DC Shuttle: All Six NE States Have Now Requested NCLB Waivers; SIP Grants Awarded; Unionizing Grad Students

New Hampshire, Maine Request NCLB Waivers On Monday, officials in New Hampshire and Maine submitted requests for flexibility from the standards of No Child Left Behind. With this action, all six New England States have made formal requests for flexibility. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have had their requests approved already. Vermont, however, made a formal request but subsequently withdrew its application. View a full list of waiver requests and approvals.

Education Dept. Grants for Low-Income Students On Thursday, the Department of Education announced $5.4 million in grants would be provided to 14 colleges and universities as part of a Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). SIP is intended to help institutions serve low-income students and help those students complete programs of study. The funds can be used in a variety of ways to improve schools’ academic quality or fiscal stability.

Hearing on Grad Student Unionization Two subcommittees of the House Education and the Workforce held a joint hearing Wednesday to discuss the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and whether graduate students have the right to unionize. In 2004, the NLRB ruled that graduate students did not have the right to unionize, despite their role as teachers during their programs of study. The NLRB has been subsequently accepting arguments in the matter and reassessing that decision. The NLRB has authority over private universities while states determine the rules at public universities. During the hearing, labor representatives joined Democrats in supporting the right of graduate students to unionize, while university officials joined Republicans in voicing disapproval.  View the hearing.

As a member of New England Council, we publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington. This edition is drawn from the Council’s Weekly Washington Report Higher Education Update, of Sept. 17, 2012.

Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.




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