Select Page
By GRAC

It’s a few weeks before the California elections so I am sure everyone is REALLY excited about laws and bills and policy! Right? Well, here is an update from NACAC on what is going on at the federal and local levels. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to email GRAC at wacacgrac@wacac.org.

  • The Higher Education Act is up for reauthorization. The PROSPER Act (HR4508) is the House’s HEA bill, which NACAC opposes. It seems unlikely that the bill will go anywhere, but Chairwoman Foxx is still pushing it so we will continue to voice our opposition.
  • In April, a District Court Judge in DC struck down Trump’s decision to end DACA. Per the ruling, Homeland Security must begin accepting new DACA applications after a 90-day waiting period. We expect the Administration will appeal, but one has not yet been filed.
  • ACTION ITEM: The Federal Commission on School Safety was formed in response to the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. The Commission is chaired by Secretary DeVos and is charged with exploring ways to make schools more safe. The Commission is accepting comments and recommendations at safety@ed.gov.
  • Congress passed and President Trump signed the FY18 funding bill in March. Overall, NACAC was pleased with the results. The maximum Pell Grant award was increased by $175; TRIO, GEAR UP, FSEOG, and work study all received funding boosts; and Title IV-Part A of ESSA received a $700 million increase. Now Congress is beginning to look toward FY19, which is technically supposed to be funded by October 1; however, this deadline has not been met in decades.
    • ACTION ITEM: Because Title IV-Part A is a flexible block grant, funds are distributed to each state and the state is responsible for determining use. There are three “categories” the money can be used for. NACAC encourages members to reach out to their elected officials and encourage the funding be put toward improving college and career counseling and professional development for counselors.  It’s important to know that our legislators don’t control where the money goes, but they can have influence.

 

Local highlights:

 

  • Calif.’s 2-year system signs transfer agreement with UC.
  • California districts to take part in groundbreaking school safety study.
  • Calif. attorney general issues guidance on undocumented students.
  • Tuition fight comes to Sacramento as students protest proposed tuition increase.
  • Lawmakers question Gov. Brown’s plan to overhaul funding for California’s community colleges.