Flurry of education-related action expected this week

BUSY DAYS AHEAD: This week, a revamp of the federal career and technical education program, a Trump administration proposal to merge the Education and Labor departments and Education Department funding will all get air time on Capitol Hill.

— Multiple school safety-related events are scheduled in Washington and outside the Beltway. On top of that, the Supreme Court could rule as early as today on a closely watched case that challenges the fees that public employee unions collect from nonmembers to cover collective bargaining costs. Here’s your guide:

— Career and technical education: On Tuesday, the Senate HELP Committee is scheduled to mark up a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Your host reported Sunday that a bipartisan agreement has been reached to update the law, which dictates how the federal government spends about $1 billion each year on career and technical education programs.

— If passed by the Senate, it would mark a major step toward the law’s first significant overhaul in more than a decade. The House passed a bipartisan billH.R. 2353 (115), last summer. But in the Senate, HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander has long pushed to further curtail the Education secretary’s authority under the law. The bill gives states broad authority to develop their own plans for improvement, but if states don’t meet their goals at a certain level, then the Education secretary could eventually start to hold them accountable. The hearing starts at 2:30 p.m. in 430 Dirksen.

— Merger plan: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday will scrutinize the Trump administration reorganization plan that would create a new agency called the “Department of Education and the Workforce” — or DEW. While Alexander has said he’ll review the idea, and House education Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has praised it, this hearing could provide more insight on Congress’ thinking. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in 2154 Rayburn.

— Education Department funding: A Senate Appropriations subcommittee will mark up the spending bill that funds the Education Department at 11 a.m. Tuesday in 138 Dirksen. The full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday will then mark it up at 10:30 a.m. in 106 Dirksen. The House Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, has scheduled a markup at 10 a.m. Tuesday on its spending bill that funds the department. It’s in 1100 Longworth.

— School safety: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in Reno, Nev., today to address the National Association of School Resource Officers School Safety Conference. The speech starts at noon Eastern time. Sessions is a member of the federal school safety commission, which will hold its second public listening session on Tuesday in Lexington, Ky., starting at 1 p.m. Eastern.

— Separately, Mick Zais, deputy secretary of Education, will address school safety on Thursday before the Security Industry Association’s GovSummit, and again on Friday before the Education Commission of the States’ national forum. Both of Zais’ speeches are in Washington.

— Supreme Court: With the high court’s session coming to a close soon, a ruling in Janus v. AFSCME appears imminent — perhaps even as early as today. With Justice Neil Gorsuch on the bench, it’s widely expected that a majority of the justices will rule in favor of Janus, possibly striking down agency fees as unconstitutional. Such an outcome would be a political blow to teachers unions.

HAPPY MONDAY, JUNE 25. WELCOME TO MORNING EDUCATION. Your host will be on a panel on Wednesday at the College Media Conference with Autumn A. Arnett of Education Dive and Anemona Hartocollis of The New York Times. If you’re attending, please stop me to say “hello.” Got a news tip? Send it to khefling@politico.com. Send events to: educalendar@politicopro.com. And follow us on Twitter: @Morning_Edu and @POLITICOPro.

COALITION VOICES SUPPORT FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: A coalition of 34 national Asian Pacific American organizations says it rejects the notion that a majority of Asian American Pacific Islanders oppose affirmative action. The group issued a statement Friday in reaction to New York Times coverage of a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Asian Americans in Harvard University’s admissions policies. The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans calls the argument a “false narrative” that exists to drive a wedge between its community and other minority and underserved communities.

— After examining Harvard’s data, the council said it does not believe there was “intentional or implicit bias against Asian American applicants.” “If we did conclude that Harvard’s admissions policies were impacted by implicit bias against our community, we would most certainly voice our concern. We strongly support admission policies that aim to make colleges and universities more diverse and we stand in solidarity with other communities of color,” the statement said. The case is the most recent test for affirmative action at colleges, and is being watched closely across the higher education community.

TEACHER STRIKE AFTERMATH UPDATE: The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday tossed out a petition seeking to roll back tax hikes designed to fund teacher raises. The state legislature passed the package of tax hikes just before teachers launched a statewide strike in April for more education funding and better pay. The referendum to do away with the tax hikes was backed by Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite!, an anti-tax group led by former GOP Sen. Tom Coburn. Read more from Caitlin Emma.

— Meanwhile, in Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports that the state board of education will no longer consider today whether to punish teachers who participated in their state’s teacher walkout. The board had been set to receive legal advice on whether it had any authority to discipline striking teachers.

ICYMI: HHS has created an “unaccompanied children reunification task force,” a first step toward reunifying thousands of migrant children in the agency’s custody with their families, according to an internal document obtained by POLITICO. The task force was established by the assistant secretary for preparedness and response — the arm of the agency that responds to public health disasters, and an indication that the challenge of reunifying thousands of families is likely beyond the capabilities of the refugee office. Read more from Dan Diamond.


— Melania Trump tells kids to be a “positive force” in each other’s lives: POLITICO.

— Charter school founded by Southwest Key wants to educate immigrant kids housed at the nonprofit’s shelters: Dallas Morning News.

— Lawsuits over doctor’s alleged sex abuse could cost USC hundreds of millions: LA Times.

— Special education advocates worry Texas governor’s school safety plan will accelerate school-to-prison pipeline: Texas Tribune.

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