Given the wide range of stakeholders and policy issues in the education space, our legislative group works collaboratively and creatively to identify and execute policy solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of our clients. We apply this approach to every facet of our work including in the areas of profile building, research funding, and policy. Our team has a substantive understanding of big picture and nuanced issues affecting the education community given the diversity of our clients, which have included associations and coalitions, public and private universities, community colleges, school districts and counties, and education technology companies.
Additionally, we work directly and strategically with congressional committees and individual members of Congress, in a bipartisan manner, to advance our clients' interests during the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), America COMPETES Act, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Child Nutrition Act (CNA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Farm Bill (Title VII - Research), Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA), NASA Authorization Act, and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins or CTE), among others. Equally important, we are adept at navigating initiatives, guidance, and regulations within the Executive Branch agencies, which present opportunities and challenges for clients.
On behalf of our education and workforce clients, our team advocated for a range of provisions to provide relief to the education sector in response to the coronavirus crisis, including the following measures that were included in the legislative response vehicles, like the CARES Act, or as part of the Administration's recent actions:
- Creating a multi-billion dollar relief fund for institutions of higher education to use in response to the crisis.
- Securing funding as part of the Education Stabilization Fund that would go directly to students for emergency financial aid grants to cover unexpected expenses related to the crisis.
- Including the purchase of education technology as an eligible use under the Education Stabilization Fund to support students, school districts, and institutions of higher education as they move instruction online.
- Providing additional flexibility for institutions of higher education to utilize federal financial aid to support students in the midst of the crisis.
- Ensuring states can request waivers from certain provisions under the Every Student Succeeds Act related to year-end assessments and high school graduation requirements to ensure high school seniors remained eligible for federal financial aid and admission to an institution of higher education in the fall.
- Ensuring the Department of Veterans Affairs can continue to provide educational assistance (including monthly housing stipends or subsistence allowances) to student veterans whose education programs are converted from on-site to distance learning resulting from a health emergency.
- Supporting a client participating in a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide 1 million meals a week to students in rural schools affected by school closures due to COVID-19.
Other representative matters include:
- Secured more than $80 million through the appropriations process for a NASA research project that the President's FY 2015 budget proposed to cut.
- Secured $8.5 million for a new Veterans Affairs clinic to be located on the campus shared by a public research university (classified as "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation) and a health sciences center.
- Secured a $2.4 million Department of Energy grant to establish a grid simulator through an unsolicited grant proposal.
- Established a coalition of public urban and metropolitan institutions of higher education to advocate before Congress and the Administration.
- Provided strategic advice and guidance to a county's head start program on its renewal application to perform Head Start services.
- Secured an appointment for a top public university to serve on a negotiated rulemaking committee impacting a vast array of federal student aid regulations.
- Secured two clients for selection by the Department of Education as Experimental Sites for the Federal Work-Study Near-Peer Counseling Program.
- Conducted an evaluation of a university's pre-service teaching program and created a vision planning document to reorganize the program, thereby helping to raise its profile in the area of teacher preparation and diversity.
- Counseled clients on campus safety legislation and compliance with Title IX.
- Counseled on an accreditation and governance compliance matter before an accrediting body and the US Department of Education resulting in a favorable decision that allowed for the institution to merge with another educational entity.