Washington Wrap Up – January 12, 2021

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

January 12, 2021

The House and Senate certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential election.

Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have been declared the winners of the two Georgia Senate runoff races by major media outlets.

Nancy Pelosi was re-elected to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

On Sunday December 27, President Trump signed a final Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations and COVID relief bill.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wrote a parting letter to Congress which discussed her accomplishments while in office and also urged members of Congress to focus on certain education matters.

President Trump issued an executive order to allow Community Services Block Grant funding to be used for “emergency learning scholarships.”

President Trump’s 1776 Commission was sworn in and convened for the first time.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos resigned effective Friday, January 8.

President-elect Biden announced that he intends to nominate Miguel Cardona as the next U.S. Secretary of Education.

President-elect Biden announced that he intends to nominate current Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Biden to Extend Pause on Student Loan Payments [Inside Higher Ed]

Betsy DeVos leaves a controversial legacy that could soon be reversed [The Washington Post]

Colleges weigh taking action against incendiary comments in aftermath of Capitol attack [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges Share the Blame for Assault on Democracy [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Where Campuses Reopened, Covid-19 Cases Spiked. Where Colleges Went Remote, They Declined. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

‘I Had No Other Option.’ Teens Balance Zoom Classes and Fast-Food Jobs — Sometimes at the Same Time — to Support Struggling Families [The74million.org]

Biden taps Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for Labor secretary: report [The Hill]

Democratic Senate majority raises hopes for increasing affordability [Inside Higher Ed]

Community colleges see demand for food bank services swell [Inside Higher Ed]

A coronavirus tuition refund lawsuit moves forward [Education Dive]

Wealthier colleges and universities targeted in COVID relief bill [Inside Higher Ed]

Community college to offer course in mental health first aid [The Associated Press]

As the Pandemic Worsens, Colleges Prepare to Test Their Spring Plans [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

DeVos Criticizes Free College, Changing Title IX Rules [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges Weigh Whether to Require Covid-19 Vaccines, or Just Urge Them [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Pitzer College creates first B.A. program open to both its students and incarcerated students [Inside Higher Ed]

Big Picture: How the Latest COVID-19 Aid for Education Breaks Down, in Two Charts [Education Week]

Biden selects Miguel Cardona as education secretary [Inside Higher Ed]

Tenured professors win court battle against community college that terminated them [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Dear Colleague on Next Steps in Protecting Our Democracy

Press Release: Pelosi Statement on President-Elect Biden Nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: McConnell Remarks on the Electoral College Count

House Education and Labor Committee 
Press Release: Chairman Scott Statement on the Nomination of Marty Walsh for Secretary of Labor

Press Release: Foxx Statement on Biden’s Pick to Lead Education Department

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Press Release: Murray Statement on the Nomination of Miguel Cardona to Serve as Secretary of the Department of Education

House Committee on Appropriations 
Press Release: Lowey Statement on Trump Belatedly Signing Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief Package

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Bill Announcement re H.R. 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

ED Press Release: Secretary DeVos Announces More than $4 Billion Available in Emergency Education Grants for Governors to Help Students Continue Learning

DOL Press Release: U.S. Department Of Labor Announces Availability Of $3.3 Million To Fund Fidelity Bonding Demonstration Grants

IES Report: “Virginia High School Graduates’ Career and Technical Education Credentials: Top Credentials Over Time and Across Student Groups”

IES Blog: Building a Reading Comprehension Measure for Postsecondary Students

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
H.R.177 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to expand eligibility for participation in the Federal Pell Grant program to certain trade schools.
Sponsor: Rep. Wittman, Robert J. [R-VA-1] (Introduced 01/04/2021) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action:  House – 01/04/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Notice; Clarification: Reopening the Application Period for Certain Applicants Under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), Sections 18004(a)(1), 18004(a)(2), and 18004(a)(3); Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The 2021 Appropriations Act prevents the Department from accepting or processing any applications for new awards under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act (i.e.,the “Student Aid Portion” program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA) 84.425E) and the “Institutional Portion” program (CFDA 84.425F)). While the Department cannot accept or process any applications for CARES Act section 18004(a)(1) program funds, we are still able to accept applications for our section 18004(a)(2) and (a)(3) HEERF programs (CFDAs 84.425J, 84.425K, 84.425L, 84.425M, 84.425N) from applicants that meet one of the five conditions described in the Reopening Notice… 

ED Comment Request: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Regulatory Requirements.Comments due on or before February 4, 2020.