House Appropriations Committee Passes Education Spending Bill With Boost to Max Pell, Historic Campus-Based Aid Increases – NASFAA
UPDATE May 15, 2019: The House Appropriations Committee last week passed its fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-H) spending bill, which included a $150 boost to the maximum Pell Grant, and allocated $5 million to continue the open textbook pilot within the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, among other changes. In its report on the spending bill, the committee also said it would encourage the Department of Education (ED) to “work with institutions of higher education to ensure” they are providing students with information about community service-based opportunities for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program. Additionally, the committee wrote in the report that it would direct ED to update the borrower defense to repayment report on Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) Data Center each month, and to within 60 days of the enactment of the bill to provide the number of claims and total amount of loans covered by those claims by school and institutional type. With regard to school closures, the committee would require ED to submit a report within 90 days “outlining its plan to prevent precipitous closures in the for-profit sector,” to publish on the FSA Data Center a list of schools with a letter of credit in fiscal years 2017 to 2019, and to within 90 days outline “the process through which it approves or disapproves of a for-profit institution’s conversion to not-for-profit status and a list of any staff involved in such decisions.”
The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday cleared a fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bill with almost half a billion dollars in increased support for the federal student aid programs, though final allocations are far from settled. In total, the bill would provide $4.4 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level for the Department of Education (ED), $11.9 billion above President Donald Trump’s budget request.