Senate Would Edge Up Labor-HHS-Education Funding

DC Shuttle …

Senate Appropriations Chair Announces 2019 Education Spending. Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO) announced that the allocation for Labor-HHS-Education for the 2019 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will be $2 billion above the amount Congress provided in fiscal 2018. The fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill signed into law in March placed the discretionary allocation for Labor-HHS-Education at $177.1 billion. Increasing the fiscal 2019 spending to $179.1 billion would represent a 1.1% increase.

House Holds Student Privacy Hearing. The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing to talk about student data privacy tilted “Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring How Schools and States Keep Data Safe.” Members heard from the Future of Privacy Forum’s Amelia Vance, former Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon and two K-12 school officials: David Couch of the Kentucky Office of Education Technology and Gary Lilly, superintendent of Bristol Tennessee City Schools.

Senators Write Asking for Funding Public Summer Internships. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter to Harvard President Drew Faust asking for an increase in funding for summer internships in public service fields for undergraduates, the Harvard Crimson reports. The letter referenced Faust’s 2010 commencement address announcement that Harvard would commit to “doubling the current amount of funding for undergraduate summer service opportunities, and a significant increase for graduate students.”

Arbitrator Says Cornell U Interfered with Union Vote. Cornell University violated federal labor law during last year’s union election for graduate assistants, an arbitrator ruled last week. The American Federation of Teachers contested the results of the close election, alleging administrative interference. Howard Edelman of the American Arbitration Association said that Barbara Knuth, graduate dean, was wrong to write in a newsletter just prior to the vote making arguments against unionization. Inside Higher Ed reports.

Rep. Banks Named to Education and Workforce Committee. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) was named to the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Banks will replace Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI), who is taking a seat on the House Armed Services Committee vacated by former Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) who is the new NASA administrator.

DeVos Meets with Survivors of Mass Shootings. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos held a meeting with school shooting survivors and experts. Secretary DeVos is leading the Trump administration’s commission on school safety. DeVos convened the first “organization” meeting of the school safety commission in March. The commission is expected to eventually make policy recommendations on ways to prevent school shootings. Though the meeting was closed to the public, written statements were posted on the department website.

Senate Approves Deputy U.S. Secretary of Education. The Senate approved Mick Zais to be deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Education in a 50-to-48 vote along party lines. Zais is a retired Army brigadier general and former state superintendent of South Carolina schools. Prior to serving as South Carolina’s superintendent, Zais was president of Newberry College for 10 years. As superintendent of South Carolina schools, Zais refused to participate in the Obama administration’s signature Race to the Top program.

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 May 21, 2018. For more information, please visit:



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