NACUBO On Your Side: February 14–27, 2023
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 Shares Cybersecurity Resources
In a February 16 Electronic Announcement, the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid published two fact sheets on how to establish an Incident Response Plan (IRP) and the importance of data sanitation. IRPs mitigate risks and limit damage during cyberattacks. The media sanitization resources details how to permanently destroy media to protect confidential data and proprietary information.
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Worker in Overtime Case
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., v. Hewitt, finding that a non-salaried employee earning over $200,000 per year is entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA). Strictly upholding the salary requirement for the overtime exemption, the majority reasoned that since Hewitt—an oil rig worker that Helix referred to as a “bona fide executive”—was paid a daily amount rather than on a salary basis, he could not be considered exempt.
CASE Study Finds Increase in Giving to Higher Education in 2021–22
The latest Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Voluntary Support for Education (VSE) survey found that charitable giving to higher education increased 12.5 percent, to a total of $59.5 billion, in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022. Restricted giving to endowments and gifts to current operations drove the increase. While giving to most types of institutions increased, the study found that one-third of the 781 institutions surveyed experienced declines.
NACUBO Offers Input on FDTA Regulations
As a part of the Public Finance Network (PFN) representing state and local governments, governmental entities, authorities, and issuers of municipal securities, NACUBO signed on to a letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler regarding the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA) of 2022, which requires federal Departments and regulators to develop machine readable data standards affecting the way institutions prepare and submit financial statements to the MSRB. The PFN requested the opportunity to engage in ongoing dialogues and participate in industry working groups to provide an overview of governmental financial reporting, an overview of issuers, and questions and concerns about how regulations will be developed and implemented.
NACUBO Comments on New REPAYE Plan
In a letter led by the American Council on Education (ACE), NACUBO and 29 other associations offered comments to the Department of Education on proposed changes to the REPAYE income-driven repayment plan. The letter praises ED for its efforts and recognizes that comprehensive changes to any Title IV plan ideally would come from Congress in a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
NACUBO Cites Problems with ED’s “Low-Value Programs” Proposal
In comments led by ACE, the higher education community responded to a Department of Education request for information on methods to identify “low-value postsecondary programs.” The comments laud ED’s intent to better serve students and shed light on bad actors but cite numerous areas of concern. The comments caution that the project “is likely to do more harm than good.”
Join NACUBO for Webcast on Endowment Considerations
Part of the ongoing Endowment Leadership Series, NACUBO will host a webcast on legislative and regulatory considerations for the coming year. The webcast, featuring a diverse panel of experts, will take place from 2:00-3:15 pm ET on Thursday, March 9.