Legislative Activity

Early Childhood Education

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) has set passage of an early childhood education bill as one of his top two priorities for 2014. (The other is an increase in the minimum wage.) As such, we expect the Committee to hold hearings early this year on the benefits of early childhood education and related legislation, including the bill he introduced in November, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (S. 1697). While the bill may get through the Senate, it is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled House.

Upcoming Hearings:

  • Thursday, January 9: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology will hold a hearing titled “Private Sector Programs that Engage Students in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math].”

Regulatory Activity

Migrant Student Data

The U.S. Department of Education published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on December 27 to enhance the Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX), a nationwide, electronic records exchange mechanism for migrant students. The rule would require states participating in the Migrant Education Program “to collect, maintain, and submit minimum health and educational information to MSIX” within 90 days to be eligible for program funding. Stakeholders wishing to comment on the proposed rule must do so by February 25.

College Affordability Summit

The White House has rescheduled a December meeting with a large group of higher education leaders that was postponed due to President Obama’s travel to South Africa for former President Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. The meeting, which seeks to discuss and obtain commitments from institutions to improve access and success for low-income students, will now take place January 16.