DC Shuttle …
HEA bills advance in House panel. The House Education and the Workforce Committee advanced a package of legislation aimed at reauthorizing provisions of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The three bills, Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act (H.R. 3136), Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Ac t (H.R. 4983), and Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984), were approved by voice votes. The acts aim to promote and expand competency-based education, simplify how information on cost and other topics is provided to prospective students, and boost counseling for those borrowing student loans. The three are part of the Republican’s proposed plan for reauthorizing provisions of HEA and have supporters in both parties. Many Democrats, however, have expressed concern that the bills do not do enough to more aggressively alter the HEA and protect students. All of the HEA amendments proposed by Democrats were rejected by the committee, including one proposed by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) which would have allowed students with existing loans to refinance them at lower rates. The three advanced bills may now be considered in the full House. Committee Chair John Kline (R-MN) has said he expects a vote before the November elections. Read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
FCC approves E-Rate proposal. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved, 3-2, a modified proposal to overhaul the E-Rate program. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s modified proposal would ensure that requests for broadband connectivity funding are prioritized over wireless needs. The FCC’s Democrats reached a deal to scale back some of the most controversial elements of the E-Rate proposal pushed by Wheeler, sources told Politico’s Brooks Boliek.
Corinthian agrees to sell colleges. The U.S. Department of Education and Corinthian Colleges agreed on a plan to close or sell the for-profit provider’s 107 campuses and online programs. The department said it would release $35 million in financial aid to help Corinthian function through the process. The money will be used solely for educational activities, according to a statement, and Corinthian will work together with the government to create a reserve fund of $30 million so students may finish their studies or receive refunds.
Survey details sexual assault response on campuses. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) released the results of a survey which found that more than 40% of colleges have not conducted a single sexual assault investigation in the past five years. Some institutions reported investigating fewer cases than they reported to the Education Department. Sen. McCaskill touted the survey’s results as evidence that colleges are not properly addressing the issue and continued to call for legislation.
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 July 14, 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.