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    Washington Update: Proposed Rulemaking Changes to Higher Education Accreditation

    This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

    I started last week in NYC visiting a fabulous early childhood program called Beekman House in the south Bronx. They have a partnership with Bank Street College. I was once again rendered speechless (hard to do) by the incredible teaching I saw. It made me want a do-over for pre-k! This is part of EdPrepLab— a new initiative by Learning Policy Institute. Check out the Ed Prep Matters blog article to learn more. Shout out to AACTE for giving me this opportunity!

    1. House Completes Portion of Massive Spending Bill … To Be Continued Next Week

    Members of the House hightailed it out of town Thursday leaving a portion of the $982 billion spending bill completed—but more to come next week. The portion of the bill completed is the Labor/HHS/Education part of which includes $75.9 billion for the Department of Education. The House was in session all night Wednesday, finally adjourning at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday only to return again later Thursday morning.

    Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) wins the prize for no sleep, as she was there shepherding her  bill through every minute of the process and the over 100 amendments offered.  She reported getting only an hour of sleep noting “You know, you’re so wired!”

    The House will return to the other portions of the bill on Tuesday and anticipates over 300 amendments on the docket. Meanwhile President Trump threatened to veto the bill with the administration noting it would drive up the national debt and that it does not reflect a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on spending levels.

    Read the article, House to vote on first ‘minibus’ spending bill next week

    1. Department of Education Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Changing Higher Education Accreditation

    The Department of Education has released a draft regulation related to accreditation for institutions of higher education. 

    The Department estimates that the new regulation will cost $3.8 billion over the next decade because of increases in Pell Grants and student loans. Since it will be easier for colleges to keep their accreditation, more students will utilize student financial aid.  DeVos noted that she expects the proposals to “afford a lot more opportunities for creativity in higher education.”

    The public is invited to comment on the proposed regulation for 30 days, until July 12. 

    1. New Resources for Educators
    • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), member of the HELP Committee, has issued a policy paper titled Are You Getting What You Pay For? A New Proposal for Accountability in Higher Education.
    • Preliminary findings of a GAO study into sexual harassment in STEM fields indicate that four of five federal agencies that provide grants to colleges for scientific research received three or fewer sexual harassment complaints from 2015 through 2019. Changes to agency policies could soon change that.

    Continue reading the full Washington Update on my website to learn more.

    See you on twitter @janewestdc.


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    Jane E. West

    AACTE Education Policy Consultant

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