April 11, 2018, 10 AM
This will be a full committee hearing on “The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.”
By the Research and Policy Institute, April 5, 2018
During the month of April, the Department of Education (ED) is expected to put out a call for comment corresponding with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding Title IX, a provision in the Education Amendments of 1972 banning sex discrimination in schools supported by federal dollars. NASPA will be holding a number of listening sessions involving a diverse range of constituent groups and accepting written comments from NASPA members through April 20, 2018 to be able to respond to the expected proposed rule in a way that is representative of NASPA membership. This post offers background on the evolution of Title IX guidance, building from NASPA’s October 2017 blogpost on the rulemaking process, to explain what the notice and comment period means for student affairs professionals, and why it is important for student affairs professionals and institutions of higher education to add your voice during the call for comment period.
By Eric Kelderman, April 3, 2018
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), a major accreditor which had its federal recognition revoked in 2016, has had its recognition restored for the time being. Over 100 colleges which are still accredited by ACICS will remain eligible to receive federal financial aid, and the council will no longer have to face a federal advisory panel to regain recognition. The announcement from the Department of Education (ED) came after a court ruling which found an issue with the initial decision-making process. The ruling decided that it would rely on a final decision from Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to determine if accreditation status should be reinstated. According to ED, the resorted recognition may be only temporary, as the Department takes careful consideration to review the former case. "As the court ordered, we will fairly consider all of the facts presented and make an appropriate determination,” DeVos said in an ED press release.
By Maria Danilova and Richard Lardner, April 7, 2018
The Trump administration has attempted to smooth the road for struggling for-profit universities through Obama-era roll backs and reduced student loan forgiveness, however the industry continues to deal with declining enrollment rates. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that student enrollment dropped by 69,000 in the last year. The Trump administration hired several staff with backgrounds in the for-profit education sector. In response, Liz Hill, a spokesperson for ED upheld their eligibility, stating, "In addition to being highly qualified, they are carefully complying with all ethical requirements and have recused themselves when appropriate." Still, with enrollments dropping a number of for-profit schools are seeking non-profit status, which would give them less oversight and remove federal funding restrictions. Bob Shireman, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, warned that consumers should be ways of these newly formed non-profits that tend to continue to covertly operate as for-profits with predatory practices.
By Scott Jaschik, April 9, 2017
The Justice Department (DOJ) has begun an investigation as to whether the sharing of early decision applicant information is in violation of federal antitrust laws. Colleges received letters from the DOJ last week in which the Department requested documents relevant to the case. The letter is asking for a broad range of communications and records involving early decision applicants, from communications regarding accepted students, to records of actions taken as a result of information received by the college or university on accepted student identities. The initial response to the letters has been full compliance. Several admissions officers have stated that they believe shared information about applicants does not raise legal issues, as the Common Application as students sign a waiver that if the institution should admit them early, they may share that information.
By Rafael Bernal, April 9, 2018
An immigration advocacy group has placed ad dollars on a campaign that will run in English and Spanish in 27 districts. The ads pin blame for Congress not reaching a solution to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients on President Trump and congressional Republicans. These ads run counter to a number of tweets from President Trump which continue to place blame on Democrats for the demise of DACA. DACA is still currently held in place by two federal level court decisions, but is unlikely to be taken up by Congress again until after the November elections.
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. This summary includes changes observed concerning tracked legislation over the past week. TN SB 2480, which failed to move forward in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 04/03/2018, and TN HB 2620, which was placed on the Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee for 04/09/0218, would expand the attorney general and reporter’s duties to include representation for a Local Education Agency (LEA) or certain LEA employees in a legal proceeding arising out of the LEA’s adoption of a policy or practice designating multi-person restrooms, locker rooms, or other facilities for use based only on one’s biological sex.
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 25 bills across 14 states regarding in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. CA AB 3008, which had a scheduled hearing canceled on 04/03/2018, would create additional exemptions for undocumented residents from paying nonresident tuition. CT SB 4, filed on 04/04/2018, would require the Office of Higher Education to study issues related to assisting students without legal immigration status with the cost of college. NJ S 699, received in the Assembly for a second reading on 04/05/2018, would allow certain students, including undocumented immigrants, who meet certain criteria to quality for State student financial aid programs.
Guns on Campus:
Since the start of January, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on 29 bills across 15 states. This summary includes changes observed concerning tracked legislation over the past week. LA SB 505, read a second time and referred to the Judiciary Committee on 04/03/18, would allow certain peace officers to patrol schools while carrying concealed firearms. TN HB 2208, which failed to move forward in the Education Administration and Planning Committee on 04/04/18, would have allowed certified firearms instructors to train teachers in certain distressed rural counties who would be allowed to carry concealed firearms. MD HB 904, read for the first time on 04/05/18, would prohibit law enforcement officers from carrying certain weapons on public school property.
-A Notice by the Education Department on 04/09/2018
-National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education
Summary: “This notice sets forth the agenda, time, and location for the May 22-24, 2018 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), and provides information to members of the public regarding the meeting, including requesting to make oral comments. The notice of this meeting is required under § 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and § 114(d)(1)(B) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended.”
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