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Public Policy Monthly Review

by on April 21, 2013

PUBLIC POLICY AND HIGHER EDUCATION – A MONTHLY REVIEW OF KEY AND TRENDING ISSUES

The intent of this monthly blog is to provide NASPA Region-II readers with updates associated with a few current and emerging issues of public policy that are of interest to institutions of higher education.  Links are provided to related websites and on-line articles (when available) but the reader should not assume these to be the only such resources.    If you have any ideas for topics, please contact Region II Public Policy Rep Thomas Grace at thomas.grace@nyu.edu.

The Top Ten Public Policy Issues for Higher Education in 2013 – This American Association of State Colleges and Universities document provides a concise overview of the primary issues facing higher education in 2013….

  • See AASCU:

http://www.aascu.org/policy/publications/policy-matters/topten2013.pdf

The Right to Bear Arms –  Despite the fact that polls suggested 90% of the American public supported more strict background checks prior to purchasing a gun, the Senate recently voted against the bill…surprising not only President Obama (who had predicted passage) but also several groups that had demonstrated support for the bill.   Experts point to this as illustrative of just how politically complicated the issue remains.

  • See the Washington Post

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-04-17/politics/38617843_1_gun-buyers-background-checks-gun-laws

Immigration Reform Legislation –  Key leaders in the Senate appear to have reached an agreement on a bill that would bring the most significant change to immigration laws in nearly three decades…

  • See Politico:

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/immigration-deal-ready-for-debut-90116.html#ixzz2QeM3lse5

Financing Higher Education – The latest reauthorization of the 1965 Higher Education Act will have a substantive focus on helping low- and middle-income students finance college.  It also will preserve higher education’s obligation to provide potential applicants with information about the cost, demographics, sources of financial aid, and graduation rates…

The component of the current budget proposal that will most affect higher education concerns the interest rate on student loans.  The interest rate for federally subsidized Stafford student loans — which don’t accumulate interest while students are enrolled in college — is now 3.4 percent and is scheduled to double July 1.   Among other factors, the proposed budget would tie interest rates on student loans to the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds, encourage alternatives to the traditional accreditation systems, fund job training programs at Community Colleges, and investment in STEM programs…

  • See Inside Higher Education

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/11/obamas-budget-proposal-would-change-student-loan-interest-rates-boost-science

Taxing International Student Tuition – In Washington state, legislators propose a 20 percent surcharge on international student tuition. The universities worry that students will stop coming….

  • See Inside Higher Education

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/12/washington-state-lawmakers-propose-surcharge-international-student-tuition

Regulating Distance Ed – The federal Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education contends that institutions that offer online education programs should not be forced to answer to regulators in each and every state where they enroll and serve students.  Instead, institutions could be regulated by a single state where they are based…

  • See Inside Higher Education

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/12/report-distance-learning-providers-should-be-regulated-fewer-states-perhaps-just-one

 

Federal Court in Manhattan Approves Service of Process via Facebook – In a non-higher education case, a federal court in Manhattan ruled that service via Facebook is an acceptable alternative means of serving court documents on foreign defendants.   Can notification by texting be next?…

  • See JDSupra LawNews

http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=b508baba-a132-48c4-87b0-fea1bbb96280

Mental Health Professionals and the NY-SAFE Act

In March 2013, the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE Act) added a new section (9.46) to the Mental Hygiene Law requiring licensed physicians (including psychiatrists), psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and registered nurses to report when one of their patients is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others”.   But college counselors are concerned that because of the way the law is written, a report appears to be required regardless of whether the client is believed to have access to a weapon and this could have a chilling effect on students coming forward for help.

  • The text of the NYS SAFE Act

http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/s2230-2013

  • State University of New York Resources on SAFE ACT

http://www.suny.edu/compliance/topics/nyssafeact/index.cfm

Is There a Need to Overhaul the Pell Grant Program

A controversial proposal released by a group convened by the College Board contends an overhaul of the Pell Grant to better meet the needs of a growing population of nontraditional students.    It would create a separate program for students over the age of 25 and tie funding to the rate at which college credits are attained.

  • See Inside Higher Ed

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/09/report-calls-separating-pell-grants-adult-and-younger-students#ixzz2QFyqM4FR

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