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SA Weekly: November 25

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Veterans
November 25, 2019

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more.

Bipartisan Movement in Washington “Senator Alexander backs a bill aimed at recruiting of student veterans by for-profits, a compromise amid negotiations with Democrats over his proposed package of higher education bills.”

Sen. Patty Murray urges DeVos to halt changes to a popular student loan repayment plan “The Democratic senator says new information from the Government Accountability Office undermines the Education Department's assumption that there is a significant risk of borrower fraud in income-driven repayment plans.”
Forgiving Student Debt Would Boost Economy, Economists Say
 “Democratic presidential candidates want to obliterate student debt. Economists say that could help with income inequality, but it would come with a big price tag and risks.”

U.S. Releases Earnings Data for Thousands of College Programs “The U.S. Department of Education released first-year earnings data for thousands of college programs. Some see a way to judge programs' value -- while others question the data's value.”

What to Know About Lists of Financially Challenged Colleges “There's a long history of debate over whether potentially vulnerable colleges should be publicly named.”

What The U.S. Can Learn From Free College In Chile “In 2016, Chile passed gratuidad, or "free college." As the idea gains popularity ahead of the 2020 presidential election in the U.S., Chile offers some lessons from what has happened there.”

Policy Update

Policy at a Glance: SCOTUS Considers Workplace Protections for the LGBTQIA Community by Diana Ali, Associate Director of Policy Research and Advocacy 

Relevant Bills & Updates

Subcommittee on Investigations Hearing: Securing the US Research Enterprise from China’s Talent Recruitment Plans

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations, November 19, 2019

Last week Senators discussed potential risks associated with continuing to grant federal research contracts to participants in Chinese talent recruitment programs. Subcommittee members considered how the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) should work with institutions to assess their reports and released a report with considerations. The report poses concerns for international students and large research institutions facing enrollment decline due to the enhanced vetting requirements of these students. 


H.R. 5221—100% Clean Economy Act of 2019

Primary Sponsor: Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA)

Committee: House Energy and Commerce

Latest Action: Introduced on November 21, 2019

The 100% Clean Economy Act works to address the global climate crisis by moving the United States toward a 100 percent clean future by 2050. Pollution often has a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities and this bill takes on issues of environmental injustice. Center for American Progress offers a Fact Sheet that provides more information on the bill. 


H.R. 3055—Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Further Health Extenders Act of 2019

Primary Sponsor: Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)

Committee: House Appropriations

Latest Actions: Passed by the House on November 19 and the Senate on November 21, 2019

Congress did not successfully pass appropriations bills before September 30, and enacted a continuing resolution (CR) at the time to keep the government open through November 21. Congress was unable to reach this extended deadline and enacted a second CR to continue the negotiations process through December 20. H.R 3055 also increases Census funding in the House, includes a 3.1 percent military pay raise, and extends expiring health care programs. For more, the Committee for a Responsible Budget provides regular updates to their blog titled Appropriations Watch: 2020


Relevant Regulations

Department of Education Fall 2019 Regulatory Agenda

Released twice a year by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), November 20, 2019

The Department of Education regulatory agenda includes several higher education and student affairs related issues such as; the expected final Title IX rule, implementation of Executive Order 13854 (Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities), and expected changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 


Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Agreements Between an Eligible School and the Secretary To Participate in the Direct Loan Program

  •        A Notice by the Education Department on November 22, 2019
  •        Open comment period that ends on December 23, 2019
  •        Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED)

Abstract from Federal Register: “The Department of Education (the Department) requests an extension of this information collection tied to the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program regulations issued under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The 2018 negotiated rulemaking made final in the rule to be published in September 2019 makes changes made to the regulations in § 685.300. These final regulations are a result of negotiated rulemaking and will rescind the requirements of the current regulations in paragraphs (e), (f), (g), and (h) . The final rule and this rescission will not take effect until July 1, 2020. The Department is asking to extend the current burden assessment until the effective date of the change and at that time a discontinuation request will be filed.”

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments


Around NASPA

HOT SPOTS MATTER: Framing Place-based Sense of Belonging by Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community