DC Shuttle: Ed Dept. Delays Tech Symposium on Ratings System

Department of Education delays symposium on college rating system. The Education Department has again rescheduled its “technical symposium” on the administration’s proposed college ratings system. The new date for the daylong, public meeting is this Thursday, Feb. 6.

HEA efforts may not bear fruit in 2014. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, spoke to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation about the future of a higher education bill in the senate. In his address, Sen. Harkin stated that hearings about the 2008 version of the bill will continue until May, with a new bill possibly being presented on the floor of the Senate in June. However, the senator is expecting that it will not get to a vote this year. “It just could be one of those things that if the timing is right and if we’ve got good bipartisan support for it, it could be one of those things that could come on the floor [before the November elections], if not then, maybe in a lame duck session,” Harkin stated. If the bill does get passed in the Senate, it would still have to be approved in the House and compromises would need to be made. “The real question is what the House is going to do,” Harkin said. “We’ll just have to see what [House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair John] Kline wants to do in the House. I don’t know. I can only take care of my own backyard.” At this time, timeline for the bill is unclear.

House to consider in-state tuition for veterans bill. The House on Monday was scheduled to take up a bill (H.R. 357) under suspension of the rules, introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) that would require that public universities participating in Veterans’ Affairs (VA) educational assistance programs charge veterans, at the most, in-state tuition regardless of their state of residence.

FCC will double funds for school broadband. The Washington Post is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will announce Wednesday that it plans to double funding, to $2 billion, for the portion of the E-Rate program that gives grants to increase broadband access in schools.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Feb. 3, 2014.

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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