Budget Request for FY23 Released Next Week

The Biden Administration will release its fiscal year 2023 (FY2023) Budget Request on Monday, March 28. The release of the Administration Budget officially kicks-off the FY2023 budget and appropriations process to fund the federal government. The House Budget Committee will hold its hearing on the budget on March 29 and the Senate Budget committee will hold its hearing on March 30. House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) outlined steps for Members of Congress to submit their ”community funding projects,” (commonly known as earmarks) for the 12 spending bills for FY2023 through a fact sheet and additional guidance. The House Appropriations Subcommittees will begin accepting earmark requests on April 4.

The CGS Government Relations and Public Policy staff will provide analysis and reporting as information becomes available.

CGS Signs on to Letters Regarding Competitiveness Legislation

CGS and 21 other higher education associations sent a letter to the Congressional leadership this week outlining the community’s legislative priorities for the upcoming conference committee negotiation for the Senate-passed USICA Act of 2021 and House-passed America COMPETES Act of 2022. These authorization bills include provisions which will increase federal funding for STEM education programs, fundamental scientific research, and research infrastructure. The bills also include provisions that would reauthorize the Department of Education’s Title VI international education program and streamline the immigration process for international students to study and stay in the United States after graduation. The letter states, “Our nation achieved its status as the global science and innovation leader due in significant part to decades of sustained federal research and education investments. We commend the proposals in the legislation that set ambitious increased research and STEM education authorization levels. It is vital that Congress meet these targets with appropriations.”

CGS also signed a letter emphasizing the importance of allowing individuals with graduate STEM degrees to be exempt from caps on green cards and providing for dual intent to streamline the visa process in any competitiveness legislation. “Allowing doctoral, and in the case of critical industries, master’s students with STEM degrees to be exempt from caps on green cards and providing for dual intent to streamline the visa process will strengthen our global competitiveness by making it easier for the best and brightest scientists from around the world to conduct their careers in the United States.”

Dr. Nasser Paydar Nominated to be Assistant Secretary of Education

President Biden has nominated Dr. Nasser Paydar to be assistant secretary of education for postsecondary education. Dr. Paydar is Chancellor Emeritus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a press release regarding the nomination, “Throughout his more than 35 years of experience as a higher education leader, Dr. Paydar has championed equitable and affordable access to postsecondary education. He also has placed an important focus on diversifying the higher education workforce. I’m confident that Dr. Paydar will advance our efforts at the Department of Education and throughout the Biden-Harris administration to provide students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities with more inclusive, affordable postsecondary learning opportunities, whether they be college degrees or career and technical programs. I have no doubt Dr. Paydar will be an asset to the Department and hope for his swift confirmation so he can join us in this critical work.”

National Science Board Releases Information on Breaking Down Barriers to Graduate Education

The National Science Board (NSB) recently released an informational flyer titled, “Not Going for Broke: Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Build Up a Diverse Research & Development Workforce.” The flyer states: “Doctoral students are the lifeblood of academic research and the future of U.S. scientific and technological innovation across academia, industry, and government. To maintain our global competitiveness in science & engineering (S&E), we need to reduce a major barrier for domestic students that discourages many from pursuing a STEM doctorate. Students from the Missing Millions — Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and women — as well as those from low socio-economic backgrounds, frequently have higher educational debt, greater family obligations, little to no intergenerational wealth, and have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” The NSB recommends raising stipends and providing benefits, including supplemental funds for health insurance, parental leave, childcare, and professional development.

The NSB also released a new report this week providing the latest data on patenting, trademarks, and other measures of innovation. The report finds that U.S. innovation activities are concentrated in geographic regions, with the highest rates on the east and west coasts, around the Great Lakes, and in parts of the Southwest. The National Science Board’s Committee on National Science and Engineering Policy will meet on March 25 at 11 AM. You can watch the meeting on their YouTube channel here.

Latest Action: Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

The Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Higher Education 2021-2022 met last week to discuss several proposed regulatory changes to issues such as, gainful employment, the 90/10 Rule, and certification procedures. During the meeting, negotiators received verbal and written comments from the higher education community. Materials for the negotiated rulemaking can be found here. For more information about last week’s meeting, as well as previous committee meetings, please see the National Association of Student Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Wrap-Up articles.

Department of Veterans Affairs Notice on Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a federal register notice this week of an increase in the Post-9/11 GI Bill maximum tuition and fee amounts payable. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the VA will pay the net cost of tuition and fees not to exceed the in-state amounts for students pursuing training at public schools; $26,381.37 for students training at private and foreign schools; $26,381.37 for students training at non-degree granting schools; $15,075.05 for students training at vocational flight schools; and $12,813.78 for students training at correspondence schools. In addition, the entitlement charge for individuals receiving reimbursement of the costs associated with taking a licensing, certification, or national test is pro-rated based on the actual amount of the fee charged for the test relative to the rate of $2,200.96 for one month. The maximum reimbursable amount for licensing and certification tests is $2,000. There is no maximum reimbursable amount for national tests.

The VA has also announced the extension for schools to apply for the 35% exemption and submit their 85-15 calculations, as well as other efforts VA is taking to address some of the concerns raised with their 85-15 reset.