House Education Committee Marks Up Bill to Reauthorize the Higher Education Act

Publication Number 85 November 1, 2019


On October 29-31, 2019 the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor marked up (reviewed and voted to approve) the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) which would reauthorize the Higher Education Act and overhaul major features of higher education and accreditation. The committee passed the bill and voted to send it to the House floor. It is unknown when the bill will be scheduled for a vote. As Chair Scott explained during the mark-up, the Education Committee will be looking to the House Ways and Means Committee to develop financial offsets to assure that the cost of the bill meets the House requirement that proposed legislation is financially neutral – a bill does not go beyond current appropriation limits - before a vote is scheduled.

There were more than 55 amendments to the bill introduced during the committee markup; more than 10 were approved. The amendments that were approved did not significantly improve or modify the accreditation section of the bill. (For more information, see Federal Update 83). For more information about the mark-up click here.

CHEA will follow the bill’s progress closely and will keep CHEA institutional members and accreditation stakeholders informed as developments warrant.

USDE Publishes Final Accreditation Regulations

On November 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) published final regulations on accreditation, innovation and other topics, reflecting the draft consensus language approved by the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee that met earlier this year. The final rule is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2020.

Negotiated rulemaking is the process used by USDE for stakeholder representatives to meet with USDE to negotiate the terms of a proposed administrative rule or regulatory change. The negotiated rulemaking committee met four times between mid-January and early April, 2019. (For more information, see Federal Update 78)