House Education Committee Leaders Call for Stakeholder Recommendations on Higher Education Act Reauthorization

Publication Number 33 April 26, 2013

House Education Committee Leaders CALL FOR Stakeholder Recommendations on Higher education Act Reauthorization

Leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce are seeking comments and suggestions from the public as Congress prepares for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), expected to begin early in 2014.

An April 25, 2013 letter asked for students, parents, college leaders and higher education stakeholders to provide recommendations for policies and amendments that should be included in the upcoming HEA reauthorization. The letter was signed by Committee Chair John Kline (R-Minnesota), Ranking Member George Miller (D-California), Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas).

The members expressed particular interest in recommendations on ways to 1) empower students as consumers in higher education, 2) simplify and improve the student aid and loan programs, 3) increase college accessibility, affordability and completion, 4) encourage institutions to reduce costs, 5) promote innovation to improve access to and delivery of higher education and 6) balance the need for accountability with the burden of federal requirements.

The letter asked that recommendations be specific, including citing current statutory language or regulations and detailing suggested changes, with proposed legislative language where possible. Letters should be sent to [email protected] by August 2, 2013.


In an April 18, 2013 letter to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), responding to the announcement of a forthcoming negotiated rulemaking on program integrity issues, several House Republicans and Democrats asked that USDE stop efforts to advance regulations relating to gainful employment and state authorization. USDE will hold a negotiated rulemaking later in 2013 to draft regulations concerning a number of issues, including gainful employment and state authorization.

The members noted that, since 2010, state authorization and gainful employment regulations have been the subject of legal challenge, with court rulings blocking implementation. The letter also pointed out that the regulations have faced significant congressional opposition, including passage by the House during the last session of legislation to block implementation of gainful employment regulations. "We urge you to abandon these efforts and instead let Congress address these issues as part of the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act," the letter stated.

The letter was signed by Education and the Workforce Committee Chair John Kline, Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Virginia Foxx, Education Committee members Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York) and Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-Florida).

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have begun hearings in preparation for HEA reauthorization (see Federal Update #32).