DeVos Opens Public Comment Period on “Secretary’s Vision”

DC Shuttle …

Ed Secy Outlines Priorities. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos outlined her vision and policy priorities for education in the U.S. In a document published in the Federal Register, the Department of Education details 11 proposed priorities for use in competitive grant programs that “reflect the Secretary’s vision for American education.” The department said that its 11 initiatives would apply to about 80 competitive grants amounting to an estimated $4 billion over the 2018 fiscal year. The publication starts the clock on a 30-day period in which the public can comment on the list. The eleven priorities are:

  1. “Empowering Families to Choose a High-Quality Education that Meets Their Child’s Unique Needs”
  2. “Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining Education with an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes and Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers”
  3. “Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills”
  4. “Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills that Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful and Productive Individuals and Citizens”
  5. “Meeting the Unique Needs of Students and Children, including those with Disabilities and/or with Unique Gifts and Talents”
  6. “Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education, with a Particular Focus on Computer Science”
  7. “Promoting Literacy”
  8. “Promoting Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools”
  9. “Promoting Economic Opportunity”
  10. “Encouraging Improved School Climate and Safer and More Respectful Interactions in a Positive and Safe Educational Environment”
  11. “Ensuring that Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families Have Access to High-Quality Educational Choices”

Senators Call for Reauthorization of Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

A group of 59 senators sent a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership urging them to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. In the letter, the senators call for the committee to focus on four improvements during the reauthorization: aligning programs to regional labor market needs; supporting collaborations between schools and employers; increasing work-based learning opportunities; and promoting the use of industry recognized credentials. The U.S. House of Representatives reauthorized the program earlier this year in a bipartisan vote. The letter says there is bipartisan support for Perkins CTE, and a dire need for the legislation, and that the Senate should take it up partially due to the consensus on the issue, according to a news release.

House Democrats Introduce Campus Sexual Assault Legislation. A group of House Democrats introduced legislation, the Title IX Protection Act, which make Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault written into law, according to a news release. The legislation would codify parts of the recently rescinded guidance on the gender-equity law known as Title IX. In September, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights rescinded a 2011 letter on how colleges should handle campus sexual assault and a 2014 question-and-answer document about colleges’ compliance with the law. The proposed legislation would require colleges and universities to use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard in determining responsibility in an incident of sexual misconduct, rather than “clear and convincing evidence,” the Huffington Post 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 Oct. 16, 2017. For more information, please visit:


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