Washington Wrap Up – December 15, 2020

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

December 15, 2020

The House and Senate passed a measure to extend the current Continuing Resolution to this Friday, December 18.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on “The 2020 Census: The Bureau Concluded Field Work but Uncertainty about Data Quality, Accuracy, and Protection Remains.”

The Trump Administration issued a press release regarding Americans’ access to COVID-19 vaccines.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) would extend the current moratorium on payments, interest and collections on student loans through the end of January 2021.

ED announced it entered a settlement with Temple University over alleged falsification by the University of its Fox School of Business’ ranking.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that in compliance with a District Court order it will be accepting first-time requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and taking other actions to fully reinstate the program. In this same announcement, DHS announced they may seek relief from this order.

The U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule regarding religious protection in employment practices for religious organizations acting as Federal contractors.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an interim final rule regarding flexibility for Head Start designation renewals in certain emergencies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on successful COVID-19 mitigation strategies in Head Start programs.

The CDC released a report on estimated resource costs for implementation of CDC-recommended COVID-19 mitigation strategies in PK-12 schools.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report on “The Transition to ESSA: State and District Approaches to Implementing Title I and Title II-A in 2017-2018.”

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Student hopes for more help tied up in congressional gridlock [Inside Higher Ed]

Advising in the Time of COVID [Inside Higher Ed]

Budget cuts aren’t sparing flagship universities. But they have an edge. [Education Dive]

CEO group stresses skills over degrees in hiring [Education Dive]

How often are colleges testing for the coronavirus? [Education Dive]

Young People Have Less Covid-19 Risk, but in College Towns, Deaths Rose Fast [The New York Times]

What can community colleges learn from a Great Recession grant program? [Education Dive]

Student loan servicers worry about being overwhelmed [Inside Higher Ed]

Fewer high school graduates enrolled in college this fall amid COVID-19 pandemic, study shows [Los Angeles Times]

Analysis: Low-income community college students most likely to report canceling college plans [Inside Higher Ed]

Institutions planning to offer more in-person opportunities in spring [Inside Higher Ed]

Community Colleges Expected to Have Their Moment in Biden White House. But in Parting Salvo, DeVos Calls Ideas Like Free Tuition ‘Insidious’ [The74million.org]

5 colleges picked to pioneer higher ed options for rural students [Education Dive]

‘Sharp’ pandemic recovery not likely for colleges: report [NPR]

Campus COVID Testing Advocate Chosen to Head CDC [Inside Higher Ed]

With Fall Graduation Off, But Football Still On, Students Question College Priorities [NPR]

More California community college students are taking transfer-level courses, but critics say colleges must do more [EdSource]

Santiago Potes Is 1st Latino DACA Recipient To Be Awarded Rhodes Scholarship [NPR]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Dear Colleague on Republicans’ Desperate Attacks on Our Democracy

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: “Americans Cannot Afford To Wait” for Targeted COVID-19 Relief

House Education & Labor Committee  
Press Release: Chairman Scott Statement on 5th Anniversary of the Every Student Succeeds Act

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
Press Release: Alexander Statement on FDA Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

House Committee on Appropriations 
Press Release: House Passes Continuing Resolution

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Urgent Need For COVID Relief

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Remarks by President Trump at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit

GAO Report: “Higher Education: Children’s Savings Account Programs Can Help Families Build Savings and Envision College”

IES Report: The Transition to ESSA: State and District Approaches to Implementing Title I and Title II-A in 2017-2018

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
Sponsor: Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC] (Introduced 02/12/2019) Cosponsors: (15)
Committees: House – Oversight and Reform; Education and Labor
Latest Action:  Senate – 12/11/2020 Senate agreed to the House amendment to S. 461 by Voice Vote.
Press Release: Scott Bill To Strengthen Partnerships Between HBCUs and Federal Agencies Headed To White House

S.1153 — Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act of 2019
Sponsor: Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] (Introduced 04/11/2019) Cosponsors: (8)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  12/11/2020 Presented to President.

H.R.8932 — To provide that for purposes of determining compliance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in athletics, sex shall be determined on the basis of biological sex as determined at birth by a physician.
Sponsor: Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2] (Introduced 12/10/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 12/10/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Press Release: Reps. Gabbard and Mullin Introduce Bill to Ensure Title IX Protections for Women and Girls in Sports

H.R.8904 — To amend the Higher Education of 1965 to establish the Federal Perkins ARC loan program, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2] (Introduced 12/08/2020) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 12/08/2020 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

S.910 — National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2020
Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] (Introduced 03/27/2019) Cosponsors: (5)
Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Reports: S. Rept. 116-216
Latest Action:  12/08/2020 Presented to President.

S.4972 — A bill to direct the Director of the National Science Foundation to support STEM education and workforce development research focused on rural areas, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] (Introduced 12/08/2020) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action:  Senate – 12/08/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

S.4979 — A bill to terminate the Department of Education.
Sponsor: Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY] (Introduced 12/08/2020) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Latest Action:  Senate – 12/08/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Comment Request: College Affordability and Transparency Explanation Form (CATEF) 2021-2023. Comments due on or before February 8, 2021. 

ED Comment Request: Higher Education Act (HEA) Title II Report Cards on State Teacher Credentialing and Preparation. Comments due on or before February 8, 2021.

DOL Comment Request: Department of Labor Generic Solution for Outreach Activities. Comments must be received on or before January 7, 2021.

USDA Notice: 7 CFR part 1738 Rural Broadband Loans, Loan/Grant Combinations, and Loan Guarantees