February 2019 Legislative Update

MACRAO Legislative Update 2019-02-09


•    Budget Time – The budget process, which will impact all state institutions as well as state scholarship and financial aid for all Missouri students.  MDHE is set to present the higher education budget this coming Tuesday, Feb. 12.

•    Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant - The House Workforce Development Committee, amended on Feb. 4. The house committee substitute clarified the eligibility criteria for receiving the grant by limiting it to those who have not already received a bachelor’s degree and to those who are at least twenty-five years of age and have not been enrolled in an educational program for the prior two academic years.

•    STEM Certificates for high school students - HB 456 | This bill would allow high schools that want to do so to develop a STEM certification for their students.  This would not directly impact all of higher ed.

•    Returning Heroes – There is an effort to modify the act to include benefits for graduate students (masters and doctorate) seeking degrees. The maximum that the students can be assessed is 30% of tuition and fees.  Students must have been in active duty combat and must claim the benefit within 20 years of being discharged. The veteran must have been a Missouri resident when first entering the military or entered military service in Missouri. This is HB 400.

Federal/ national issues:

•    Title IX Update - Title IX comments were also due this month, with the Department of Education receiving over 77,000 comments. It’s going to take a while to go through all of these.

•    Negotiators Convene to Rewrite Wide Range of Higher Ed Rules – The department kicked off the first session of its negotiated rulemaking panel to overhaul regulations governing higher education accreditation and innovation in mid-January.
o    Credit Hour Definition- Proposed changes to credit hour, accreditors and state authorization walked back.  Last week, U.S. Education Department Principal Deputy Under Secretary Diane Auer Jones
o    AACRAO at the table for re-authorization discussions – AACRAO President Tina Falkner is on the Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, representing 4-year public institutions.
o    AACRAO Comments on Proposed Title IX Rules. The association submitted comments to the U.S. Education Department regarding its proposed rules for how schools handle sexual assault allegations. AACRAO is concerned with certain aspects of the proposed Title IX regulations that fail to protect the legitimate privacy interests of all individuals and to maintain appropriate confidentiality of institutional and student education records.


AACRAO Call for Public Policy Advisory Group Members

In an effort to more actively engage members with public policy issues affecting their professions, the students they serve, and higher education as a whole, AACRAO is seeking new members for the Public Policy Advisory Group. Apply today to provide your practitioner perspective on emerging legislation and public policy matters. Applications are being accepted through Friday, March 1, 2019. Members who are interested in being part of the Advisory Group should complete the form on the AACRAO website.

The Advisory Group consists of 8-12 AACRAO members selected based on their areas of expertise and type of institution and will be representative of the regional, gender, and ethnic diversity of the association. Members will be appointed for a three-year term. We are seeking up to four new members for this group.
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