Some questions:

Are we headed to a shutdown or not?

What will the impact be of DeVos' elimination of the discipline guidance?

Will Sen. Alexander pull off an HEA reauthorization before his departure?

Washington Update, Dec. 21, 2018

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Dear Colleagues:


This is my last Washington Update for 2018. Thank you for your readership and for the many notes and comments I receive from you in response to the blog. Please keep them coming! Wishing you a joyful holiday and a new year filled with opportunity. .

1. Washington DC Becomes Dysfunction Junction for the Holidays: Shutdown Down to the Wire

It's almost 8 pm - four hours before a substantial portion of the government will shut down if the Congress and the White House can't cut a deal. Yesterday resolution looked promising as the House passed a bill that would keep all of the government open through Feb. 8, punting final determination about the controversial border wall to the 116th Congress and the Democratic controlled House. But President Trump appeared to change gears - after earlier signaling that he would sign that bill, he decided he would not and sent the House back into session to pass a partisan spending bill that includes the $5 billion for the border wall with Mexico through January 3 - the first day of Democratic control of the House. The Senate does not appear to be ready to pass that bill, as the Republicans would need to find at least 9 Democrats to vote for it to reach the required 60 vote majority. That is most unlikely.

Legislators and White House representatives are deep in back door negotiating conversations that look to continue until the midnight deadline. So stay tuned. Once again the education advocates are counting their blessings; the education spending bill was passed in the fall and runs through September 30, 2019.

2. Trump Administration School Safety Commission Releases Report Calling for the End to Discipline Guidance: Two Days later the Guidance is Withdraw

On Wednesday this week the Federal School Safety Commission, chaired by Sec. DeVos, issued their report with recommendations on how to fight future school shootings. The 180 page report offers a raft of commentary, none of which addresses how to limit access to guns in general. In fact, as expected, more guns appear to be part of the equation. Some key items in the report include:

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