By Diana Ali, October 19, 2017
The Obama administration increased regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance in a number of key bucket areas affecting higher education policy. Ranging from loan servicer accountability to sexual violence misconduct cases, the Obama Department of Education (ED) used the power of administrative rulemaking to provide institutions with clarity and interpretation of existing law. In the last eight months, the Trump administration has used this very same regulatory process to rescind much of this previous administration’s guidance, prompting headlines have sparked curiosity and debate regarding the appropriate uses of the rulemaking process. Questions surface, such as: Does regulatory guidance affect or alter existing law? What is the difference between formal guidance and sub-regulatory guidance? What role does the public have in the rulemaking process? Continuing our NASPActs Policy Basics series, this post digs into the federal rulemaking process and provides insight to better understanding differences between regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance processes and resulting impacts.
By Melina Delkic, October 16, 2017
On October 14, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill preventing local school employees from using their discretion in allowing campus carry on a case-by-case basis. There has been some pushback on regarding the new law, especially by the Firearms Policy Coalition which stated “In one case they say that local control is the only way to keep people safe, and here they kill off what little local control was left on this issue. The Legislature and Governor Brown have made sure that no good people with guns will be close enough to stop an evil or insane person in the event of a serious attack.” The law will go into effect on January 1 and supports such research that shows that those carrying guns are more likely to harmed than protected.
By Paul Fain, October 17, 2017
Two new studies on the rate of default for black student borrowers revealed that nearly half of black student borrowers default on loans within 12 years. These borrowers owed more than their student loans cost originally after the 12 year period and 75 percent of those who did not complete their education at a for-profit institution ended up defaulting as compared to 50 percent of white students in the same scenario. Black students were also more likely to borrow overall and most of these percentages are likely linked to structural problems.
By Katherine Mangan, October 13, 2017
While those with protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are often considered to be children, many are in their 20s and have children of their own. With 275, 344 individuals now set to have their permits expire next year and 321, 920 with permits set to expire in August of 2019, these parents are now debating how to grapple with the futures of their US citizen children. DACA provided temporary relief, but those under its protection often hoped it would eventually lead to a pathway to citizenship, and used the program to begin robust lives in the United States. DACA recipients are currently considering their options. One is that they might qualify for a cancellation of removal if they have been in the United States for 10 or more years under good status, another is that they might have to appoint someone to manage private affairs in the case of their deportation. Therefore hundreds of thousands of immigrants and American children will likely feel the devastating impacts of this program’s end.
By Scott Jaschik, October 16, 2017
Last week white nationalist Richard Spencer, gave his first campus appearance since the Charlottesville protests at University of Florida. Spencer envisioned the event would lead to mass protests, but the University of Florida was able to avoid much of this through security planning. Two men were arrested during the speech and three after, for heckling student protesters with Nazi slogans. One of the latter three fired a gunshot into a crowd and all three were charged with attempted murder. No one was injured. In order to prepare for controversial speakers, campuses should be prepared through both information dissemination and heightened security measures, know that the institution won’t always have policies in place to prevent a speaker from speaking, and listen to and involve students in the process along the way. University of Florida was unable to cancel the event, due to policies around hosting community speakers, and it cost $600,000 on security, but university leadership made it clear that they did not want to host a white nationalist speaker and maintained focus on the protection of the students.
While the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has been watching for movement of TX HB 46 and TX HB 50 during Texas Special Session, both failed to move forward by the end date of 8/16/2017. These bills mimic failed legislation HB 2899, a slightly more lenient form of the original TX SB 6 Bathroom Bill. TX HB 46 would forbid “political subdivisions, including a public school district” from adopting or enforcing measures to “protect a class of persons from discrimination” in regulating “access to multi-occupancy restrooms, showers or changing facilities.” HB 50 was identical except applying only to a school district board. In the past few months other states have retreated from the conversation. Additional bills of this kind are unlikely to be introduced during the 2016-2017 legislative session.
In the past few months, we have seen 11 states consider 18 pieces of anti-sanctuary legislation that would affect college campuses. 6 states have introduced (pro) sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 9 pieces have failed, and 15 are pending, and 4 have been enacted. PA HB 14 was removed from the table on 06/22/2017. CA SB 54, a statewide sanctuary bill was approved by the Governor on 10/04/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Upwards of 17 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus during the current session. In the 43 pieces of legislation the Policy and Advocacy Team is tracking, 18 bills are pending, 20 have failed, and 6 have been enacted, in AR, GA, OK and TX. GA HB 280 went into effect on 07/01/2017. TX SB 11 which will allow anyone over 21 with a gun license to conceal carry was enacted on 08/16/2017. CA AB 424 enacted by the Governor on 10/14/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Jackie Speier (Introduced 10/12/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 10/12/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
The Title IX Protection Act which would codify Obama-Era, Bush-Era, and Clinton-Era guidance into law. Guidance includes the 2014 Q&A on Title IX, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, and the 2001 Guidance on Title IX.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Hunter Duncan (R-CA) (Introduced 10/19/2017)
-Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 10/19/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
The Expanding America’s Workforce Act would amend the Higher Education Act to implement short-term workforce Pell Grants, connect apprenticeships to academic degrees, increase monetization of credit transfers, and increase focus on competency-based education.
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