Author Archive

    Jane E. West

    AACTE Education Policy Consultant

    Will Congress Find Time to Move on Education and Higher Education Bills?

    The United States Capitol building with the dome lit up at night.

    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.

    November 21 Deadline Looming to Fund the Government:  Will Congress Act?

    Just before Congress left town for their 2-week recess, they passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open, but only until November 21.  As that deadline comes closer, the pressure to act increases. The ball is in the Senate’s court, as the House has passed 10 of its 12 funding bills. 

    The Senate is planning to move bills next week, but hot-button issues related to the border wall, homeland security, and abortion will likely crop up, as well as significant funding level differences between the House and the Senate that will likely hold things up. 

    Possible outcomes include another short-term spending extension (perhaps through December),

    Congress Moves on Short Term Funding Bill, Leaves Town for a Two-Week Recess

    Congress Sep 18, 2014:

    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.

    It’s been a breathtaking week in Washington as minute-to-minute developments unfold in the House’s decision to pursue impeachment of President Trump. Yet, both congressional bodies continue to move on their legislative agendas. The question becomes, how much oxygen will impeachment suck up and will there be any space left for anything else? And remember the Congress leaves town today for a two-week recess, to return with less than 30 legislative days scheduled before the end of the year! Of course, this could change.

    Department of Education Seeks Your Comments on “Attracting, Preparing and Retaining” Effective Special Educators

    Attract, Prepare and Retain Effective Personnel graphicThe Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has developed an initiative called “Attract, Prepare and Retain Effective Personnel.” They have requested feedback from the field.  Specifically, the invitation states:

    “We invite you to share your thoughts on how we can best support States in their work to Attract, Prepare, and Retain Effective Personnel. Sharing your challenges and successes can make a difference for others facing similar challenges.” 

    The deadline for submitting comments is September 30, 2019.  Learn more.

    The House Moves on Funding, School Safety, and Loan Forgiveness: But Is It Enough? ENOUGH?

    United States Capital

    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.

    Congress was engaged in a frenzy of appropriations activities last week … where it will all lead remains to be seen!

    With the End of the Fiscal Year in Sight, Congress Punts

    September 30—the end of the federal Fiscal Year—is looming, and Congress is getting edgy.  Seeing that there is no way to resolve differences in all of the spending bills in that timeframe, Congress has moved to postpone the showdown. The House passed a Continuing Resolution to keep all government funding at current levels through November 21. The Senate is expected to pass it next week and the President is expected to sign it. On November 22, the challenges will remain.

    Meanwhile, several of the 12 individual funding bills are moving through the Senate Appropriations process. You will recall that last week the markup of the Labor/HHS/Education funding bill was suddenly canceled. This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee did not move that bill forward, but they did release both the text of their bill, a summary and the Committee report.  Links are below.

    The House Moves on Funding, School Safety, and Loan Forgiveness: But Is It Enough?

    United States Capital

    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.

    Congress was engaged in a frenzy of appropriations activities last week … where it will all lead remains to be seen!

    With the End of the Fiscal Year in Sight, Congress Punts

    September 30—the end of the federal Fiscal Year—is looming, and Congress is getting edgy.  Seeing that there is no way to resolve differences in all of the spending bills in that timeframe, Congress has moved to postpone the showdown. The House passed a Continuing Resolution to keep all government funding at current levels through November 21. The Senate is expected to pass it next week and the President is expected to sign it. On November 22, the challenges will remain.

    Meanwhile, several of the 12 individual funding bills are moving through the Senate Appropriations process. You will recall that last week the markup of the Labor/HHS/Education funding bill was suddenly canceled. This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee did not move that bill forward, but they did release both the text of their bill, a summary and the Committee report.  Links are below.

    Senate Fails to Move Education Funding Bill: What’s Next?

    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.

    A Congress is back in session, and bi-partisanship is increasingly looking to be something we see only in the rear-view mirror. 

    Senate Fails to Move Education Funding Bill

    The Senate Appropriations Committee, often considered one of the last bastions of bi-partisanship, fell apart this week— and along with it, hope for passage of a Senate Labor/HHS/Education bill any time soon. In a surprise last-minute move, the scheduled Tuesday subcommittee markup for the Labor/HHS/Education spending bill was canceled. Republicans claimed that Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) intention to offer an amendment blocking President Trump’s limitation of services offered under Title X (most notably abortion services offered by Planned Parenthood) violates the bipartisan budget agreement.  That agreement prohibits “poison pill” riders on appropriations bills. Democrats argued that including funding for the President’s border wall in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill is likewise a poison pill. Thus, the Tuesday Subcommittee markup was canceled.

    Congress Comes Back to Town: Faces Unfinished Business

    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.

     Money, Money Money … Follow the Money … to a Shutdown?

    Congress does not officially reconvene until Monday, September 9.  They return to the challenge of funding the government before the end of the Fiscal year, September 30.  This means that in 13 legislative days the Senate would have to pass 12 separate funding bills, conference each one with the House and then secure President Trump’s signature on each one. What are the odds of that happening?  Well, I’m not really a betting person, but I’d say “zero.”

    The House left town in August having passed its funding bills, including a very generous one for

    With Budget Deal Passed, Congress Hits the Road until September

    US Capitol on dramatic sunset gold background

    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.

    The Senate left town yesterday following on the heels of the House bringing the five-week summer recess into full bloom. Congress will reconvene in September, and thanks to the passage of the budget deal, move forward in adopting 12 appropriations bills, including one with education spending. However, obstacles remain. 

    Congress Heads Home with Bipartisan Accomplishment

    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.

    Congress is heading out of town—the House leaving today for a six-week recess and the Senate leaving at the end of next week. With the amazing budget deal headed for the finish line, September promises to be full of appropriations bills, including the education funding bill we’ve all been waiting for.

    colorful waving national flag of united states of america on a american dollar money background. finance concept

    Unbelievable:  Congress and the White House Make a Deal on 2 Year Budget Caps and Debt Ceiling

    In a stunning proactive bipartisan move, the Congress and the White House have agreed to a two-year budget deal. This frees up all lawmakers and the president to focus on the 2020 elections without the threat of a government shutdown. Key features of the deal include the following: 

    Congress is in for a Long Summer

    Early morning traffic near the U.S. Capital
    Congress came back to Washington this week with a boatload of work to do in the short few weeks before the next recess, in August. It could be a long hot summer.

    First up: Budget and Funding

    When Congress left for July 4 recess, the House had passed almost all of the 12 required funding bills and the Senate had not begun with any of the 12 bills. September 30 marks the end of the fiscal year; without the new spending bills signed into law, a government shutdown will be in the offing. With Congress scheduled to be in recess most of August, the pressure is on.

    The holdup is the budget—or the overall spending cap, which the House, the Senate, and the White House must agree to pass. While the House adopted its own budget caps, they are higher than those that the Senate or the White House will accept. Added to the mix is the pending need to raise the debt ceiling (this is the borrowing limit for the federal government, which routinely needs to be raised to avoid default). Thus, the pressure is on from three corners: budget, FY 2020 funding bills, and debt ceiling.  These three dire needs are in the mix together and there is an effort to wrap their resolution into one package—possibly before the August recess. Learn more.

    Senate Confirms New Higher Education Leader for Department of Education

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