UPDATED: H.R. 2117, the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 23, 2012
Over the last decade, college costs have skyrocketed. Last year, tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased 8.3 percent, even as inflation only rose by approximately three percent. The average four-year public college student now graduates with roughly $22,000 in debt.
Despite the Obama Administration’s failed attempts to rein in college costs through a slew of new government programs, mandates, and possible price controls, Republicans know helping students realize the dream of higher education cannot be accomplished solely at the federal level. Instead, we support increased transparency on the true cost of a postsecondary education and are encouraging colleges to assist students and families in make fiscally responsible decisions when choosing the right institution.Republicans also recognize the need to reduce federal regulations that can lead to higher costs for colleges and students, and are working to reduce the regulatory burden and bolster innovation at the postsecondary level. Two particularly troublesome regulations released by the Department of Education in late 2010 – the credit hour and state authorization regulations – not only put the federal government in the middle of issues that have historically been the responsibility of academic institutions or states, but could also have significant implications on college costs and student choice.
In an effort to prevent federal intrusion in academic affairs, protect student choice in higher education, and reduce the regulatory burden on colleges and universities, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act (H.R. 2117). The legislation would permanently repeal the unnecessary credit hour and state authorization regulations. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R. 2117 with bipartisan support in a vote of 27 to 11 last June.H.R. 2117 - THE PROTECTING ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN HIGHER EDUCATION ACT
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