Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act (H.R. 2117). Sponsored by Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the bipartisan legislation will repeal two unnecessary federal regulations that impose additional costs on institutions of higher education.
House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said, "We can't tackle rising college costs without recognizing how Washington has contributed to the problem. Over the years, the nation's higher education system has become increasingly complex with layers of new rules and programs. H.R. 2117 will repeal two troublesome regulations that pile additional costs and restrictions on colleges and students, and I am pleased to lend my support."
"It's time to stop complaining about the college tuition problem, and take concrete action by repealing two federal regulations that are costly and unnecessary," Rep. Foxx said. "The Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act will repeal the credit hour and state authorization regulations -- two mandates that insert the federal government into decisions that have historically been the sole responsibility of institutions and states."
The Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act will permanently repeal the onerous credit hour and state authorization regulations. The credit hour regulation establishes a federal definition of a credit hour, providing the government increased control over institutions' academic affairs. The state authorization regulation forces states to follow federal requirements when deciding whether to grant an institution permission to operate within the state. Colleges providing online education programs could be required to obtain authorization in every state where enrolled students reside in order to participate in the federal student aid programs.
Last June, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act with bipartisan support in a vote of 27 to 11.