This Week In Washington
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced this week that he has canceled most of the Senate’s August recess. Citing his desire to use that time to handle appropriations bills and confirm presidential nominees, McConnell removed the previously scheduled break for legislative and political purposes. Lawmakers in both chambers typically use the August recess to campaign in their home districts or states. With that time being removed, senators up for re-election in November will have less time to campaign. The House is expected to still have its August recess.
On Tuesday, the Senate education committee hosted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who testified about the Department of Education’s (ED) Fiscal Year 2019 budget request. At the hearing, Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he appreciated some of ED’s ideas to eliminate programs but that most of the proposals will not be included in the appropriations bill.
News You Can Use
This week, New America and uAspire released Decoding the Cost of College: The Case for Transparent Financial Aid Award Letters, which found that most financial aid will not cover the cost of college and that award letters are inconsistent and opaque. This results in students and families being unable to make well-informed decisions about college attendance. Read a summary blog post here.
Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee, discussed his state’s policy of providing every graduating high school senior free tuition to a community or technical college in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. Since 2012, the percentage of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential has risen from 33.3% to 40.7%.
The American Enterprise Institute and Third Way teamed up on a new series--Elevating College Completion—which focuses on different aspects of the completion problem in higher education and offers policy solutions.
There were no student-aid related bills introduced this week in Congress.