DC Shuttle …
HEA Hearings in Senate. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The hearing focused on access and innovation in the higher education space. The committee heard testimony from Barbara Brittingham of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) as well as other experts. HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has said he hopes to have a Senate version of the reauthorization of the HEA ready “by early spring.” A House reauthorization bill (H.R. 4508) was approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee on a 23-17 party-line vote in December. Ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) said she hopes to work with Alexander on provisions that would help students of lower income, those who are the first in their family to go to colleges, or who are minorities, veterans, homeless and working adults. Lawmakers at the hearing concentrated on access and innovation in education, particularly on distance and competency-based education and other programs to support students who need assistance and the availability of education other than the standard four-year degree. The Senate Committee will hold another hearing tomorrow on HEA reauthorization, focusing on accountability.
Alexander Says Perkins CTE is a Priority this Congress. HELP Chair Alexander has expressed his desire to update and reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the law that dictates how the federal government spends about $1 billion annually on career and technical education. Senate HELP staff reported that Perkins reauthorization is a “priority for Chairman Alexander this Congress.” Alexander has asked Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) to continue to work with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to develop a proposal for the Senate. In June, the House passed a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2353). The House bill, which applies to both secondary and postsecondary programs, would make changes such as simplifying requirements states have to follow when applying for federal funds and making it easier for providers to apply to participate.
Groups Sue Ed Dept over Sexual Assault Guidelines. Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeks to reverse new campus sexual assault policies issued last year by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The lawsuit argues that new federal guidance on Title IX law issued by DeVos in September discriminates against survivors of sexual violence on campus. In September, DeVos rescinded two guidance documents issued by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2014 that survivor advocates say were critical for getting new protections on campus. The U.S. Department of Education at the same time issued a set of interim guidelines for colleges and universities on the handling of sexual harassment and assault, the New York Times reported.
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. 29, 2018. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.