By Diana Ali, June 22, 2017
While acknowledging the ambiguity around guidance within the Department of Education (ED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the Policy and Advocacy team provides an overview and analysis on the current policy landscape.
By Department of Education (ED) Press Release Office, June 19, 2017
In following through on a recent appropriations policy to reinstate Year Round Pell, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has released a statement that the grants will be available starting July 1, 2017. The change in the policy will award qualifying students with up to 150 percent of the student’s Federal Pell Grant Scheduled Award beginning with the 2017-2018 year. Eligibility is based off of the same requirements for the current Pell Grant Program.
By R. Shep Melnick, June 21, 2017
Internal guidance released last week within the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has sparked an investigation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is chaired by former Assistant Secretary of OCR, Catherine Lhamon. However; some Title IX and civil rights advocates uphold that parts of the new guidance may reassert the protection of the individual complainant, which have been left out of previous guidance. The new requirements, which puts forth a case-by-case investigation strategy offers shortened length of investigations for cases without systemic implications in an effort for OCR to address a growing caseload backlog. Advocates against the new guidance, worry that it may be aimed at excluding certain cases from getting the attention they deserve, while proponents hope the guidance will reaffirm the rights of the individual complainant.
By Roy Maurer, June 22, 2017
The House pushed through a career and technical education (CTE) bill this past week reauthorizing federal funding for CTE programs through 2023. In light of proposed CTE cuts by the Trump Administration, the bill would require Perkins to better align with CTE programs and increase the amount of federal funds states can set aside for students in rural areas to 15 percent. The bill also gives states more flexibility in the use of funds for CTE programs and in setting performance goals. The bill is estimated to have an implementation cost of $4.4 billion from 2018-2022, and $4 billion after 2022.
By Duy Pham & David Socolow, CLASP, June, 2017
Abstract: On May 4, 2017, the United States House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Independent analyses of the AHCA show that it would leave 23 million more people uninsured by 2026, and make coverage less comprehensive and affordable for millions more. Many low-income and nontraditional students would be likely to lose health insurance coverage, which would harm their ability to complete and persist in postsecondary education. In addition, the proposed bill would further damage postsecondary education, because it would take away billions of dollars of federal Medicaid spending, forcing states to deny coverage and ration care—or to divert state funds from other purposes, such as state funding for postsecondary education, to replace the lost federal investment in Medicaid.
By Elizabeth Redden, June 26, 2017
The Supreme Court has partially reinstated the revised Travel Ban Executive Order for foreign nationals of six Muslim-majority countries. Exceptions now include nationals “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” A “bona fide relationship” includes individuals connected to higher education previously at-risk, from students to guest speakers. Regardless, the decision has been protested by campus advocates who find it to work against values of inclusion and diversity within the campus community.
In the past few weeks we have seen a rising debate in Texas through the anticipated re-introduction of anti-trans legislation in the July special session. In the past few months other states have retreated from the conversation. So far, 16 states have introduced bathroom bills during the 2017-2018 state legislative sessions. Legislation has failed in AL, AR, KY, MT, SD, VA, and WY. WA HB 1011 was reintroduced through a resolution and retained in present status on 06/21/2017.
In the past few months, we have seen 11 states consider 18 pieces of anti-sanctuary legislation that would affect college campuses. 6 states have introduced (pro) sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 9 pieces have failed, and 15 are pending, and 4 have been enacted. CA SB 54, a statewide sanctuary bill is in Assembly and has passed the Committee on Public Safety and was read a second time, amended, and re-referred to the Committee on Judiciary on 06/19/2017. PA HB 14 was removed from the table on 06/22/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Upwards of 17 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus during the current session. In the 40 pieces of legislation the Policy and Advocacy Team is tracking, 16 bills are pending, 20 have failed, and 4 have been enacted, in AR, GA, and OK. CA AB 424 was re-read, amended, and re-referred to the Committee on Public Safety. GA HB 280 is scheduled to go into effect on 07/01/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) (Introduced 05/04/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 06/22/2017 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
Bill Summary from Ed and the Workforce Press:
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Pater Welch (D-VT) (Introduced 06/23/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce, Rules
-Latest Action: 06/23/2017 Referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
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