DeLauro, McGovern Among New Englanders More Visible in Higher Ed Policy After Dems Take House

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

Trump Administration Releases Draft of Regulation Overhaul. The Trump administration released a draft of a sweeping plan to overhaul a wide range of higher education regulations. Negotiations over the proposal were set to begin Monday, Jan. 14. The U.S. Education Department selected 15 people to serve on the rulemaking committee, as well as dozens of additional, non-voting alternates and subcommittee members. The goal is to scale back and simplify federal regulations on colleges and accreditors that the administration argues impede innovation in higher education. Inside Higher Ed reports on the proposed changes.

Democrats Asks DeVos to Extend Comment Period on Title IX Changes. Congressional Democrats wrote a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting that the public be given another 30 days to comment on her proposed overhaul of the rules for how schools handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault. DeVos should push back the Jan. 28 deadline “in light of the great interest in this rule and the perception the Department of Education is failing to listen to students and survivors,” wrote Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who chairs the House subcommittee that writes the Education Department budget.

House to Consider Supplemental Spending. House Democrats released a supplemental funding bill under which the Education Department would receive an additional $165 million in disaster aid for fiscal 2019. The extra funding would help schools and colleges that were affected by a range of disasters in 2018, including hurricanes, California wildfires, the earthquake in Anchorage and volcanic eruptions in Hawaii. House Rules Chair Jim McGovern (D-MA) said in a notice his committee is expected to take up the supplemental funding package next week. Amendments are due on Friday.

IRS Tool Delaying Financial Aid. The IRS “Get Transcript” system has been down since late December and is now causing the delay of approval for federal financial aid. Some students need that tool in order to provide their college with documentation of the tax information they listed on their application for federal financial aid. Without that information, they can’t receive federal student loans and Pell grants. Spokespeople for the IRS and Education Department insisted the outage is not related to the partial government shutdown. They said the tool is “unavailable due to scheduled annual maintenance” and expect it to be back up and running Jan. 14.

NH Requests to Repurpose Grants. New Hampshire asked U.S. Department of Education to repurpose $10 million in unused education grants. New Hampshire’s Department of Education has filed a plan with the federal government to repurpose about $10.3 million in special education grants that haven’t been used by local school districts, the Associated Press reports.

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 Jan. 14, 2019. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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