Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statement on President Obama's proposals to address access, innovation and affordability in post-secondary education.
"President Obama is offering a bold effort to rein in skyrocketing college costs. As Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, his important ideas must be drivers in our conversations to push America's higher education system into the future.
"While many colleges and states have worked hard to keep higher education affordable, too many others have remained unresponsive to the economic realities Americans now face and have not taken opportunities to innovate.
"Battered by the recession and decades of stagnant real wages, families struggle to pay ever more expensive college bills while graduates worry whether they will earn a paycheck before their first student loan payment is due. Meanwhile, states and colleges have stripped state funding for public education and instituted double digit tuition increases.
"Our higher education system, which is so essential to our nation's vitality and economic leadership, has not innovated fast enough to accommodate rapid changes that have taken place in our economy and our society in recent years. There is much that we can and need to do to make higher education more accessible, affordable and worthwhile to all who seek it. While states clearly owe it to families to do a better job by investing more in their own systems, the President is absolutely right to demand greater changes now throughout our higher education system.
"President Obama's plan will realign priorities by incentivizing college performance, promoting innovation and making student debt more manageable so the system works for students.
"The headwinds against change are surely strong. But I applaud President Obama for making this challenge of reining in college costs a national priority."