Legislative Updates

December 2016


  • Announcements
  • New York State Legislative News
  • Political News (Obama Administration, Congress, 2016 Elections)
  • News You Should Know (High School, Admissions, Financial Aid)
  • NACAC's Government Relations Meetings This Month 


**2017 Advocacy Days** 

NYSACAC’s 2017 Advocacy Day is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14th. All NYSACAC members are welcome to attend. Register here!

NACAC's 2017 Advocacy Day is scheduled for March 5-6.  Anyone interested in advocating for college access is welcome to join us.  The meeting will be at the Westin Georgetown Washington, DC Hotel.  More details to follow. 

NACAC recently released its Guide to International University Admission. The Guide is a free resource for counselors, students, and parents seeking to explore international higher education options.

We apologize for the length of this month's update but there is a lot of election related news to share.  If you have ideas about a more reader friendly format, please email us at legislative@nacacnet.org

This month's trivia question:  Constitution Avenue is a major street running through Washington, DC.  It forms one boundary of the National Mall and is where several of the Smithsonian Museums are located.  It also has some great views of the White House and Capitol Building.  What was it originally called?

New York State Legislative News

  • Poughkeepsie Journal (NY) reported that SUNY seeks autonomy for tuition hikes but Democrat & Chronicle (NY) reported that SUNY is seeking tiered tuition increases.
  • The mayor of NYC is creating a program that will help the parents of kindergarteners save for college (NYT).
  • New York lawmakers to meet in a public hearing to examine the growing population of English Language Learners.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio will create college savings accounts for thousands of New York City kindergartners, in a three-year pilot program.
  • 1,300 NYC Juniors from 17 public high schools attend ‘Hamilton’ as part of their history class thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Political News

Obama Administration News

  • The New York Times reported that the Department of Labor's new overtime compensation rule was put on hold by a Texas court.
  • NACAC attended The White House Summit on Advancing Postsecondary Diversity and Inclusion to Expand College Opportunity.  Here is the related report.
  • The Department of Education issued a Fact Sheet titled, "New Federal Guidance and Resources to Support Completion and Success in Higher Education."
  • President Obama issued a proclamation declaring November 13 through November 19, 2016 American Education Week.
  • The Washington Post reported that, "When it comes to career-training programs, for-profit schools don't measure up, feds say."

Congressional News

  • As expected, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) formally announced her interest in the chairmanship of Education and Workforce Committee.
  • The Hill reported that a GOP lawmaker is developing a blueprint to contain college costs.
  • In a pair of speeches, Senator Durbin (D-IL) took to the U.S. Senate floor to talk about the DREAM Act and DACA.

2016 Elections

Editor's note:  As a non-profit organization (501(C)(3), NACAC cannot endorse any candidate for any elected office. 

Donald Trump won the presidency and Republicans kept control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  With the 2016 elections over, this section will transition to articles about how President Trump and Republican Congress may impact education policy.  Once the new Congress and President are sworn in, this section will disappear and relevant articles will be included in the appropriate sections of this newsletter.    

President Trump

  • Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
  • Once he takes office, President Trump will appoint more than 3,800 people to various jobs.  Here's a list of potential cabinet candidates, including Education Secretary. See below for more on Betsy DeVos, who Trump plans to nominate as Secretary of Education. 
  • Here is what Trump wants to do in his first 100 days

Potential Education Issues Under President Trump

  • The New York Times looked at where Trump stands on various education issues. 
  • Trump announced that he plans to nominate Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. 
    • The New York Times profiled DeVos.
    • The Washington Post reported that the pick "terrifies public school advocates."
    • The Atlantic has 5 things to know about DeVos.
    • Here are press releases from the chairs and ranking members of the relevant House and Senate Committees: Alexander, Murray, Foxx (likely chair; no statement issued), Scott
  • A columnist for The New York Times argued that DeVos will not be able to privatize public education.
  • Diverse reported that education experts argue that a Trump Administration means a diminished regulatory role for ED but New America argued that it won't mean the elimination of the Department.
  • The Atlantic looked at Trump and the future of education.
  • The Washington Post reported that Trump's win leaves Obama's higher education reforms in doubt."  The newspaper looked more specifically at how Trump's policies would impact for-profit colleges.
  • What will happen to the Common Core under President Trump?
  • Education Week argued that ESSA would handcuff a trump education secretary on Common Core and more.  Note: NACAC does not have a position on Common Core.
  • here's what Trump means for your student loans (BuzzFeed)
  • Iowa City Press-Citizen reported that higher ed leaders in Iowa weigh in on Trump's proposals.

President Trump and Undocumented Students

  • Donald Trump said he will immediately deport the two million to three million undocumented immigrants he says are criminals once he takes office in January.  The New York Times wrote why this is difficult to achieve. 
  • Trump plans to nominate Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for Attorney General, who will "become one of the most powerful people overseeing the nation's immigration policy" (Politico).
  • The Washington Post reported that "hundreds of colleges mobilized to protect undocumented students."
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued that he would not recommend that Trump "retroactively remove" the status of those who qualify for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • NACAC and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has information for those that are working with students that may not be documented. 
  • The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times argued against deporting DACA students in editorials.
  • The Sacramento Bee reported that UC president move quickly to reassure undocumented students after Trump's election.  Los Angeles Times noted Cal State's similar effort.

Trump and Foreign Students

  • The New York Times looked at the potential impact Trump's win will have on foreign students attending US colleges.
  • The Washington Post reported that Moody's issued a warning that a Trump presidency could hurt colleges counting on international students.

115th Congress (2017-2019)

  • Republicans maintained control of Congress
  • Senate Republicans and Democrats selected their leaders for the 115th Congress, as did House Republicans
  • NYTimes reported that Congressional Republicans plan swift action on their agenda with Trump in office
  • Education Dive looked at how the new Congress, including a new Chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and new president may impact education policy in the next Congress. 
  • The Washington Post asked, "Did the concept of free public colleges and universities go down with Democrats?"

Other Campaign Articles

  • The Washington Post noted that Republicans are set to control 69 of 99 state legislative chambers in 2017 and with at least 33 governors, the party will have complete control of state government in at least 25 states.
  • It appears that Pat McCrory, the incumbent Governor in North Carolina, lost his race for reelection.
  • In an editorial, the New York Times argued that the nation's students are being left behind because of policy decisions made by elected officials.
  • 10 Senate seats that could flip in 2018 (The Hill).
  • Here are 20 people, Democrats and Republican, that could run for president in 2020.

State Ballots

  • KTUU reported on Alaska ballot measure on student loan bonds, which failed.
  • In California, a ballot measure that would give schools added flexibility to establish bilingual programs for both English-language learners and native English speakers passed as did a bid to authorize a $9 billion school construction bond and an initiative to extend the income tax on wealthy Californians for school funding passed (article).
  • In Georgia, voters rejected a ballot initiative that would've placed chronically-failing schools under state control.
  • The Daily Reveille reported that Louisiana's tuition autonomy amendment fails to pass.  The Advocate (LA) reported that after tuition autonomy vote fails, a higher ed leader said that the legislature will need to provide funding solutions for colleges and universities.  The Times-Picayune had more on the ballot question.  The Times-Picayune and The Advertiser ask, "What's next?" after Amendment 2 failed.
  • In Maine, voters approved a ballot that would add a 3 percent income tax surcharge to fund public education.
  • The controversial ballot referendum to expand the number of charter schools in Massachusetts was defeated.
  • Voters in Oklahoma voters defeated a 1 percent sales tax increase that was expected to generate $615 million per year, more than half of which would have gone to teacher raises.  The Oklahoman reported that the failed state ballot question impacted higher education's historic budget cut.
  • Oregon voters approved a ballot initiative that would compel the state Legislature to fund dropout-prevention and career readiness programs in high schools.
  • The Oregonian reported that after Measure 97, Oregon University presidents seek a 'minimum' increase of $100M for higher education.

News You Should Know

High School

  • Philanthropists are stepping up to address a longstanding problem facing Indiana schools: A serious shortage of counselors (chalkbeat).
  • The New York Times is following several students at Topeka High School to see where they end up - "college, vocational school, a job or at home." 
  • Some students are utilizing LinkedIn in their admissions process, though it is unclear how helpful it is. 
  • The Education Commission of the States is out with five new reports exploring state and federal policy on Native American youth, incarcerated youth, military youth, gifted and talented youth and homeless youth.
  • Reuters reported that ACT canceled test scores in Asia after leak of essay question.
  • Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number that were home-schooled in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on national home-schooling trends (Washington Post).
  • With 95 kinds of high school diplomas, Education Week asked, What Does 'Graduation' Mean?

Admissions (General)

  • The Washington Post reported that, "A year after switching to a test-optional admissions policy, George Washington University said that its latest freshman class is the most racially diverse in the school's history."
  • The Hechinger Report reported that a growing body of research suggests that if more Hispanic students in the US don't go on to college, "the quality of life will drop for everybody else."
  • The New York Times looked at how "state funding is impacting your education."
  • U.S. News & World Report reported that an increasing number of foreign colleges are allowing American students to apply US Federal student loans to cover their college costs.
  • The New York Times looked at the states that college graduates are most likely to leave.
  • The New York Times wrote about one convict's effort to earn a college degree.
  • The Hechinger Report reported on a poll that found Americans increasingly mistrustful of college costs, leadership, and value.
  • The Associated Press reported that "In reversal, 2 Georgia state universities open admissions to undocumented students."
  • Portland Press Herald reported that UMaine System records enrollment increase for the first time since 2003.

Admissions (In-State vs Out-of-State)

  • At least 50 public colleges have reduced out-of-state prices as they seek students (AP).
  • The Associated Press reported that seeking students, Mississippi public colleges have reduced out-of-state prices.
  • The Jamestown Sun (ND) reported that a new tuition plan designed to attract out-of-state students could cost NDSU $3.3 million.
  • Virginia Gazette reported on a proposed bill that would make in-state students a priority at Va. Universities.

Admissions (Advice/Tactics)

  • The New York Times looked at how the University of Alabama because a national player, which included an aggressive plan from the admissions office (the article looked at other universities, too).
  • The New York Times published a guide for students interested in studying abroad. 
  • NACAC member Ken Anselment offered his advice on companies promising to help families through the admissions process.
  • Shani Lenore-Jenkins, associate vice president of enrollment at Maryville University, recently wrote about how to recruit college students with certain digital strategies.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that some small colleges are turning to football teams to help them boost sagging male enrollment.

Admissions (Transfer)

  • Alabama students who attend two-year colleges to eventually transfer to a four-year school will now be able to "reverse transfer" their four-year college credits toward an associate's degree from the two-year school (Opelika-Auburn News).
  • Pennsylvania colleges made it easier to transfer (TRIB).

Financial Aid

  • The New York Times looked at "those hidden college costs."
  • The Washington Post reported that "a few hundred dollars in aid can make all the difference to some college students."  Marketplace reported on a study as well.
  • USA Today reported that "as college costs skyrocket, more students try crowdfunding."
  • The New York Times looked at why more California community colleges are offering free tuition.

Trivia answer: Constitution Avenue was originally call B Street. The change was initiated by Representative Henry A. Cooper (R-WI), who "didn't feel the name suited a central and important boulevard in the nation's capital."


This Month's Meetings

(Unless noted, meetings are with staff)

  • Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) - to discuss the need to preserve Gainful Employment. 
  • White House - 2 meetings (post-secondary diversity (see above) and budget)


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