The administration continues to release additional FY2020 budget request information through various departments and agencies. The Department of Defense (DoD) released a Defense Budget Overview and additional budget documents. APLU members may be most interested in the Research Development, Test & Evaluation Programs (R-1) document. The request would fund DoD Science and Technology (6.1-6.3) at $14.135 billion, a $1.9 billion decrease from FY2019 enacted. The budget proposes $2.320 billion for DoD Basic Research, a $299 million reduction from FY2019. The APLU Appropriations Priorities Chart has been updated to reflect DoD’s request.
When first released, APLU released a statement expressing deep concern and opposition to proposed cuts that would reduce or eliminate critical research and higher education accounts. APLU continues to update our analysis as more information is released.
The White House released its proposals to reform the Higher Education Act (HEA). The document addresses accreditation reform, institutional accountability, innovation, and transparency, among a number of other areas.
The College Transparency Act (CTA) was reintroduced by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) among 11 other senate cosponsors. In the House of Representatives, the bill was reintroduced by Representatives Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Elise Stefanik, and Josh Harder (D-CA).
The legislation would lift the student-level data ban in the Higher Education Act and provide for much more comprehensive higher education outcomes data. For example, the Department of Education would be able to report employment outcomes for all students, not just those who receive federal financial aid. The bill would also allow for important data disaggregations by race, gender, recipient of veterans benefits status, and more. The bill would strongly benefit students and families, consumers, and colleges and universities in their work to assess programs and support student success. The bill would also assist policymakers in making evidence-based decisions. APLU worked with the sponsors to develop the legislation and is a strong endorser.
APLU President Peter McPherson released a statement regarding the reintroduction of the bipartisan College Transparency Act in the House and Senate.
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), an organization representing human resources professionals in higher education, issued a brief last week urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to modify and move forward with its proposed update to the overtime rule. The proposed rule would increase the minimum salary, which has not been changed since 2004, for exempt employees to $35,308 per year from $23,660. While CUPA-HR is in favor of the updated salary threshold, the group advises DOL to prorate the salary threshold for part-time employees and allow the cost of employer-provided room and board to count toward the salary threshold. They also urge DOL to consider extending the intervals between updates via rulemaking to 5-7 years.
APLU joined the American Council on Education and 36 other higher education associations in a letter to congressional leadership in support of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019. Introduced last week by Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY), the legislation would allow undocumented students to earn lawful permanent residence in the United States and a path to citizenship. The bill would also allow Dreamers to be eligible for Title IV federal student aid programs. It currently has 214 Democratic cosponsors in the House of Representatives. The Dream and Promise Act covers a more expansive population of Dreamers as well as those with temporary protected status (TPS) and deferred enforced departure (DED) holders than previous congressional proposals.
In the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (D-SC) reintroduced the Dream Act in the Senate. The bipartisan bill would allow undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to qualify for lawful permanent residence and become eligible for a pathway to citizenship. The bill text is identical to the version of the legislation that was introduced in the last session of Congress in 2017. APLU is a longtime supporter of the bill.