As things move quickly in Washington, DC, NACUBO is your constant advocate in action. NACUBO On Your Side covers important legislative and agency activity NACUBO staff are tracking, what we’re currently advocating for, and how you can take action with us.
Here are the issues we are tracking and advocating for this week.
ED Releases Pandemic Aid Fraud Reporting Guidance
The Department of Education Office of Inspector General has released a new guide on fraud reporting requirements for federal program participants, grant recipients, and auditors. The guide is targeted at entities that have received federal pandemic relief funds and their auditors.
State, ED Release Joint Statement on International Education
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a joint statement in support of international education and “the robust exchange of students, researchers, scholars, and educators.” The statement, which also lays out a set of principles meant to guide the administration’s approach to international education, comes as many international students are still struggling with State Department backlogs to approve their visas in time for the fall semester.
ED Announces New HEERF Aid Rollout
The Department of Education has announced that it will begin distributing American Rescue Plan Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) (a)(2) allocations earmarked for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and other Minority-Serving Institutions. Institutions that have previously received these funds do not need to submit new applications to receive them. However, ED also announced that eligible institutions wishing to receive additional HEERF grant funds to help address needs unmet by other HEERF aid may now do so, following the application guidance contained in the notice.
IRS Updates Guidance on Paid Leave Credits for COVID-19 Immunization
The IRS has updated FAQs on paid sick and family leave tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act, clarifying that eligible employers may claim the credits for providing leave to employees to accompany a family or household member to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine or to care for a family or household member recovering from the immunization.
ED Launches 2021-22 Online Training Series
The Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid announced the launch of its 2021-22 Fundamentals Training Series program. This includes the FSA Coach Fundamentals, a self-paced online course, and the Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration virtual workshop, an instructor-led, five-day online event.
White House Releases Updated Infrastructure Fact Sheet
The White House has released a new fact sheet on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement that lawmakers recently finalized. While the legislative text of the framework is still unfinished, the package passed a recent procedural vote in the Senate to advance the bill for further discussion. The package includes funds for increasing broadband infrastructure, but most of the other provisions relevant to higher education are expected to be included in a separate Democrat-led infrastructure package.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Part of Title IX Rule
A Massachusetts district court judge has struck down a portion of current campus sexual assault rules under Title IX, finding that the rule’s prohibition on considering statements of witnesses and parties who do not subject themselves to cross-examination is arbitrary and capricious. The Department of Education is now expected to review the decision and modify its guidance on the rules accordingly. The decision comes as ED is reviewing the regulation, with the intent to overhaul it in a future rulemaking effort.
One-Pagers Outline Two Charitable Giving Advocacy Goals
The Charitable Giving Coalition recently released a one-pager demonstrating the value of a universal charitable deduction and supporting the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (S. 618, H.R. 1704) which NACUBO and the coalition have previously supported. NACUBO also recently supported the release of a one-pager on the potential benefits of the Legacy IRA Act.
NACUBO On Your Side: July 20-26, 2021