New Members on Senate HELP Committee, Secretary DeVos Encourages “Rethinking School”

As Congress begins its work in the new year, one of the most pressing matters is keeping the government open beyond January 19. In late December, Congress passed a short-term funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), to keep the government open at the current funding levels until January 19. Congress will need to pass another CR by that date to avoid a government shutdown. Read below to find more news out of Washington, D.C. this week.

Secretary DeVos Encourages “Rethinking School” 

On Tuesday, January 16, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted a research conference, “Bush-Obama school reform: Lessons learned.” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave the keynote address, followed by a conversation with AEI Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies Frederick M. Hess. Secretary DeVos enforced the importance of “rethinking school” and education beyond traditional classroom practices so that all students are able to find success. Secretary DeVos also cautioned against federal overreach, while emphasizing the need for parents to be informed and empowered. You can find Secretary DeVos’ prepared remarks here and the video for the full conference here.

New Members on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee

Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Doug Jones (D-AL) joined the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee this month. Sen. Smith (D-MN) was appointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to fill Sen. Franken’s seat. Sen. Jones (D-AL) won a special election to fill the seat that Attorney General Jeff Sessions held (and was previously filled by Luther Strange). You can find a full list of Senate HELP committee members here.

New Fact Sheet Traces Decline of Workforce Funding Over Time

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) recently released a new fact sheet that illustrates the decline of the federal investment in employment and job training services over the past 40 years. It compares the federal investment in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to the federal investment in the previous major pieces of workforce legislation dating back to 1963.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

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