Trump Executive Order Encourages Workforce Development

DC Shuttle …

Companies Pledge Apprenticeships at White House Event. The White House announced a new “Pledge to America’s Workers” initiative to design an apprenticeship strategy and encourage companies to pledge to participate. The president signed an executive order to establish the National Council for the American Worker. Comprising senior administration officials, the council is charged with developing a national strategy for training and retraining the workers needed across high-demand industries, according to a news release. At the event, companies vowed to offer apprenticeships and skills training to a total of 3.8 million American students and workers over the next five years. Of the companies in attendance, IBM pledged 100,000 opportunities, the Internet Association pledged 30,000, Foxconn pledged 13,000 and Microsoft pledged 10,000. Read more in the Washington Times.

Democrats to Release HEA Reauthorization Bill. House Democrats plan to introduce a bill this week with their vision for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Another reauthorization bill, H.R. 4508, has been approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee but has not made it to the House floor. Democrats on the committee, led by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), are planning to unveil their plan to reauthorize the HEA as soon as tomorrow. The bill does not seem likely to pass in the Republican-controlled Congress. Democrats say it will outline priorities for rewriting the main law that governs higher education. It will be the first proposal by congressional Democrats to comprehensively rewrite the HEA since now-retired Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a bill in 2014.

Democrats Write Letter on Speed of Accreditor Evaluation. A group of Senate Democrats led by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter urging a federal accreditation advisory committee to speed up its plans to study how college accreditors approve for-profit to nonprofit college conversions. Earlier this year, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) set up a subcommittee to study the issue, at senators’ request. In the letter, Senate Democrats say they want the panel to release recommendations within the next three months. NACIQI Chair Art Kaiser had suggested they would be released next year.

Senate Confirms Two Education Nominees. The Senate voted to confirm Jim Blew to be an assistant secretary in the Department of Education on a party-line vote. The Senate voted 50 to 49 to confirm Blew as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, completing the K-12 team at the department. The Senate voted 85 to 0 to confirm Scott Stump, a former Colorado Community College System leader, as assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education. The Senate has now confirmed 11 of the president’s 12 nominees for top roles at the department. Mark Schultz, nominated to be commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, is the last nominee pending before the Senate. The White House hasn’t announced nominees for the three remaining Senate-confirmable positions at the department: undersecretary, assistant secretary for postsecondary education and assistant secretary for communications and outreach.

Senate Chairs Ask for Study on Student Loans. Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) wrote a letter asking the Congressional Budget Office to examine the effects of federal student loan policies on borrowing, loan repayment, cancellation, discharge and forgiveness. The chairs are seeking information on income-driven-repayment (IDR) plans, according to a statement.

Income-Share Agreements on the Rise. The Associated Press reports that income-share agreements are on the rise, including at Norwich University in Vermont.

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 23, 2018. For more information, please visit:



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