DC Digest - August 13, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- DOE Announces Secretary of Energy Advisory Board
- Higher Ed Associations Seek Clarification on Health Care Plans
- Status of Fiscal Year 2011 Funding Priorities
- 150 Nonprofit Colleges Fail Education Department Test of Financial Strength
- Obama Talks College Completion and the Global Economy in UT Speech
- Editorial: Dream Act Could Save Immigrant Students from Deportation
- Moody's Warns Nonprofit Colleges They Could be Next
- New Department of Ed Website Makes Education Data Easier to Find and Use
- College Tax Break for Working Students in Danger
DOE ANNOUNCES SECRETARY OF ENERGY ADVISORY BOARD
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday the members of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). Eliminated during the last administration, SEAB is being reestablished under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The twelve member board comprised of scientists, business executives, academics and former government officials will serve as an independent advisory committee to Secretary Chu. The Board will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department's basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues and other activities as directed by the Secretary.
DOE Announces Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (Energy.gov)
HIGHER ED ASSOCIATIONS SEEK CLARIFICATION ON HEALTH CARE PLANS
The American Council on Education and 12 other higher education organizations sent a letter today to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle seeking regulatory clarification to ensure that institutions can continue to provide students with low-cost, high-quality health coverage under provisions of the recent major health reform law.
The letter seeks to ensure that student health plans would satisfy the individual mandate to purchase health insurance under the new law as well as clarification about the application of certain insurance market reforms to these plans.
ACE Letter on Student Health Plans (pdf)
STATUS OF FISCAL YEAR 2011 FUNDING PRIORITIES
The Association of American Universities (AAU) released yesterday an updated status chart of funding priorities for FY2011. The Office of Federal Relations will continue to provide updated appropriations information as it becomes available.
AAU FY11 Funding Priorities (pdf)
150 NONPROFIT COLLEGES FAIL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TEST OF FINANCIAL STRENGTH
A total of 150 private nonprofit colleges failed the U.S. Department of Education's "financial-responsibility test" based on their condition in the 2009 fiscal year, data released on Thursday show. That's an increase of about 70 percent over the number of degree-granting institutions that failed two years ago. Colleges that fail the test are subject to additional federal scrutiny of student-aid funds and, in cases of the lowest scores, extra financial obligations.
150 Colleges Fail Financial Strength Test (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Colleges on Department's Financial-Failure List Deserve a Second Look (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
OBAMA TALKS COLLEGE COMPLETION AND GLOBAL ECONOMY IN UT SPEECH
President Obama discussed his higher education agenda before a large crowd at the University of Texas yesterday, urging the United States to recapture the world lead in college graduation rates by 2020.
The president called education “the issue of our time” and emphasized the connection between a well-educated workforce and American global competitiveness.
For video of he speech and media reaction to the president's remarks, click here.
EDITORIAL: DREAM ACT COULD SAVE IMMIGRANT STUDENTS FROM DEPORTATION
Washington Post: "The measure is carefully aimed, targeting only young people with clean records who have resided in the country continuously for at least five years. Such students demonstrate the hope and promise of a better life that America has always held out to those who seek its shores. But without the Dream Act, they remain vulnerable to deportation."
Dream Act Could Save Immigrant Students from Deportation (Washington Post)
Children of Illegal Immigrants Caught in Education Politics Crossfire (U.S. News and World Report)
MOODYS WARNS NONPROFIT COLLEGES THEY COULD BE NEXT
Officials at nonprofit colleges may be enjoying the rough ride that their for-profit counterparts are getting from lawmakers and federal regulators, but they could be next, Moody's Investors Service warned Thursday. In a "special comment" report, which is available only to Moody's subscribers, the ratings agency, echoing warnings that some higher education officials themselves have made, warns that the Education Department could seek to apply to nonprofit as well as for-profit colleges metrics that link graduates' debt burdens to their salaries.
Moodys Warns Nonprofit Colleges They Could be Next (Inside Higher Ed)
NEW DEPARTMENT OF ED WEBSITE MAKES EDUCATION DATA EASIER TO FIND AND USE
The U.S. Department of Education has launched a new interactive Web site aimed at making accurate and timely education data available in a single place. ED Data Express consolidates relevant data collected by the Department from several different sources and provides search tools that allow users to create individualized reports.
COLLEGE TAX BREAK FOR WORKING STUDENTS IN DANGER
While Congress is debating whether to end the tax cuts created during George Bush's presidency, politicians don't seem to be focused on a valuable college tax benefit known as employee education assistance, which is in danger of getting the axe this year. To call attention to the importance of the tax benefit - Section 127 - the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) issued report on who's taking advantage of tax break.
College Tax Break for Working Students in Danger (CBS MoneyWatch)
NAICU and SHRM Report: Who Benefits from Section 127?