House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN), along with Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Reps. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), and Alcee Hastings (D-FL), today sent a letter urging Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to drop the widely-panned "gainful employment' and "state authorization' regulations and instead work with Congress to address program integrity issues as part of the Higher Education Act reauthorization.
"The gainful employment and state authorization regulations resulted in several legal challenges and sparked heated congressional debate," Chairman Kline said. "Higher education leaders and members on both sides of the aisle fear the regulations could raise college costs and limit students' education options. Yet the administration continues to doggedly pursue implementation, disregarding the concerns of policymakers and institutions. We strongly urge Secretary Duncan to abandon these harmful regulations and instead work with Congress to strengthen the nation's higher education system through reauthorization of the Higher Education Act."
In the letter, the members write:
In 2010 the Department of Education advanced several "program integrity" regulations. Over the last year, several of these regulations have been subject to legal challenges -- and at least two have been struck down by the courts Both the state authorization and gainful employment regulations have also faced significant congressional opposition. For example, in 2011 the U.S. House of Representatives voted 289 to 136 to prohibit the Department of Education from implementing the gainful employment regulation
Despite these court decisions and congressional actions, we are disappointed the Department of Education has indicated it will continue to pursue the gainful employment and state authorization regulations. Instead of continuing to push regulations that have been rejected by Congress, the court, and institutions of higher education, the administration should stop pursuing these failed regulatory efforts and work with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on a better way forward as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Read the full letter in PDF format below: