To: AASCU Presidents, Chancellors and Government Relations staff
From: Ed Elmendorf, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Analysis
Barmak Nassirian, Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
Makese Motley, Assistant Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis
Re: FY 2014 Government Funding Bill/Immigration/College Rating System
AASCU expects there to be a coordinated campaign among several
organizations to push for a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.
For this push, AASCU has been asked to identify Presidents that would be
willing to do an op-ed piece on the importance of immigration reform.
An immigration deal could have significant repercussions for higher
education in International Education and STEM. In addition, many AASCU
students would directly benefit from provisions related to the DREAM
Act, H-1B visas, and green cards. If you are interested in doing an
op-ed please contact Makese Motley, Assistant Director of Federal
Relations at email@example.com or via phone 202-478-4652.
Government Funding Bill
On January 13, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers,
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, House
Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey, and Senate Appropriations
Ranking Member Richard Shelby announced the release of the fiscal year
2014 consolidated appropriations bill otherwise known as an “omnibus”
spending bill. This bill follows the framework of the budget agreement
that was negotiated between Senator Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan in
December. $1.02 trillion is provided to fund the federal government for
the 2014 budget year. The House of Representatives is expected to vote
on Wednesday, January 15, with a follow up vote in the Senate on
Thursday or Friday of this week. Some key highlights for Higher
Labor, HHS, and Education Funding Levels
2013 Enacted level: $156.6 billion
2014 Committee mark: N/A-No vote taken in committee
2014 Omnibus: $156.8 billion
For additional information please see these links below
provide an additional $1-billion for the National Institutes of Health
and raise the maximum Pell Grant by an estimated $85, to $5,730.
Additionally, $1 million is appropriated to study the effect of
regulations and reporting requirements on colleges by requiring the
Education Department to report on enrollment, graduation and default
rates for Pell Grant recipients, disaggregated by institution
increase for Federal Work-Study and a $37-million increase for
supplemental education grants, while raising spending on the TRIO
college-preparatory programs by $42-million.
GEAR-UP, a $15 million increase
institutions would receive increases of $2.7 million, HBCUs $7.7
million, HBCU graduate institutions nearly $2 million, Asian American
$108 thousand, Hispanic Americans up by $3.4 million
$75-million for President Obama's proposed "First in the World" grant
program, aimed at encouraging colleges and universities to take steps to
improve educational outcomes and reduce the net price paid by students
billion for job training through WIA Training and Employment Formula
Grant program, which is $10 million less than the 2013 enacted level but
$121 million more than the post-sequester level.
billion for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, which is $103
million less than the 2013 enacted level but $625 million more than the
billion for Special Education state grants (IDEA), which is $82 million
less than the 2013 enacted level but $498 million more than the
$2.36 billion for Child Care & Development Block Grants, which is $36 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
Administration’s Proposed Postsecondary Institutions Rating System (PIRS)
AASCU supports federal efforts at better gatekeeping, improved
accountability, and greater transparency for colleges and universities
participating in federal student assistance. As public institutions, our
members respect and understand the public’s right to demand good
educational and economic outcomes for students after they leave their
institutions. AASCU believes that effective accountability metrics can
be devised in a manner that provides meaningful information to the
public and respects the heterogeneity of institutional missions.
The Administration’s proposed Postsecondary Institution Rating System
can be a component of a broader effort to promote accountability and
transparency. It will, however, not be a substitute for good front-end
monitoring and enforcement to weed out waste, fraud, and abuse.
Devising a rating system that can equitably and effectively capture the
relevant attributes of a large and diverse universe of postsecondary
institutions will be a daunting task. By its very nature, a rating
system must simplify inherently complex qualities and measures it
factors into account, and is thus susceptible to distortions that may
prove prejudicial or problematic. Data issues, in terms of their
availability, quality, reliability, and privacy consequences, represent a
huge challenge in setting up any rating system, and deserve very
The inherent difficulties of constructing a meaningful ratings system
need not, however, be fatal. It would be possible to capture a subset of
the most essential attributes of institutions and combine them into a
rating that involves minimal normative judgments.
The Administration’s thinking on the configuration of the rating system
has not been revealed, and little is known about the process and the
timeline for the launch of the rating system. AASCU is actively engaged
with the Administration and other stakeholders, and will attempt to be
helpful to the effort as appropriate. While we are concerned about
possible adverse consequences of the proposed system, we are willing to
give the Administration a chance to produce a proposal, and will attempt
to be helpful to the efforts as appropriate.