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H.R. 2117, The Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, recently introduced the Protecting Academic Freedoms in Higher Education Act (H.R. 2117) to defend states, schools, and students from excessive regulatory burdens.  

THE PROBLEM:

Late last year, the Department of Education released a package of regulations they claimed would improve student financial aid programs.  Two of these so-called “program integrity regulations” – the credit hour and state authorization regulations – would put the federal government in the middle of issues that have historically been the responsibility of individual academic institutions or states. 

  • The credit hour regulation establishes a federal definition of a credit hour.  This ineffective attempt to measure student learning will restrict innovation, limit flexibility, and obstruct innovative teaching methods.
  • The state authorization regulation forces states to follow federal requirements when deciding whether to grant a college or university permission to operate within the state. This one-size-fits-all requirement piles unnecessary and excessive costs on states and colleges to solve a seemingly non-existent problem, and could pave the way for future federal overreach into higher education.
  • At a time when we should focus on increasing education opportunities for students and encouraging institutional innovation, these regulations would levy unnecessary burdens on higher education institutions and limit student choice.


THE SOLUTION:

Congress needs to prevent federal overreach in academic affairs and protect student choice in higher education. That’s why Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has introduced the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act (H.R. 2117) to permanently repeal the unnecessary credit hour and state authorization regulations.

H.R. 2117 - THE PROTECTING ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN HIGHER EDUCATION ACT

  • Repeals the federal definition of a “credit hour” and prohibits the Department of Education from defining “credit hour” in the future.
  • Protects students from higher costs by eliminating the unnecessary state authorization regulation.
  • Prevents unprecedented and unnecessary overreach into postsecondary academic affairs.

The Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act will help streamline the federal role in higher education and protect states, schools, and students from excessive regulatory burdens. To read a bill summary, click here

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