Senate Panel Advances Education Spending Bill

Late last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved an education budget bill for FY 2018, reported Inside Higher Ed. The spending package would boost funding for the National Institutes of Health and increase the maximum award for a Pell Grant by $100 to $6,020. The Senate bill would rescind $2.6 billion from the Pell Grant surplus, less than the $3.3 billion cut proposed the House's version of the budget.

The legislation would restore Pell Grant eligibility for students who were defrauded or misled by their institution and were approved to have their student loans cleared through a borrower-defense claim. It would maintain or slightly boost funding for several financial aid and college readiness programs targeted for cuts in the White House budget.

The measure would also provide an 18-month extension for colleges that are overseen by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to find a new accreditor. The Obama administration terminated ACICS, a controversial national accrediting agency that oversees many for-profit institutions. While ACICS's fate remains unclear, many of the 260 or so colleges it oversees must find a new accreditor or risk losing access to federal financial aid, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The spending package, which differs from a spending bill approved by the House, awaits a vote by the full Senate.

 

Related Links

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/committee-approves-fy2018-labor-hhs-and-education-appropriations-bill

Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/09/08/senate-panel-backs-increases-pell-grants-nih

Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/09/11/extension-acics-colleges-senate-funding-bill