January 23, 2018, 10AM EST
This is a hearing on “Facing 21st Century Public Health Threats: Our Nation’s Preparedness and Response Capabilities, Part 2”
January 25, 2018, 10AM EST
This is a hearing on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Access and Innovation”
By Sarice Greenstein, Program Manager Culture of Respect, January 11, 2018
The Culture of Respect Collective is a campus mobilization program that guides stakeholders through a step-by-step strategic assessment and planning process.
These smart, innovative ideas for creating culture change on campus came from a selectin of the 50 institutions participating in the 2017 cohort.
By Teri Lyn Hinds, Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, January 18, 2018
While mental health is arguably one of the most prominent issues student affairs professionals engage with on a day-to-day basis, ranging from student needs to maintain or manage existing mental illness or stress to providing outlets and avenues for promotion of mental wellness, it is almost invisible in state and federal policymaking. In this post by Teri Lyn Hinds, NASPA's Director of Policy Research and Advocacy discusses how state and federal policy conversations can add to the mental distress and strain for many students. Despite this, it is rare to see legislation specifically address the growing mental health demands (or the costs of those demands) facing campuses. Policies implemented or being considered nationally in the past year would reverse the gains made to strengthen our general public health and mental health safety nets afforded by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in many states. This erosion comes at a time when students are bombarded on all dimensions of health and wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational, and financial.
By the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and more than 12 other organizations, including NASPA, January 19, 2018
By Dan Diamond and Jennifer Haberkorn, January 16, 2018, Updated January 17, 2018
This past week the Trump administration announced an overhaul of Health and Human Services (HHS) civil rights office which will allow health workers to opt out of performing surgical procedures that work against religious and moral beliefs. This would be a shift of the office, which currently solely focusing on enforcing civil rights and privacy laws. This move falls in line with the platform of Roger Severino, current lead of the HHS civil rights office, who has named strengthening conscience protections for health care workers as a top priority. The civil rights office holds the authority to interpret existing statues, which makes the shift possible without legislative action. In response, inclusive rights advocates have threatened legal action. "Should the administration choose to move forward to implement a discriminatory policy, we will see them in court," Louise Melling, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, January 19, 2018
Last week, the U.S. Senate’s education committee voted along party lines to advance the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to lead the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Education. He has experience having served as acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the department under George W. Bush, and is currently president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a group founded to fight anti-Semitism. Unfortunately Marcus has less experience with other areas within OCR. His response to committee questioning has not given the public much clarity on how he will deal with campus-based sexual violence and gender discrimination.
By Eric Kelderman, January 19, 2017
With the federal shutdown looming last week, higher education advocates speculated on the impact to higher education. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) explained in a written statement that “Federal student-aid programs are forward-funded, meaning most of the dollars for award year 2017-18 are already in place.” Programs that are controlled by law and not by appropriations such as the federal Pell Grand Program will also continue. Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education (ACE) explained that tuition benefits paid through the Department of Veterans Affairs are also safe. Higher education will primarily be impacted in the immediate sense. For instance, military-service academies may experience class and event cancelations and Education Department websites may not be updated making it difficult to obtain federal datasets in the interim. Students can still apply for federal financial aid, but will have to seek help through the Federal Student Aid Information Center, which will remain open. Mr. Hartle also commented that additional complications may arise should the shutdown last for an extended period of time.
By Mike Lillis, January 21, 2018
House Republicans have indicated that they will not necessarily agree to an immigration compromise met between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate any time soon. These comments come after several Senate moderates have decided to cross party lines in an effort to reach an agreement concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Immigration reform advocate, Rep. Lindsey Graham has expressed optimism that discussions will yield an agreement before the 1AM Monday vote scheduled in the Senate on a three-week extension of government funding, which Democrats are expected to block. Other House Republicans pushed back against this statement, noting that the views of Rep. Graham and Sen. Flake were not representative of the House GOP majority. Further, House Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that he will not back any vote on immigration that lacks President Trump’s support.
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on eight bills in six states. TN HB 1488 as introduced on 01/17/2018, expands the attorney general and reporter's duties to include representation of a local education agency arising out of the adoption of a policy requiring students, faculty, and staff to utilize the restroom, locker room, or other facility that corresponds to that individual's biological sex. OK SB 1223, scheduled for a first reading on 02/05/2018 creates the Oklahoma Privacy Accomodation Act; requiring school districts to provide reasonable accommodations to trans students. OK SB 2150, scheduled for a first reading on 02/05/2018 prevents local jurisdictions from expanding anti-discrimination policies to religious organizations.
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA as observed movement on two bills in two states. MS HB 1508, which was referred to Universities and Colleges; Judiciary B on 01/15/2018, and known as "The Mississippi First Higher Education Act"; works to remove those policies which support affirmative action, multiculturalism and sanctuary of undocumented immigrants.
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 nine bills across seven states regarding in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. VA SB 237, passed by indefinitely in the Senate Education and Health Committee on 01/18/2018, states that absent congressional intent to the contrary, that any individual currently granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has the capacity to intend to remain in the Commonwealth indefinitely and is therefore eligible to establish domicile and receive in-state tuition charges at any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.
Guns on Campus:
Since the start of January, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on eight bills in seven states. MO HB 1942, referred to the House Higher Education Committee on 01/18/2018 allows institutions of higher education to designate one or more faculty or staff members as campus protection officers. NE LB 321, which failed to advance to initial enrollment and review on 01/19/2018, would change provisions relating to unlawful possession of a firearm at a school. OK SB 1159, scheduled for a first reading on 02/05/2018 would authorize handgun licensees to carry on certain school property.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Speier, Jackie (D-CA-14) (Introduced 12/12/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce; Armed Services; Veterans’ Affairs
-Latest Action: 01/10/2018 Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel
The Military and Veterans Education Protection Act aims to end the 90/10 loophole, which has historically encouraged for-profit institutions to target the veteran community as an avenue to increase institutional revenue. Removing the 90/10 loophole will allow the veteran and service-member community to pursue educational programs that better ensure student success.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8) (Introduced 12/14/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce; Armed Services; Veterans’ Affairs
-Latest Action: 01/10/2018 Referred to the House Committee to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel
The crux of the Protecting Students from Worthless Degrees Act removes institutional eligibility for federal student financial aid for those institutions unable to ensure students will meet industry standards in the workforce.
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