DC Shuttle: Preschool, Journal Access Get Boost … Before the Sequester?

Early childhood education. On Thursday, President Obama released the framework of his plan for the expansion of early childhood education. In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Obama said “tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.” The plan calls for home-visits to new mothers and fathers to teach parenting skills and offer support, more quality care for infants and toddlers, and an effort to get all four-year-olds from families making up to 200% of the poverty line into preschool. The expansion will be run by a federal-state partnership, but the administration has not yet given an estimate of the costs. States would be required to meet quality standards, including having accredited teachers and assessment systems in place.

Federal Research Public Access Act. On Thursday, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (H.R.708) which would require researchers who receive federal funding to post their final publications online for free. Under the bill, all federal agencies with an external research budget over $100 million would require their grant recipients to post their articles online for free within six months of publication in any peer-reviewed journal. The measure is co-sponsored by Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Also on Thursday, Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced companion legislation (S. 350) in the Senate.

Senate sequester hearing. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the impacts of sequester, hearing testimony from Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. Secretary Duncan testified that sequestration would “jeopardize our nation’s ability to develop and support an educated, skilled workforce that can compete in the global economy.”

House hearing on student achievement. On Thursday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing on education innovation and student achievement. The hearing focused on technology and innovative reforms including blended learning, online classes and virtual schools.

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 Feb. 19, 2013.

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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