This Week In Washington
On Thursday, the House Education and Labor Committee announced its intention to hold five hearings as it prepares to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The topics include areas like the cost of college, institutional accountability systems, and the role of community colleges and minority-serving institutions. The committee chair, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), and the ranking member, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), both offered statements pledging to work in a bipartisan manner to complete a reauthorization. The committee is seeking research, evidence, and potential witnesses to testify about the hearing topics, and submissions can be made at EdLaborHigherEd@mail.house.gov.
This week, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent a letter expressing concern about why the Trump Administration has not been complying with a directive to publicly disclose requests the Department of Education (ED) receives from law enforcement to access student loan records. Passed in the latest education spending bill, the law requires ED to make public a detailed explanation of how it chooses to turn student loan records over to law enforcement, and to publish a list of law enforcement requests it receives. The Congressional Members, both of whom have oversight powers, demanded ED disclose its policy and the requests by March 5th.
Now is a great time to start building relationships with your members of Congress so that when a potential reauthorization of the Higher Education Act comes around, they will understand your school’s needs and concerns.
AccessLex is here to help you #MakeTheCase for strong policies that benefit your schools and their students!
- Contact Your Representatives quickly and easily through our newest advocacy tool.
- Advocacy Toolkit contains information on critical policy issues and useful tips for effective advocacy.
- Graduate and Professional Data Sheets have information on student enrollment, degree completion, and a summary of the number of federal student aid recipients and the amount of federal aid disbursed by state.
- Positions and Papers allow you to take a deep dive before your meetings on policy issues related to graduate student borrowing, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, bankruptcy, and more.
News You Can Use
A paper published in the Journal of Legal Education advocates for the adoption of a new American Bar Association standard on law school graduate employment outcomes.
Bloomberg reports that student loan debt in serious delinquency has reached a record high.
In an essay published by the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a law school dean discusses what law schools can do to better address the public's unmet need for legal services.
The following bill(s) have been recently introduced for consideration by the 116th Congress (2019-2020):
H.R. 1161 – Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act [Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-5)] would require the Education Department’s Plain Language Disclosure Form to be a consumer-tested, easy-to-understand form outlining Direct Loan borrowers’ fiscal obligations and legal rights before disbursing a new loan. AccessLex Institute supports this legislation.
H.R. 1229 | S. 532 – Preserve Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Military Spouses Act [Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1) | Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)] would allow military spouses to receive a waiver and remain eligible for the teacher loan forgiveness program if the enlisted spouse is relocated.