Washington Wrap Up – March 16, 2021

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

March 16, 2021

The House and Senate passed the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R.1319).

Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) announced his retirement.

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R.1319) into law.

President Biden issued an executive order that stated “all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex” and instructed the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to jointly review both the Title IX regulation and other ED guidance to ensure policies align with the President’s statement.

ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) announced that it would not require completion of the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement form for the 2021-2022 award year.

DOJ submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court which argued that the NCAA’s restrictions on student athlete compensation violate antitrust laws.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it is extending several school meal waivers through September 30, 2021.

In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a student from Georgia’s Gwinnett College could still seek nominal damages over a case involving free speech policies that are no longer in effect.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Progressives escalate fight over Education Department student loan office [POLITICO]

Ideas for Getting Loan Borrowers Back Into Repayment [Inside Higher Ed]
Memo: Recommendations for Successfully Transitioning Federal Student Loan Borrowers Back Into Repayment

State higher ed funding flat thanks to federal stimulus influx [Article 4 – Inside Higher Ed]

Biden’s Covid relief won’t shield many public colleges from pandemic’s blow [POLITICO]

Labor board withdraws rule to quash graduate students’ right to organize as employees [The Washington Post]

A New Admissions Scandal [Inside Higher Ed]

California lawmakers weigh 2 bills to ease students’ path to a bachelor’s [Higher Ed Dive]

The new relief bill has $350B for local and state governments. Will colleges benefit? [Higher Ed Dive]

Why colleges are racing to tell students they’ll be open in person this fall [Inside Higher Ed]

Athletes Call on NCAA to Respond to Anti-Trans Bills [Inside Higher Ed]

Google expands certificate programs’ reach by partnering with Guild [Higher Ed Dive]

California agency that oversees for-profit colleges to face critics [EdSource]

Biden Begins Process To Undo Trump Administration’s Title IX Rules [NPR]

Congress makes student debt forgiveness tax-free, limits revenue that for-profit colleges get from enrolling veterans [The Washington Post]

Faculty still harbor concerns about teaching STEM courses online  [Inside Higher Ed]

Colleges continue losing undergraduate enrollment this spring, even as graduate enrollment climbs[Inside Higher Ed]

Opinion: HBCUs providing pandemic support, counseling and coaching [The Hechinger Report]

States Seek Education Department’s Help in Regulating Loan Servicers [Inside Higher Ed]

Community college enrollment sank this fall. But some programs fared better than others. [Higher Ed Dive]

New Common App data show that in admissions, the rich get richer [Inside Higher Ed]

A university is offering students $75 to skip spring break [The Washington Post]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi Statement on Infrastructure and Jobs Package

Press Release: Dear Colleague on Final Passage of the Biden American Rescue Plan

Senate Majority Leader
Press Release: Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Ahead Of House Passage Laying Out How The American Rescue Plan Will Help Alleviate Child Poverty And Deliver For Historically Disadvantaged Farmers

Senate Minority Leader
Press Release: McConnell on Becerra Nomination: Wrong Nominee to Run HHS During a Global Health Crisis

House Education and Labor Committee
March 17: Subcommittee Hearing: “Rising to the Challenge: The Future Of Higher Education Post Covid-19”
Witnesses: Mr. Keith Thornton, Jr., Student, Florida International University, Miami, FL; Mr. Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges, Corona Del Mar, CA; Dr. Lindsey M. Burke, Ph.D., Director, Center for Education Policy, and Mark A. Kolokotrones Fellow in Education, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.; Mr. Daniel A. Zibel, Vice President & Chief Counsel, National Student Legal Defense Network, Takoma Park, MD
1:00 p.m. via Zoom

March 18: Joint Subcommittee Hearing: “Fighting For Fairness: Examining Legislation To Confront Workplace Discrimination
Witnesses: Ms. Laurie A. McCann, J.D., Senior Attorney, AARP Foundation, Washington, D.C.; Dina Bakst, J.D., Co-Founder & Co-President, A Better Balance, New York, NY; Ms. Camille Olson, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago, IL; Fatima Goss Graves, J.D., President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, D.C.
10:15 a.m. via Zoom

Press Release: Foxx Statement on Biden’s COVID Address

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
March 16: Full Committee Hearing: Nomination of Julie Su to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor
Witness: Julie Su, Sacramento, CA
10:00 a.m. in 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building or webcast

Press Release: Sen. Burr: Current Moment Critical for Learning from COVID-19 Response and Letting States Lead

Press Release: Senator Murray Applauds House Passage of the PRO Act, Urges Senate Action

Home Committee on Rules
Press Release: Meeting Announcement for Tuesday, March 16, 2021

House Committee on the Budget 
Press Release: Chairman Yarmuth’s Floor Remarks Ahead of Final Passage of American Rescue Plan

Senate Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Chairman Sanders Statement on Passage of The American Rescue Plan

House Committee on Appropriations
March 18: Subcommittee Hearing: “FY 2022 Budget Hearing: Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (OCWR)”
Witness: Ms. Susan Tsui Grundmann, Executive Director, Office of Congressional Workplace Rights
10:00 a.m. via Webcast

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
March 17: Subcommittee Hearing: “Brain Drain: Rebuilding the Federal Scientific Workforce”
Witnesses: Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, Director of the Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists; Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service; Dr. Betsy Southerland, Former Director of Science and Technology, Office of Water, Environmental Protection Agency
10:00 a.m. via WebEx

House Committee on Energy and Commerce
March 17: Subcommittee Hearing: “Hearing On Leading The Way Forward: Biden Administration Actions To Increase Covid-19 Vaccinations”
Witnesses: Anthony S. Fauci, M.D, Director of National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Institutes of Health; Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
10:00 a.m. vis WebEx

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
March 17: Subcommittee Hearing: “From Rescue To Recovery: Building A Thriving And Inclusive Post-Pandemic Economy”
Witnesses: Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University, Nobel Laureate in Economics; William E. Spriggs, Chief Economist, AFL-CIO, Professor, Department of Economics, Howard University
11:00 a.m. via  YouTube and the Select Subcommittee website.

Press Release: Select Subcommittee To Hold Hearing On Building A Thriving And Inclusive Post-Pandemic Economy

Online Events:
April 6: What Works Clearinghouse event—Designing and Delivering Career Pathways at Community Colleges: A Practice Guide for Educators
On March 23, IES released a new practice guide that focuses on guidance for implementing career pathways at community colleges associated with improving postsecondary student learning and labor market outcomes. Compiled by a panel of national experts and practitioners, the practice guide offers five evidence-based recommendations.
This webinar will focus on strategies for applying the evidence-based recommendations from the Practice Guide to help administrators, staff, and faculty at community colleges effectively develop and implement career pathways and career and technical education initiatives at their colleges.
This webinar will offer community college leaders and staff guidance on how to develop, implement, and support career pathways or career and technical education initiatives at their college. The strategies shared by the expert panelists may also interest employers, labor unions, and industry associations that wish to collaborate with community colleges to design or operate workforce development strategies that are responsive to the preparation and training needs of the modern workforce.
Panelists: Hope Cotner, President & CEO of the Center for Occupational Research and Development; Debra Bragg, President of Bragg & Associates and founding director of two university research centers on community college education; Grant Goold, Director of Pathway Development at Futuro Health; Eric Heiser, Provost of Central Ohio Technical College; Darlene G. Miller, Executive Director for the National Council for Workforce Education; and Michelle Van Noy, Associate Director of the Education and Employment Research Center at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Register here.

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Remarks by President Biden on the Implementation of the American Rescue Plan

White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: President Biden to Announce All Americans to be Eligible for Vaccinations by May 1, Puts the Nation on a Path to Get Closer to Normal by July 4th

ED Press Release: Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Signing of the American Rescue Plan

DOL Press Release: US Department Of Labor Announces Funding Available For Researchers To Study Equity For Underserved Communities

IES Report: Do College and Career Readiness and Early College Success in Indiana Vary Depending on Whether Students Attend Public, Charter, or Private Voucher High Schools?

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
S.744 — A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to disclose hazing incidents, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] (Introduced 03/15/2021) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action:  Senate – 03/15/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S.745 — A bill to make high-speed broadband internet service accessible and affordable to all Americans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] (Introduced 03/15/2021) Cosponsors: (12)
Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action:  Senate – 03/15/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Press Release: Klobuchar, Cramer, 27 Colleagues Introduce Bill to Sustain Rural Broadband Connectivity During Coronavirus Pandemic

H.R.1319 – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Sponsor: Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]
Committees: House – Budget
Committee Reports: H. Rept. 117-7
Latest Action: 03/11/2021 Became Public Law No: 117-2.
Roll Call Votes: There have been 40 roll call votes

H.R.1817 – To direct the Secretary of Labor to establish a renewable energy transition grant program and to establish a National Employment Corps, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11]
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 03/11/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

S.729 – A bill to establish an Educational Equity Challenge Grant program administered by the Department of Education.
Sponsor: Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: Senate – 03/11/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S.741 – A bill to establish a broadband infrastructure finance and innovation program to make available loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit for the construction and deployment of broadband infrastructure, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Lujan, Ben Ray [D-NM]
Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Latest Action: Senate – 03/11/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:

CTE CoLab Community of Practice: Request for Proposals. The CTE CoLab Coalition will select up to 15 community and technical colleges to join the College Community of Practice (CCP), focused on improving access and outcomes for students of color—especially students who are Black, Latinx, or Indigenous—enrolled in credit-bearing online postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs.
This solicitation invites full proposals from public community college and technical colleges interested in joining the CCP to advance their work scaling or enhancing equity-centered approaches to online teaching and learning within a selected credit-bearing CTE program. A webinar will be held from 1-2 pm on March 18, 2021 to answer applicant questions. A list of frequently asked questions, linked here, will be updated with responses to questions following the webinar. Applicants are encouraged but not required to attend the webinar (registration link). For further questions about the application process, please email the Urban Institute team at cteccp@urban.org.
Applications are due via Urban’s online Qualtrics platform at this link by 8:00 p.m. ET on April 2, 2021. Anticipated notice of decision: April 30, 2021. Implementation period: June 2021 to April 2023. For questions about this new initiative or RFP application process, please email cteccp@urban.org.

ED Comment Request: Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory. Comments due on or before April 9, 2021.

VA Comment Request: Survey of Individuals Using Their Entitlement to Educational Assistance Under the Educational Assistance Programs Administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Comments due within 30 days.