Week of September 19
· This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. While neither chamber is expected to consider financial aid-related legislation, Congress is expected to consider and potentially pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will provide temporary funding for federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, through December 9. Congress has until October 1, the start of the federal fiscal year, to pass a CR or the federal government shuts down.
· On Tuesday and Wednesday, all day, the Federal Reserve holds a two-day meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee. The minutes for each regularly scheduled meeting of the committee, which include a description of economic and financial conditions, are made available three weeks after its policy decisions are posted in the Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Report.
· On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., the College Board Policy Center hosts a panel discussion on Matching Students to Opportunity: Expanding College Choice, Access, and Quality, a new book co-edited by Andrew Kelly, Jessica Howell, and Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj that explores the “supply side” of college match from the vantage point of colleges and universities and examines the barriers that may prevent a prospective student from finding a college match likely to lead to postsecondary success. Participants in the panel include: Ben Wildavsky, Senior Fellow and Executive Director, College Board Policy Center; Jessica Howell, Co-Editor, Matching Students to Opportunity; Matthew Chingos, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute; Dr. Elsa Nunez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University; and Jacqueline Thomas, Legislative Assistant, Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE).
· On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee meets to consider several pieces of legislation, including the Career and Technical Education Act of 2016, which provides federal support for career and technical education (CTE) programs in all 50 states and the territories. The law focuses on the academic and technical achievement of CTE students, strengthening the connections between secondary and postsecondary education and improving accountability. The session will be broadcast live on the committee’s website.
· On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., the University of Maryland School of Public Policy holds a discussion titled, “Student Debt: Are We Heading for a Crisis?” The event will feature remarks from Lauren McFarland, Executive Director of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. To RSVP for this event, visit the school’s website.
· On Thursday at 8:30 a.m., The Atlantic holds a forum titled, “The Changing Face of Higher Education,” focused on the changing demographics of college students. Participants in the event include: The Honorable John Kline, Chairman, House Education and the Workforce Committee; Sarita Brown, President, Excelencia in Education; Steward Edelstein, Executive Director, Universities at Shady Grove; James Kvaal, Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, University of Michigan’s School of Public Policy; Cheryl Oldham, Vice President of Education Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Scott Ralls, President, Northern Virginia Community College; Michael Sorrell, President, Paul Quinn College; and Ron Brownstein, Senior Editor, The Atlantic.
· On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Urban Institute hosts a discussion titled, “Student Debt: Setting the Record Straight,” which will highlight two new books that separate fact from fiction around student debt: Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing by Urban Institute Senior Fellow Sandy Baum, and Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt by Brookings Institution Fellow Beth Akers and Urban Institute Senior Fellow Matthew Chingos. The authors will discuss the data and research behind the provocative arguments of their new books and what it means for higher education policymaking. Catherine Rampell, writer for The Washington Post, will serve as moderator. To register, visit the institute’s website.
· On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing entitled, “Modernizing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).” The subcommittee will examine the impact the TCPA has had on consumers and the legitimate businesses that are trying to contact them. Witnesses will be announced at a later date.
· On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises holds a hearing entitled, “Examining the Agenda of Regulators, SROs, and Standards-Setters for Accounting, Auditing, and Municipal Securities.” Witnesses will be announced at a later date.
· On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management holds a hearing entitled, “Continued Review of Agency Regulatory Guidance, Part III.” This hearing will build on the subcommittee’s previous guidance hearings held on September 23, 2015, and June 30, 2016. Topics for the hearing may include a discussion on lingering concerns and developments arising from specific guidance documents, agency initiatives to address U.S. Government Accountability Office recommendations on internal controls for good guidance practices, and a discussion of the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in advising and implementing its cross-government good guidance practices. Witnesses include: The Honorable Howard Shelanski, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget; The Honorable M. Patricia Smith, Solicitor of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor; and Amy McIntosh, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, U.S. Department of Education.
· On Friday at 1:00 p.m., Academic Impressions hosts a webinar titled, “Customer Service Training for Financial Aid Staff.” During the webcast, participants will learn how to improve their student- and parent-facing customer service skills in the financial aid office and walk through the fundamentals of how to approach the day-to-day work through a customer service lens and techniques for navigating the more difficult conversations that also arise in financial aid counseling. The webcast is designed for financial aid professionals who would like to improve their customer service skills, both in everyday context and when delivering difficult news to students and families. For more information, visit the Academic Impressions website.
This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.