Federal Updates

  • Download our 2019 Congressional calendar
  • The partial government shutdown continues, affecting the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing & Urban Development. The shutdown is going on day 19.
  • The House rules package, approved on the first day of the 116th Congress, changed the House Education & Workforce Committee’s name to the House Education & Labor Committee.
  • The Senate HELP Committee will have three new members for the 116th Congress: Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), and Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
  • On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education released its proposals on a range of higher education rules, including accreditation, institutional eligibility, religious inclusion, and TEACH grants. The Department has selected 15 individuals to participate in the negotiated rulemaking process slated to begin next week, January 14.

State Bills

By the end of this week, 35 states will convene for their 2019 sessions with a total of 46 states entering session by the end of the month. The following highlight various education policy initiatives from the first few weeks of 2019 state sessions.

  • Several states have proposals to reduce the number of state assessments and limit assessment time. In Washington, SB 5014 eliminates all statewide assessments not required by Federal law. HB 92 in New Mexico would limit the amount of class time schools may use to administer assessments.
  • A proposal in South Carolina (S 291) would create a Department of Early Development and Education. The Department would administer several federal and state programs and oversee the Office of Early Learning.
  • In education technology, Indiana SB 13 requires public schools to provide curricular materials at no cost to students with an individualized education program who participates in a program for students with a severe disability. New Jersey bills A 1694 and S 2218 would create a pilot program for assistive technology to students with dyslexia and related conditions.
  • In higher education, A 4429 in New Jersey directs the Secretary of Higher Education to develop gainful employment requirements for both public and proprietary institutions.