]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Dear Colleague on GOP Refusal to Meet the Needs of American People in COVID Relief Legislation

House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Stabenow Denounce USDA Inaction to Provide School Meals to Children

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions  
Press Release: Murray, Schumer Blast Trump Administration’s Constant, Dangerous Political Interference In COVID-19 Response

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
Press Release: Mnuchin To Testify Before Coronavirus Panel On Administration’s Response To America’s Economic Crisis

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: The Trump Administration Is Investing $1 Billion in Research Institutes to Advance Industries of the Future

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Congratulates 2020 President’s Education Awards Program Recipients

DOL Press Release: As Schools Reopen, U.S. Department Of Labor Answers Questions About Eligibility For Paid Leave And Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

IES Report: “High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) Postsecondary Education Transcript Study and Student Financial Aid Records Data File Documentation”

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.8136 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ensure that investigations of sexual misconduct by institutions of higher education are fair, trauma-informed, and evidence-based.
Sponsor: Rep. Slotkin, Elissa [D-MI-8] (Introduced 08/28/2020) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 08/28/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: On Women’s Equality Day, Slotkin Announces Legislation Requiring ‘Trauma-Informed’ Approach in Sexual Assault Investigations

H.R.8100 — To provide for emergency education freedom grants, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish tax credits to encourage individual and corporate taxpayers to contribute to scholarships for students through eligible scholarship-granting organizations, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Byrne, Bradley [R-AL-1] (Introduced 08/25/2020) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Ways and Means; Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 08/25/2020 Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, 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…
Press Release: Byrne, Lipinski, Walker Introduce Bipartisan School Choice Now Act

H.R.8110 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ensure that public institutions of higher education eschew policies that improperly constrain the expressive rights of students, and to ensure that private institutions of higher education are transparent about, and responsible for, their chosen speech policies.
Sponsor: Rep. Murphy, Gregory [R-NC-3] (Introduced 08/25/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 08/25/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Murphy, Banks Introduce Campus Free Speech Restoration Act in the House of Representatives

H.Res.1095 — Expressing support for the designation of September 2020 as National Campus Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Sponsor: Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large] (Introduced 08/25/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Oversight and Reform
Latest Action:  House – 08/25/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Notice: Public Posting Requirement of Grant Information for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grantees.

Department of State Comment Request: Education and Cultural Affairs Monitoring and Evaluation Initiative. Comments are due on or before September 30, 2020. 

ED Comment Request: Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment Universal Form. Comments are due on or before September 28, 2020. 

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.