From the desk of Chris Andresen in Washington DC:
The House Ed and Workforce Committee unanimously approved the Perkins-CTE Reauthorization unanimously yesterday. There were very few amendments; two were withdrawn and I have attached the substitute amendment that made minor changes form the initial legislation.
This tracks with what happened last year and given all of the gridlock here with the FBI/Russia/Trump, this could be on the floor next week before the Memorial Day recess.
It also comes on the heels of the Trump Education budget proposal being leaked to the Washington Post. That document shows the deep cuts that the Administration foreshadowed in the skinny budget. All appropriations related meetings I have been in recently continue to stress that the budget is DOA. Frankly, the staff has succumbed that we are looking at a CR for FY2018 amidst everything here so given all of the swirl of proposed cuts, that is not the worst possible outcome.
The latest on the Adult/Career Assistant Secretary of Department of Education is that Tim Kelly, a state rep from Michigan, is the leading candidate. He seems to be a strong friend to workforce so hopefully that will provide a sensible voice inside the department.
I had a meeting with VP Pence’s Chief Economist on Tuesday and Pence is involved in all areas, including personnel. He told me that if we have sensible appointments/nominations, that he would be happy to take resumes for review. The workforce staff at the Domestic Policy Council at the White House is James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation. Take a look at his bio here. I have submitted a request to meet with him next week with reps from Michigan and New York but I’m not sure it will happen. http://origin.heritage.org/about/staff/s/james-sherk
FY2018 Trump Ed Budget Notes
Cuts $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives
Calls for a net $9.2 billion cut to the department, or 13.6 percent of the spending level Congress approved last month
Zeroes out $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college (CCAMPIS)
Career and technical education, which would lose $168 million, down 15 percent compared to current funding
Nearly halve FWS that helps students work their way through school, cutting $490 million
End loan forgiveness for public servants (PSLF) (still unclear if 550K enrolled get grandfathered in)
Eliminate in-school sub loans
Eliminate more than $700 million in Perkins loans for disadvantaged students (this eliminates the Perkins program)
Single income-based repayment plan in place to replace the existing ones (not sure if this is the only plan, or this and maintains 10-year standard plan)
Trump’s proposal — which makes good on a campaign promise — would raise the maximum payment to 12.5 percent of income, but shorten the payment period to 15 years. (Currently 10% for 20 years)
The proposal is less sweet for borrowers who take out loans to earn advanced degrees. They currently pay monthly bills capped at 10 percent of income for 25 years. Under the new plan, they’d pay more (12.5 percent of income) for longer (30 years)
No cost estimates for any of these changes
Maintain funding for Pell Grants for students in financial need
Year round — The spending plan supports year-round Pell Grants, which allow low-income students to use the money for three semesters of college, instead of two. That way, students can take a full load of courses year-round and earn a degree faster. The administration also would increase available funds for year-round Pell by $16.3 billion over 10 years. (Unclear how the surplus fits in)
Max annual award would remain flat at $5,920, does not index it to inflation