Boehner Criticizes the NEA for Spreading Misleading & Inaccurate Information on Republican Higher Education Reforms
October 20, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee John Boehner (R-OH) today criticized the National Education Association (NEA) for spreading misleading and inaccurate information in a letter circulated about Republican proposals to strengthen higher education and student aid programs and provide funds for education relief efforts for the Gulf Coast region. The committee is working to identify ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal investment in higher education in order to expand college access for low- and middle-income students and reduce wasteful spending on behalf of taxpayers.
"It's unfortunate that the NEA would choose to oppose legislation to strengthen student aid programs, provide for critical education relief for the schools impacted by the Gulf Coast hurricanes, and generate savings on behalf of taxpayers by demanding greater efficiency from federal programs," said Boehner. "Worse still, the NEA's opposition comes without ever having seen the proposal to which it is opposed. While Republicans work to strengthen educational opportunities for students and provide relief to victims of the hurricanes, the NEA seems intent on obstruction and obfuscation."
"The Committee has developed comprehensive reforms that will expand college access for low- and middle-income students," noted Boehner. "Simultaneously, these reforms will generate savings for taxpayers by eliminating program waste and inefficiency, trimming excess subsidies paid to lenders, and placing the aid programs on a more stable financial foundation to ensure their long-term viability and success for future generations of American students."
The College Access & Opportunity Act (H.R. 609), which was approved by the Education & the Workforce Committee in July, includes several key reforms to strengthen America's higher education system by expanding college access and restoring the focus of federal aid programs to better serve students. H.R. 609 would expand college access for millions of low- and middle-income students by:
* Strengthening Pell Grants, student aid, student access, and minority serving institutions;
* Reducing loan costs, fees, and red tape for students and graduates;
* Removing barriers for non-traditional students; and
* Empowering consumers through "sunshine" and transparency in college costs and accreditation.
"It's important for Congress to exercise fiscal restraint and look for ways to help offset the ongoing hurricane recovery and rebuilding effort," added Boehner. "The NEA should support education relief for hurricane victims rather than spread misleading and inaccurate information about a proposal that actually strengthens the Higher Education Act on behalf of students, families, and taxpayers."