February 2018 Public Policy Update


Author
Krista Saleet

Published
March 3, 2018


February Region II Public Policy Update

NASPA Policy Resources

NASPA Policy Publications and Letters of Support

NASPA Reacts to Reversal of Support for Transgender Students' Civil Rights
By NASPA, February 13, 2018
We are disappointed to hear from the media that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will further rollback transgender student protections outlined under the Obama administration. Department Spokeswoman Liz Hill has confirmed to several media sources that while the harassment or penalization of students for “failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes” remains sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX, the requirements of students to use bathroom or changing facilities corresponding to their sex assigned at birth is not. No official announcement has been made by the ED Office for Civil Rights regarding this announcement. NASPA continues to stand by our trans colleagues and students.

Can States Provide Access? Update on In-State Tuition Policies for Undocumented Students
By Diana Ali, NAPSA Policy Analyst, February 15, 2018
States legislatures are back in session and have begun to introduce legislation largely affecting the success of both DACA recipients and undocumented students overall. NASPA Policy Analyst Diana Ali considers how the current political climate impacts state-level policy, specifically that of in-state tuition, for undocumented immigrants in 2018.

Post-Nassar Campus Efforts Should Procced with Caution
By Jill Dunlap NAPSA Director for Equity, Inclusion, and Violence Prevention, February 15, 2018
There are many solutions that might be offered to assuage the fears of campus presidents and legal counsel regarding an institution’s response protocols and policies. These include better training for employees who learn about incidents of sexual assault, stronger mandatory reporting policies and more comprehensive education for students, faculty and staff who are impacted by sexual violence, among others. The problem, however, is that stronger mandatory reporting policies might actually have a contravening effect on sexual violence efforts on campus.

Letter to Congressional Leaders in Support of Bipartisan Legislation to Support Dreamers
By American Council on Education (ACE) and 24 organizations including NASPA, February 18, 2018
The letter, submitted prior to the Senate vote on Friday, urged passage of the McCain and Coons amendment or the Rounds, King, Collins, Manchin, Graham, and Kaine amendment, as these amendments represented reasonable compromises by both sides in order to provide a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented individuals.

IN THE NEWS:

PRESS RELEASE: Senate HELP Committee—Alexander, Murray Seek Input on Reauthorization of Higher Education Act
Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), with all members of the Committee, are seeking comments or suggestions for the Committee’s consideration. Comments are due by Friday, February 23, 2018. Please send comments to [email protected]

Another School Shooting—But Who’s Counting?
By Isabel Fattal, February 14, 2018
The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has reignited a conversation on school shootings and campus gun violence. It turns out the federal government defines and counts mass shootings in inconsistent ways. For example, in 2008, the FBI limited its definition of mass shootings to a single incident in which a shooter kills four or more people, however Congress officially defined “mass killings” as three or more killings in 2012. A 1996 legislative decision to prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding public-health research on issues related to firearms has stymied reliable information on school shootings and gun violence; however, violence prevention advocates continue to push for better data. In 2015, Adam Pah of Northwestern began working to create a comprehensive database on school shootings between 1990 and 2013. He found a correlation between economic distress and school shootings. After the Aurora, Colorado, movie-theater shooting, Mother Jones created an open-source database of mass shootings in the US, and Education Week launched a similar database a month ago.

Scramble for Aid Money in Budget Deal
By Andrew Kreighbaum, February 16, 2018
Last week’s Senate budget deal included $4 billion for student programming that assist “college completion and affordability.” This broad provision is left up to interpretation by House and Senate appropriators. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have pushed for the money to be spent on the preservation and expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. “Congress promised nurses, teachers, police officers and other public servants a future without crushing student loans. Bad loan servicing, program technicalities and bureaucratic nonsense are no excuse for going back on our commitment,” Warren said in a written statement. “I’m going to keep working to make sure funding I fought for in the budget is used to honor that promise. Similarly Sen. Patty Murray said in a written statement that "Students should be able to earn a college degree -- especially low-income students and those who have dedicated their careers to public service, including teachers and first responders -- without crushing financial burden." Appropriators have until March 23 to consider specifics on how the money will be used.

The Senate Fails to Act on DACA, and the Immigration Debate Moves to the Right
By Jonathan Blitzer, February 17, 2018
The Senate opened up a vote on four different immigration related amendments on Friday, including three amendments that would allow for a path to citizenship. All four of these amendments were tabled after the President threatened to veto any bill other than his own four pillar proposal. The Supreme Court also held a closed-door conference on Friday to consider an appeal from the Department of Justice to lift two injunctions made at federal level courts against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program so that it can be fully phased out, as originally announced, after March 5th. It looks like the Justices are unlikely to take up the case, and let it play out in lower courts, meaning it may take months to reach a consensus. DACA recipients can apply for status renewal until the courts provide further clarity. Further, Congress will have to vote on another funding resolution before March 23, which means DACA may once again be taken up as part of these negotiations.

Relevant Regulations:

Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waiver of Eligibility Requirements; Programs Under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended (HEA), and Programs Under Title V of the HEA

  • A Notice by the Education Department on 02/14/2018
  • Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education (ED)

Summary: “The Department announces the process for designation of eligible institutions and invites applications for waiver of eligibility requirements for fiscal year (FY) 2018.”

Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program

  • A Notice by the Education Department on 02/14/2018
  • Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education

Summary: “The Secretary delays, until July 1, 2019, the effective date of selected provisions of the final regulations entitled Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program (the 2016 final regulations), published in the Federal Register on November 1, 2016. The Secretary is delaying the 2016 final regulations to ensure that there is adequate time to conduct negotiated rulemaking and develop revised regulations.”

Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Programs; 2018-2019 Award Year Deadline Dates; Correction

  • A Notice by the Education Department on 02/20/2018
  • Federal Student Aid (FSA), U.S. Department of Education (ED)

Summary: “On January 3, 2018, we published in the Federal Register (83 FR 356) a notice announcing the 2018-2019 award year deadline dates for the submission of requests and documents from postsecondary institutions for the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs (collectively, the “campus-based programs”) (January 3, 2018 Notice). This notice corrects the zip code for submitting requests and documents by overnight delivery from 14304 to 14302. All other information in the January 3, 2018 Notice remains the same.”

Federal Summaries

S.2431 - A bill to ensure that certain incidents involving a covered employee that are reported to the title IX coordinator at an eligible institution of higher education have been reviewed by the president of the institution and not less than 1 additional member of the institution's board of trustees, and for other purposes.

  • Primary Sponsor: Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) (Introduced 2/15/2018)
  • Committees: House – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • Latest Action: 02/15/2018 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions This bill was created after the information that came to light following the exposure of Larry Nassar in an effort to ensure that colleges and universities in the state of Michigan are able to begin to build trust with its students, athletes, faculty, and alumni.

State Summaries

Trans Rights
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on 19 bills across 10 states. SD HB 1296, scheduled for a hearing on 02/12/2018, would require each school board to establish a policy on the use of certain school district facilities by transgender persons. IA SF 2296, introduced and referred to the Education Committee on 02/14/2018, would prohibit persons from entering multiple occupancy toilet facilities in elementary and secondary schools that do not correspond with that person’s biological sex. HI SB 2353, reported from the Education Committee with recommendation of passage on second reading as amended and referred to the Judiciary on 02/16/2018, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity or expression or sexual orientation, or disability, in any state education program or activity or in any education program or activity that receives state financial assistance. . HI HB 2139, reported from the Judiciary Committee with a recommended referral to the Finance Committee on 02/16/2018, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity expression in any state education program or activity.

Sanctuary Campuses
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA as observed movement on three bills in three states. MS HB 1508, which died in committee on 01/30/2018, and known as "The Mississippi First Higher Education Act"; works to remove those policies which support affirmative action, multiculturalism and sanctuary of undocumented immigrants. TN HB 271, which had sponsors added on 01/30/2018, prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting or enacting sanctuary policies and authorizes residents of Tennessee to submit complaints to the attorney general and reporter.

In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, NASPA’s Policy and Advocacy Team has seen movement on 18 bills across 11 states regarding in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. VA HB 11, filed on 01/10/18 and failed in the Committee on Rules on 02/13/2018, would have expanded in-state tuition to individuals currently granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). CA AB 3008 , read for the first time on 02/16/2018, would create an exemption for qualifying undocumented immigrants from paying nonresident tuition.

Guns on Campus
Since the start of January, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on 16 bills across 11 states. HB 4298, “The Campus Self Defense Act,” considered to pass given it making its way through the Judiciary Committee on 02/12/2018, would deny institutions of higher education the authority to restrict or regulate the carrying of a concealed weapon by a person who holds a current license to carry a concealed weapon; providing exceptions as to when regulation may occur. NJ S 1854, introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on 02/15/2018, establishes “gun-free” and “weapon-free” zones around certain school and public properties. . MO HB 1942, reported to pass in a public hearing and referred to the Administrative Oversight Committee on 02/15/2018, allows institutions of higher education to designate one or more faculty or staff members as campus protection officers.

State Updates

Delaware Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
0 bills signed
0 bills passed Senate
0 bills passed House
0 new bills introduced
Maryland Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
0 bills signed
1 bills passed Senate
2 bills passed House
31 bills introduced - new bills can be found here

Passed Senate
SB 139 Higher Education - Heroin and Opioid Addiction and Prevention Policies - Exceptions and Revisions – Passed Senate, February 8, 2018

Passed House
HB 17 Higher Education - Student Loan Notification Letter – Modifications – Passed House, February 22, 2018
HB 527 Higher Education - Maryland Technology Internship Program – Alterations – Passed House, February 22, 2018

New Jersey Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
0 bills signed
0 bills passed Senate
0 bills passed Assembly
33 new bills introduced - new bills can be found here
New York Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
0 bills signed
0 bills passed Senate
0 bills passed Assembly
0 new bills introduced

Pennsylvania
Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
1 bill became law
0 bills passed Senate
0 bills passed House
0 new bills introduced

Signed into Law:
HB1653 An Act amending the act of January 25, 1966 (1965 P.L.1546, No.541), referred to as the Higher Education Scholarship Law, further providing for eligibility for State scholarship. – Signed into Law, February 15, 2018

Washington, D.C. Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
0 bills signed
0 bills passed Council
0 new bills introduced since last newsletter
West Virginia Bill status tracker for this legislative session since last newsletter:
0 bills signed
1 bills passed Senate
2 bills passed House
1 new bills introduced - new bills can be found here

Passed House and Senate:
SB386 Decreasing and increasing appropriations from Treasury to Higher Education Policy Commission – Passed Senate and House, February 16, 2018

Passed House:
HB4622 Relating to authorizing legislative rules regarding higher education – Passed House, February 20, 2018

This monthly newsletter is compiled by the NASPA Region II Public Policy Representative, Krista Saleet. If you would like to send suggestions or submit policy updates for the next newsletter, please email [email protected]


Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.

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