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

September 21, 2021

The House Committee on Ways and Means completed the markup of its budget reconciliation legislation.

The U.S. Senate confirmed James R. Kvaal to be the Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) by a vote of 58-37.

President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Robert Valdez for the position of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services.

ED announced the creation of the Puerto Rico Education Sustainability Team to support Puerto Rico in improving educational outcomes for its students.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Federal income-driven repayment ‘built to be a debt trap’ [Higher Ed Dive]
Student Borrower Protection Center Report: “Driving Runaway Debt: How IDR’s Current Design Buries Borrowers Under Billions of Dollars in Unaffordable Interest”

Louisiana colleges already reeling from the pandemic now struggle to recover from Ida [POLITICO]

Massachusetts community colleges to require vaccinations [The Associated Press]

Lee Handbook ‘Falls Short’ for LGBTQIA+ Students, Alums Say [Inside Higher Ed]

Op-Ed: Free community college: Progress is being made, but pitfalls remain [The Brookings Institute]

What’s Changing in the New FAFSA and What’s Not [The New York Times]

Op-Ed: Biden needs to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program [The Hill]

US rightwing group targets academics with Professor Watchlist [The Guardian]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
Speaker of the House
Press Release: Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement on Continuing Resolution and Debt Limit Legislation

Senate Minority Leader
Remarks: Democrats’ Reckless Taxing and Spending Spree Meant to Turn Temporary Pandemic into Permanent Socialism

House Committee on Education and Labor 
September 28: Joint Subcommittee Hearing: “How to Save a Life: Successful Models for Protecting Communities from COVID-19”
Witnesses: to be announced
10:15 a.m. via Zoom

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
September 22: Subcommittee Hearing: “Getting America Ready to Work—Successful on the job, apprenticeship training programs to help workers and business get ready to work”
Witnesses: Noel Ginsburg, Founder and CEO, CareerWise; Naarai Navarro, Business Development Representative, Pinnacol Insurance; Leah Curry, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana Inc.
10:00 a.m. in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building and webcast

House Committee on Financial Services 
September 28: Subcommittee Hearing: “Access Denied: Eliminating Barriers and Increasing Economic Opportunity for Justice-Involved Individuals”
Witnesses: to be announced.
10:00 a.m. in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building and Cisco Webex

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
September 22: Hybrid Hearing: “Recognizing and Building on the Success of Pandemic Relief Programs”
Witnesses: Diane Whitmore, Schanzenbach Professor of Human Development and Social Policy Director, Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University; H. Luke Shaefer, Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President, Children’s Defense Fund; Indivar Dutta-Gupta Co-Executive Director, Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum.
2:00 p.m. in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building and via Zoom

Senate Committee on the Budget
Press Release: Graham Statement on Parliamentarian’s Guidance on Democrats’ Plan to Grant Legal Status to Illegal Immigrants in $3.5 Trillion Tax and Spend Plan

House Committee on Small Business 
Press Release: Committee Republicans send letter detailing Committee Democrats’ partisan budget reconciliation overhaul

House Ways & Means Committee
Documents and webcast of last week’s Markup: “Markup of the Build Back Better Act.”

Online Events:
October 12: REL Northeast and Islands webinar — “Earning College Credit in High School: New Evidence About a Promising Practice”
Earning college credits while in high school has shown promise as a way to increase college access. However, little is known about the effects of such programs for students who have faced economic disadvantages. This webinar will discuss findings from the report The effects of accelerated college credit programs on educational attainment in Rhode Island, the first statewide longitudinal study of such programs in the state. A representative from the Rhode Island Department of Education will discuss how the agency has used the findings to inform state policy governing these programs, initiatives to increase equitable access to the programs, and requests to the state legislature.
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Register here.

October 15: U.S. Department of Education STEM webinar — “Data Literacy”
“Big data”—the ability to harness and use data at scale—has transformed our economy, our democracy, and our daily way of life. Yet, there are significant skills gaps in the data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) fields. The power of data is rapidly transforming careers in manufacturing, health care, and education. AI has made navigating social media and online information a societal conundrum. Join us to understand what Federal, state, and local partners are doing to address these gaps, and what resources exist to bring data education programs to your school.
Speakers: Cindy Marten, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Steven D. Levitt, Freakonomics Co-Author & William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago; Trena Wilkerson, President, National Council of Teachers for Mathematics; Jo Boaler, Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education, Stanford University, and Director and author, youcubed and California Mathematics Framework; Emmanuel Schanzer, Bootstrap Data Science, Brown University; Suyen Machado, co-author, Introduction to Data Science, UCLA Center X.
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Register here.

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: Fact Sheet: How the Build Back Better Framework Will Support the Sandwich Generation

ED Press Release: U.S. Department of Education Announces 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools

DOL Press Release: US Department of Labor Awards $2M in Grants to Support Awareness, Use of Employment Rights, Benefits by Low-Income, Marginalized Women

IES Guide: Updated What Works Clearinghouse Reporting Guide for Study Authors

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
S.2753 — A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize lawful permanent resident status for certain college graduates who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Padilla, Alex [D-CA] (Introduced 09/15/2021)
Cosponsors: (4)
Committees: Senate – Judiciary
Latest Action: Senate – 09/15/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

S.2755 — A bill to authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to States to empower public institutions of higher education in the States to provide student support services to students from low-income backgrounds, historically underrepresented students, first-generation college enrollees, parenting students, students with disabilities, and student veterans.
Sponsor: Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM] (Introduced 09/15/2021)
Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Action: Senate – 09/15/2021 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R.5252 — To amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to award competitive grants for the purpose of developing, offering, improving, and providing educational or career pathway programs for workers, to direct the Secretary of Education to establish a program that awards grants to State coalitions that build or expand career pathways programs in schools within the State, and to establish a program that awards grants to eligible agencies to carry out career pathways programs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Harder, Josh [D-CA-10] (Introduced 09/14/2021)
Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 09/14/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.R.5254 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow early childhood educators to take the educator expense deduction, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Lamb, Conor [D-PA-17] (Introduced 09/14/2021)
Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House – Ways and Means
Latest Action: House – 09/14/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R.5255 — To amend section 7014 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to advance toward full Federal funding for impact aid, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Levin, Mike [D-CA-49] (Introduced 09/14/2021)
Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House – Education and Labor
Latest Action: House – 09/14/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

H.R.5257 — To direct the Federal Communications Commission to establish a program through which eligible individuals may obtain vouchers for the purchase of connected devices, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. McEachin, A. Donald [D-VA-4] (Introduced 09/14/2021)
Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House – Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: House – 09/14/2021 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Press Release: Rep. McEachin, Sen. Warnock Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Establish a Voucher Program & Close the Digital Divide

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
DOL Meeting Notice: Reestablished Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA). The meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 6, 2021, at https://www.workforcegps.org/​events/​2021/​09/​13/​17/​41/​Public-Meeting-of-the-Advisory-Committee-on-Apprenticeship-ACA, and adjourn at 5:00 p.m. 

FNS Correction: Additional Information To Be Collected Under the Uniform Grant Application Package for Discretionary Grant Programs for the Emergency Food Assistance Program Reach and Resiliency Grants. The notice corrects dates on page 51110, in the first column, in the DATES section, in the third and fourth lines “September 14, 2021.” should read “October 14, 2021.”

EOP Proclamation: National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, 2021.

EOP Executive Order: White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics.

EOP Executive Order; Amendment: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Library of Congress Grant Notice: Connecting Communities Digital Initiative—Artist or Scholar in Residence Grant. The Library will host a series of webinars to walk through the Notice of Funding Opportunity, and to answer questions: September 29 at 3 PM EST; October 19 at 3 PM EST; October 27 at 3 PM EST. Applications due on or before November 22, 2021. 

ED Grant Notice: Reopening the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Competition for Certain Eligible Applicants; National Comprehensive Center on Improving Literacy for Students with Disabilities. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications for Affected Applicants: September 13, 2021.

AmeriCorps Grant Notice: FY2022 AmeriCorps State and National Grants. Applications due on or before January 5, 2022.