By NASPA, December 6, 2018
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Department of Education released the text of their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Title IX. This ended an over-year-long wait that started in September 2017 when Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded guidance set by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2014 and released interim guidance. This is the first in a series of posts by NASPA staff from the Research and Policy Institute (RPI) and Culture of Respect to be released over the first half of December with our initial analysis of the proposed rule. Our hope is to provide information in an easily consumable format and length as soon as possible. Additional analysis on many of these topics is already available from a wide range of associations and organizations and NASPA’s RPI will be making more in-depth analysis on several of the issues below available in early January to assist student affairs professionals in responding to the call for comment with appropriate research and data.
By American Council on Education and 32 other higher education groups including NASPA, December 10, 2018
This letter to the Department of Homeland Security works to oppose public charge regulations which will impact members of the higher education community and their families by limiting access to green cards for immigrants receiving public benefits. Comments focus on concerns to higher education: Title IV federal student aid programs and international students on F-1 and J-1 visas.
By NASPA, December 13, 2018
This is the second part of NASPA’s Initial Analysis of the proposed rule on Title IX, released by the Department of Education in mid-November and opened for a 60-day public comment period on November 29, 2018 . The first part addressed NASPA’s overarching comments, and provisions of the proposed rule relating to the narrower definition of harassment and scope of institutional responsibility. This post will address aspects of the formal grievance procedures related to implications for institutional staffing and the pseudo-legal process proscribed in the proposed rule. Additional information will be available next week addressing issues related to informal resolution, required cross-examination by third-party advisors, the standard of evidence, timeline for adjudication resolution, and changes to the religious exemption from Title IX.
By Thomas Harnisch, AASCU, December, 2018
Thomas Harnisch, Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, provides a state-level take on the 2018 election cycle noting Democratic gains, higher education ballot initiatives, and impacts on higher education as a whole. The brief also includes a policy outlook for 2019, anticipating Democratic-controlled states to pursue items such as extending in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, expanding free college programs, and increasing rights for student borrowers. The brief anticipates that state under Republican control will continue to re-emphasize free speech on campus, and likely strengthen ties between the private sector and higher education.
By Marvin Krislov, Forbes, December 3, 2018
While advocates remain concerned, Harvard’s affirmative action case is currently at the district court level, and will only extend to a national level should it advance to the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court agrees to take the case. The Supreme Court has affirmed on a number of cases that a college or university can consider race and ethnicity, so long as the process is narrowly tailored. This reigning precedent has been fairly consistent for the past 40 years. In California, the consideration of race and ethnicity has been banned from California public universities following a referendum issued in 1996; however, an academic who studies the issue has said he thinks the University of California system is skirting that probation. This case is also quite far from constitutional challenge.
By Anna Malinovskaya and Louise Sheiner, Brookings, December 13, 2018
With spending deadlines approaching, it’s a useful time for a primer on the national federal budget. Analysts from the Hutchins Center explain the difference between mandatory and discretionary funding, what the government spends money on, and where the government gets all its money in this back to basics post.
By Anya Kamenetz, NPR, December 14, 2018
The Department of Education is being held responsible for the loan forgiveness of thousands of students who attended predatory for-profit universities, and after trying to delay borrower defense to repayment rules from going into effect since the start of the Trump Administration. According to the National Student Legal Defense Network, 3,600 schools have closed at least one campus since 2013. Borrower Defense to Repayment as stipulated under the Obama Administration, holds the Education Department liable to automatic relief, which could cost millions beyond the $150 million being returned or canceled now.
**Check for updates in the coming months. Most states return to session in January 2019**
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) (Introduced 04/12/2018)
-Latest Action: 12/12/2018 Motions to reconsider laid on the table, agreed to without objection
This past week Congress passed the 2019 Farm Bill which includes a strong safety net for agriculture professionals and eliminates proposed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirements which would have narrowed the applicant pool for those benefits. The formerly proposed bill would have imposed work requirements on older workers, as well as parents with children ages 6 to 12. SNAP revisions in the current iteration of the bill include a removal of the ability to receive food stamp benefits from multiple states, and for states to receive federal funding as an award for highly performing programs. The legislation fails to prevent an executive agency from eliminating SNAP entirely, which has been signaled as a possibility by the Trump Administration.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) (Introduced 06/20/2018)
-Latest Action: 09/27/2018 Presented to President Trump, and signed on 9/28/2018
This appropriations minibus, signed into law at the end of September, contained a continuing resolution providing temporary funding for seven outstanding appropriations measures until December 21. During the current lame duck session, Congress will need to continue funding for: Agriculture; Homeland Security; State and Foreign Operations; Commerce, Justice, and Science; Financial Services and General Government; Interior and Environment; and Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
**Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments**
-A Proposed Rule by the Education Department on 11/29/2018
-Comment period that ends on 1/28/2019
-Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Education (ED)
Summary: “The Secretary of Education proposes to amend regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). The proposed regulations would clarify and modify Title IX regulatory requirements pertaining to the availability of remedies for violations, the effect of Constitutional protections, the designation of a coordinator to address sex discrimination issues, the dissemination of a nondiscrimination policy, the adoption of grievance procedures, and the process to claim a religious exemption. The proposed regulations would also specify how recipient schools and institutions covered by Title IX (hereinafter collectively referred to as recipients or schools) must respond to incidents of sexual harassment consistent with Title IX's prohibition against sex discrimination. The proposed regulations are intended to promote the purpose of Title IX by requiring recipients to address sexual harassment, assisting and protecting victims of sexual harassment and ensuring that due process protections are in place for individuals accused of sexual harassment.”
-Proposed Rule by the Homeland Security Department on 12/03/2018
-Comment period that ends on 01/02/2019
-U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security
Summary: “The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or “the Department”) is proposing to amend its regulations governing petitions filed on behalf of H-1B beneficiaries who may be counted toward the 65,000 visa cap established under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“H-1B regular cap”) or beneficiaries with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education who are eligible for an exemption from the regular cap (“advanced degree exemption”). The proposed amendments would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions subject to the regular cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) during a designated registration period. USCIS would select from among the registrations timely received a sufficient number projected as needed to meet the applicable H-1B allocations. DHS also proposes to change the process by which USCIS counts H-1B registrations (or petitions, if the registration requirement is suspended), by first selecting registrations submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS would then select from the remaining registrations a sufficient number projected as needed to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these separate allocations would likely increase the number of beneficiaries with a master's or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for further processing under the H-1B allocations.”
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