DC Shuttle …
Loan Forgiveness Data. The U.S. Department of Education released new data on public student loan forgiveness. The report shows that of the more than 28,000 borrowers who submitted applications under the federal public service loan forgiveness program, only 96 had their loans discharged as of the end of June, the data shows. The loan forgiveness for those borrowers totaled $5.52 million, according to the Education Department. The department said it denied more than 70% of the applications it processed because the borrower didn’t meet the program requirements, Forbes reports. An additional 28% of applications were denied because they were missing information. Earlier this year, Congress create a one-time expansion of the program. The omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2018 included a $350 million fund to help denied borrowers reapply. Congress is preparing to provide another $350 million in the spending package just approved by the Senate and up for a vote in the House this week, H.R. 6157.
U.S. Senate Passes Education Funding, Vote Planned in House this Week. The Senate approved a bill, H.R. 6157, to fund the Education Department for fiscal year 2019, by a vote of 93 to 7. The House will vote on the bill this week. The bill is a compromise between the two chambers that also funds the Labor and Health and Human Services departments and is coupled with a Defense Department funding measure. The Education Department overall would receive just under $75 billion, a $650 million increase over fiscal 2018. Technical and adult education programs would receive $1.9 billion, a $95 million increase over the previous year, and special education programs would receive $13.5 billion, a $100 million increase. The bill would provide $95 million for “school safety national activities,” $5 million more than last year. The bill also funds $440 million for charter schools, an increase of $40 million. Conservative Republicans in the House are reportedly pressuring leadership to separate the portion funding the Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services Department from a Defense Department funding bill to get more leverage in negotiations with Democrats.
Campus Free Speech Hearing. The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on the issue of free speech on college campuses, “Examining First Amendment Rights on Campus.”
ESSA Hearing. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on states successfully implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). State chiefs from South Carolina, Nebraska, and Delaware, and Democrats for Education Reform President Shavar Jeffries are scheduled to testify.
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 Sept. 24, 2018. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.