According to recent media reports, Congress is likely to pass yet another continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2022 appropriations. The current CR is set to expire on February 18. Current House and Senate negotiations on a 12-bill omnibus spending package are moving slowly, and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) “admitted that it’s all but inevitable Congress will pass another CR extending fiscal 2021 funding levels past Feb. 18.”
Right now, House and Senate Leadership are negotiating the topline funding levels for defense and non-defense discretionary programs. Democrats want increased funding for non-defense discretionary programs, while Republicans want increased funding for defense programs.
“If it’s a short-term [CR] that would mean probably that we’re making some progress, real progress,” Shelby said. “If it’s longer, we might go … for the rest of the year.” A year-long CR means that education and science programs would remain at fiscal year 2021 funding levels.
Secretary of Education Cardona Lays Out Vision for Education in America
Last week, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona addressed the Department of Education, laying out his vision for continued recovery through the pandemic and his priorities for broader investments in America’s education system to ensure all students can succeed and thrive. Two priority areas in his speech include making higher education more inclusive and affordable and ensuring pathways through higher education that lead to successful careers. The Secretary also stressed the importance of mental health support for students. CGS has long supported increased effective support and care for mental health. A transcript of the speech can be found here.
Applications for New Awards for Supplemental Support Under the American Rescue Plan
The Department of Education issued a notice announcing the availability of funds and the application deadline for new grants to institutions of higher education (IHE) under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and the Supplemental Support under the American Rescue Plan (SSARP) program. The SSARP program supports public and private nonprofit IHEs that the Secretary determines have, after allocating other funds available under HEERF, the greatest unmet needs related to the coronavirus, including institutions with large populations of graduate students and institutions that did not otherwise receive a HEERF allocation under the American Rescue Plan Act.
Grantees may use funds for institutional costs to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll); and to make additional Emergency Financial Grants to Students, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), and child care.
Department of Education Announces Federal Work Study Application Deadline Date
The Department of Education has announced the 2022-23 award year deadline dates for the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs. The Campus-Based Reallocation Form designated for the return of 2021-22 funds and the request for supplemental FWS funds for the 2022-23 award year are due by Monday, August 15, 2022. The form must be submitted electronically through the Common Origination and Disbursement website at https://cod.ed.gov. More information can be found in the Federal Register notice.
Applications for New Awards for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program
The Department of Education issued a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2022 for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program. The Department will hold a pre-application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants. Detailed information regarding this webinar will be provided on the Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad website here. Additional information for new potential grantees who are unfamiliar with grantmaking at the Department may read about the discretionary grant process here.
The Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship Program provides opportunities for doctoral students to engage in dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States. Absolute priority is given to research projects that focus on one or more of the following geographic areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories).
House Passes America COMPETES Act of 2022
On Friday, the House passed the America COMPETES Act. The legislation includes investments in higher education and research, including reauthorization of international education programs to increase and expand existing foreign language and area studies programs across the country. In addition, increased research investments at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation are included in this legislation. For detailed information about the newly passed legislation, please see the fact sheet and the section-by-section analysis. The Senate’s version of the bill, the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), passed 68-32 in June 2021.
The Executive Office of the President wrote in a Statement of Administration Policy, “The legislation would reauthorize and expand the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, supporting the construction and upgrade of world-leading facilities, advancing research in the sectors of the future, advancing technology to combat the climate crisis, and enhancing the Nation’s ability to respond to future pandemics. H.R. 4521 would also reauthorize and expand the National Science Foundation. The legislation would lower barriers to inclusion and broaden opportunities for people and communities who have historically been underserved and underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. H.R. 4521 would also authorize investments in regional economic revitalization and growth through the creation of regional technology and innovation hubs to ensure that our innovation ecosystem benefits communities across the country and supports broad-based, inclusive prosperity.”