Below is the latest America Forward “Tip Sheet,” a weekly update on Federal activity related to education, workforce development, and other priorities of the America Forward Coalition.
What’s Next in Washington
Last week on Capitol Hill, the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes needed to take up the $500 billion Senate Republican version of the next coronavirus aid bill. The legislation failed on a 52-47 vote, with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) joining all present Democrats in voting “nay.” Reports are that, at this point, it is unlikely that another stimulus bill will see action prior to the November election.
In regards to funding the federal government, House and Senate leaders continue to negotiate the provisions of a continuing resolution (CR) to provide funding for federal agencies for Fiscal Year 2021 (which starts on October 1st). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that he wants the CR to last until mid-December; however, the Democrats have not agreed to that timeline and may push to move the CR deadline out into 2021.
Update: Resolution Recognizing 9/11 as a National Day of Service
Early last week, America Forward urged Congressional members to support and cosponsor the 9/11 Concurrent resolution introduced by the Co-Chairs of the National Service Congressional Caucus — Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). The resolution recognizes “September 11 as a national day of service and encourages the American public to engage in a charitable service of their choosing on or around 9/11.” This year’s resolution also recognizes workers on the frontlines of the response to COVID-19. More information about the resolution can be found on Sen. Coons’ website, here.
Update: Hearing on The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on University Research
On Wednesday, the House House Science, Space & Technology subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing “to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on STEM research at institutions of higher education (IHEs).” Dr. Joseph Walsh, Interim Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation, University of Illinois System; Dr. David Stone, Vice President for Research, Oakland University; Dr. Theresa Mayer, Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Purdue University; and Mr. Ryan Muzzio, Physics PH.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University all served as witnesses.
Key issues discussed include, “The challenges presented upon research in IHEs as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic; the potential long-term consequences, both domestic and international, of decreased investment in research infrastructure; and the need for and potential impact of the Research Investment to Support the Economy (RISE) Act and Supporting Early Careers Researcher Act.” The webcast of the hearing can be found here.
Update: USED Reopens Application Period for CARES Act Higher Education Funding
On September 9, the Education Department (USED) announced that it is reopening the application period for several programs of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that were authorized in the CARES Act. Institutions will now have until September 30, 2020 to apply. For more information about this reopening, a link to the Federal Register notice is available here. Additional details, including suggestions for successfully submitting an application during the reopening period, are available here.
Update: USED Announces Waivers to State Education Agencies (SEAs)
Last week, the Education Department (USED) announced that it intends to offer waivers to State education agencies (SEAs) to allow the use of federal funding under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program to provide services during the school day for the 2020-2021 school year. Without the waiver, services can only be provided for non-school hours or periods when school is not in session, such as before and after school. USED announced the approval of its ability to collect waiver requests from each state wishing to take advantage of the waiver through comments on an information collection published in the Federal Register. The notice is here.
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