DC Digest - February 19, 2011
In Today's Issue:
- House Passes GOP Spending Plan
- President Brodhead to Co-Chair National Commission on the Humanities
- Senate Democrats Unveil Agenda
- Student Use of Federal Aid By State and District
- AAU Summarizes and Analyzes Research, Education, Tax Provisions in FY12 Budget
- Obama Presents Duke Law Alum with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Study Shows For-Profit Dependence on Federal Dollars
- Veterans' Agency Says it has Denied GI Bill Approval for Some For-Profit Colleges
HOUSE PASSES GOP SPENDING PLAN
After three days of debate on over 500 amendments, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 1, the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR), by a roll call vote of 235 to 189. The spending plan would make deep cuts in government spending for the rest of the year, setting the stage for a high-stakes battle with the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House.
The bill (HR 1) would fund government operations through Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2011, while sharply reducing spending across a wide swath of federal agencies and programs. Programs funded though the Labor-HHS-Education portion of the measure, including student aid, would take the biggest hit under the bill, but security programs, which Republicans had intended to essentially leave unscathed, also face significant cuts.
HR 1 made drastic cuts to the core student aid programs, including reducing the Pell Grant maximum by $845 and eliminating all funding for SEOG and LEAP. If enacted, provisions would be effective this July 1, resulting in a $4,705 Pell Grant maximum for the 2011-12 academic year, and no SEOG or LEAP funding for the coming academic year.
Democrats voted unanimously against the bill, joined by three Republicans: Jeff Flake of Arizona, Walter B. Jones of North Carolina and John Campbell of California. The bill will now head to the Senate.
PRESIDENT BRODHEAD TO CO-CHAIR NATIONAL COMMISSON ON THE HUMANITIES
Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead will co-chair the newly established Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, Leslie Berlowitz, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, announced Thursday.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences formed the national commission in response to a bipartisan request from United States Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin) and David Price (D-North Carolina).
Congress asked the Academy to respond to the following charge:
What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?
The commission's members range from musician Emmylou Harris, actor John Lithgow and filmmaker George Lucas to former Supreme Court Justice David Souter, scholars, corporate leaders, policymakers and the current presidents of Harvard, Stanford and other universities. Brodhead will co-chair the commission with John W. Rowe, chairman and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation.
Duke President to Co-Chari National Commission on the Humanities (DukeNews)
American Academy Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences (humanitiescommission.org)
SENATE DEMOCRATS UNVEIL AGENDA
Yesterday, Senate Democratic leaders unveiled their “Agenda For Winning The Future By Cutting Spending, Creating High-Paying Jobs And Keeping America Competitive”. It supports Obama’s call for a five-year discretionary freeze while “making smart investments in education, innovation and infrastructure… To out-educate our competitors and make sure American workers can compete for the high-paying jobs of today and tomorrow, Democrats’ plan also calls for reforms to the nation’s education system to ensure a competitive workforce, and college tax credits that will expand opportunities for American workers.” The education part of their agenda has three components: Reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, reauthorize ESEA, and expand and make permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
Senate Democrats Roll Out Agenda for Winning the Future by Cutting Spending, Creating High-Paying Jobs, and Keeping America Competitive (Democrats.senate.gov)A
STUDENT USE OF FEDERAL AID BY STATE AND DISTRICT
A new analysis of U.S. Department of Education data by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) quantifies the reliance on federal aid by students in every state and congressional district.
NAICU analyzed the most recently available Education Department data in late fall 2010 to determine the distribution of federal student aid in every area of the United States. For each state and congressional district, NAICU calculated the number of awards and total dollar amounts distributed through Pell Grants, the campus-based programs (SEOG, Federal Work-Study, and Perkins Loans), and federal loans. Data are for students at all institutions of higher education (public, private nonprofit, for-profit; four-year, two-year, and less than two-year) that participate in the federal student aid programs.
Federal Student Aid Awarded, By State and Congressional District (NAICU.edu)
AAU SUMMARIZES AND ANALYZES RESEARCH, EDUCATION, TAX PROVISIONS IN FY12 BUDGET
AAU has developed preliminary summaries and analyses of the research, higher education, and relevant tax provisions in the President’s proposed FY12 budget. Those materials are available on the AAU website here.
OBAMA PRESENTS DUKE LAW ALUM WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM
On Tuesday, NRDC Founder John Adams (L '62) traveled to the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. This tribute is a fitting recognition for all that John has done to make America’s air cleaner, our water safer, and our wild places better protected for generations to come.
Obama Presents NRDC Founder John Adams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (nrdc.org)
STUDY SHOWS FOR-PROFIT DEPENDENCE ON FEDERAL DOLLARS
Eight for-profit colleges failed in 2008-9 to meet federal requirements for student aid eligibility that at least 10 percent of their revenue come from sources other than federal student aid, according to data released by the U.S. Education Department on Wednesday. No colleges failed the test the prior year. The data also show increasing numbers of for-profit colleges that, although in compliance with the law, are extremely dependent on federal student aid. From 2007-8 to 2008-9, the number of for profit colleges with 85 to 90 percent of revenue coming from federal student aid increased to 257, from 209. Further, the number with 80 to 85 percent of revenue coming from federal student aid increased to 285 from 248. -from Inside Higher Ed
Proprietary School 90/10 Revenue Percentages (federalstudentaid.ed.gov)
VETERANS' AGENCY SAYS IT HAS DENIED GI BILL APPROVAL FOR SOME FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES
The Department of Veterans Affairs has "suspended and/or withdrawn" its approval for educational benefits for veterans to flow to some for-profit colleges because they have used "questionable recruitment practices," Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a letter made public this week by Senator Richard Durbin. Durbin, who is among a small group of senators who have ramped up their criticism of for-profit colleges in the last year, responded to the letter from Shinseki with one of his own, which praised the department "for taking a more careful look at how for-profit schools attract and serve students assisted by VA education benefits” and asked for "more detailed information on the process it is using to assess the schools, as well as the identity of those that have had their approval affected.”
Durbin: VA Suspends GI Bill Benefits From Some For-Profits (Durbin.senate.gov)