DC Digest - April 30, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- Over 100 Student Body Presidents Urge Congress to Support Energy Education (Duke Included)
- Eighty-Nine Universities (Including Duke) and Systems Urge Reauthorization of America COMPETES
- ACE, Associations Critique Idea of Requiring Community Service for Higher Education Tax Credits
- 13 Additional Stem Cell Lines Eligible for Federal Funding, NIH Says
- U.S. Plans New Rules on Student Privacy
OVER 100 STUDENT BODY PRESIDENTS URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT ENERGY EDUCATION (DUKE INCLUDED)
A group of more than 100 university and college student government presidents submitted a letter on Wednesday urging Congress to support the RE-ENERGYSE ("Regaining our Energy Science & Engineering Edge") proposal, which would invest tens of millions of dollars annually in energy science and engineering education programs at universities, technical and community colleges, and K-12 schools.
Over 100 Student Body Presidents Urge Congress to Support Energy Education (Huffington Post)
Letter to Congress (pdf)
EIGHTY-NINE UNIVERSITIES (INCLUDING DUKE) AND SYSTEMS URGE REAUTHORIZATION OF AMERICA COMPETES Act
Duke University has joined a group of 89 universities and university systems that sent a letter to leaders of the House Science and Technology Committee urging them to act on a bipartisan reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act as quickly as possible.
“The bipartisan America COMPETES Act enacted in 2007 has played and continues to play a crucial role in outlining our nation’s path forward in the global economy by fostering innovation and keeping the United States competitive,” said the universities. “As universities from across the country, we recognize the fiscal challenges facing the nation, and believe the funding of research and STEM education are investments that the country must continue.”
Universities Urge Reauthorization of America COMPETES Act
ACE, ASSOCIATIONS CRITIQUE IDEA OF REQUIRING COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR HIGHER ED TAX CREDITS
The American Council on Education (ACE) and 20 other higher education associations expressed their serious reservations about the feasibility of requiring students to perform community service as a condition for receiving their tuition tax credit in a response to a Department of Treasury request for comments on Thursday. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) mandated that the Treasury Department study the feasibility of linking community service to the receipt of federal tax credits.
The associations asserted that higher education has a long history of promoting and supporting community service. However, a community service requirement would ultimately make access to higher education difficult for many students, especially low-income and nontraditional students.
Volunteer Requirements Comments (ACE.edu)
13 ADDITIONAL STEM CELL LINES ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL FUNDING, NIH SAYS
The National Institutes of Health announced Tuesday that 13 additional lines of human embryonic stem cells are eligible for federal funding, including the most widely used line. The NIH's approval of the lines should alleviate mounting concerns among some supporters of stem cell research that the Obama administration was hindering the work.
"Many people who had been working on these lines, and concerned about whether they would be able to continue to work with these lines, will now be reassured that their research can now go forward," NIH Director Francis S. Collins said Tuesday.
13 Additional Stem Cell Lines Eligible for Federal Funding, NIH Says (Washington Post)
U.S. PLANS NEW RULES ON STUDENT PRIVACY
The U.S. Education Department announced on Monday that it would propose new regulations governing student privacy rights in the next several weeks. In an announcement in the Federal Register, the department said that it would revise rules to carry out the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, with two goals in mind. One would be to "strengthen enforcement" of the law, commonly known as FERPA; the other would be to "clarify" how states can use information from statewide longitudinal data systems to inform policy decisions without running afoul of the student privacy law.
The regulations are likely to be controversial, especially on the latter point; privacy advocates argue that the Obama administration risks running afoul of federal law in how it is encouraging states to collect and share data about students' academic performance with work force agencies within their states and, potentially, agencies in other states.
Clash Over Student Privacy (InsideHigherEd - from Feb 1)