By The American Council on Education (ACE) and 21 other associations including NASPA, September 5, 2017
Comments urged House Speakers Ryan and Pelosi to bring H.R. 2483, the Perkins Loan Extension Act to the floor for a vote last week as the program was set to expire on September 30, 2017.
By Omari Burnside, Director of Strategic Initiatives, September 28, 2017
NASPA is launching a five-part blog series titled Success in Action, which will be featured on the RPI Blog page and spearheaded by NASPA Director of Strategic Initiatives, Omari Burnside. The Success in Action series is designed to help institutions answer the “How” questions that may arise when we want to create change or have been asked to lead a new initiative. “How can we improve our Black Male Success initiative?” “How should we revise and successfully implement a new student conduct policy?” “How will we establish stronger practices to better support our LGBTQIA students?” The overall intent of the series is to help student affairs professionals build their capacity to successfully plan, lead, and support institutional policy, program, and/or practices efforts. We will cover topics such as “effectively using data to drive progress” and “building and sustaining momentum throughout your efforts.”
By Ellie Kaufman, September 26, 2017
Despite pushback from the public and Congressional Representatives, the Justice Department has indicated that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) October 5 deadline to renew an existing status will not be extended. In a court case last week challenging the legality of the Trump administration’s policy to end DACA, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department Brett Shumate stated that the government did not plan on extending the deadline. Advocates to extend the deadline question the administration’s hurry to phase out the program, noting the hundreds of thousands of current participants and their families that will be affected.
By Kat Tretina, October 2, 2017
The Federal Perkins Loan program which assisted low-income students with acquiring low-interest loans expired on September 30. The Senate attempted to pass a Perkins extension bill through a faster process that required unanimous consent, but Sen. Lamar Alexander objected the extension, preventing the bill from passing into law. Regardless, Congressional Representatives across the aisle support long-term solutions to make college more affordable. Low-income students who relied on the Perkins program are recommended to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Loan Aid (FAFSA) to access other grant and loan options.
By Ella Nilsen and Carly Sitrin, October 2, 2017
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been making small changes that have been quietly affecting millions of students. Some of these changes include: a lack of protection for trans students through rescinded Obama-Era guidance; a shift in goals at the Office of Civil Rights through changes in internal guidance and streamlined procedures aimed at closing out a backlog of more than 1,000 investigations; rising uncertainty about professional development funding; relaxed school lunch nutrition standards; a friendlier climate for for-profit universities; lifted guidance around servicer loan accountability; and rescinded Title IX guidance.
By Scott Jaschik, October 3, 2017
The Mass shooting which occurred in Las Vegas over the weekend has renewed a call for the US to fund gun violence research. Congress’s restrictions on gun violence research were a part of an appropriations bill enacted in 1996, provisions of which remain law. In 2013, following killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama urged the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to conduct more research on gun violence, asking Congress for the funding to do so. However Congress continues to interpret these calls for action to be in violation of the 1996 measure. Therefore, this week, scholars urge Congress to shift the existing policy in an effort to resume the ability to conduct this important research.
While the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has been watching for movement of TX HB 46 and TX HB 50 during Texas Special Session, both failed to move forward by the end date of 8/16/2017. These bills mimic failed legislation HB 2899, a slightly more lenient form of the original TX SB 6 Bathroom Bill. TX HB 46 would forbid “political subdivisions, including a public school district” from adopting or enforcing measures to “protect a class of persons from discrimination” in regulating “access to multi-occupancy restrooms, showers or changing facilities.” HB 50 was identical except applying only to a school district board. In the past few months other states have retreated from the conversation. Additional bills of this kind are unlikely to be introduced during the 2016-2017 legislative session.
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. PA HB 14 was removed from the table on 06/22/2017. CA SB 54, a statewide sanctuary bill was enrolled and referred to the Governor on 09/22/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Upwards of 17 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus during the current session. In the 43 pieces of legislation the Policy and Advocacy Team is tracking, 18 bills are pending, 20 have failed, and 6 have been enacted, in AR, GA, OK and TX. GA HB 280 went into effect on 07/01/2017. TX SB 11 which will allow anyone over 21 with a gun license to conceal carry was enacted on 08/16/2017. CA AB 424 enrolled and presented to the Governor on 09/18/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) (Introduced 09/28/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 09/28/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
-Primary Sponsor: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (Introduced 09/26/2017)
-Latest Action: 09/29/2017 Became Public Law
The law allows the Secretary of Education to waive federal matching requirements for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program and the Federal Work Study program, require the Secretary of Education to reallocate grant funds to hurricane impacted areas, and insure equitable distribution of grants to schools to assist in recovery efforts.
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