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Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARTER. I thank my friend, Ms. Foxx, for yielding to me on this important issue.

Madam Chairman, I rise today to voice my strong support for this important legislation, H.R. 2117. Recently, bureaucrats at the Department of Education promulgated a rule which would require institutions that offer distance education programs to meet State requirements in every State in which they have a distance education student. This legislation that we have here would repeal that rule, a rule that negatively affects hundreds of colleges and thousands of students around this country.

Specifically, in my district, I'm very proud that I have Central Texas College. Central Texas College may be the largest community college in the United States, possibly the world; and it consistently has students of 75,000-plus every year. They provide both on-campus and distance education for thousands of American warfighters, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines around the world. These folks who are in any place you could imagine are taking courses from Central Texas College, and they would be specifically impacted if the rule the bureaucrats have put upon us is not repealed. This is very important to the future of the educated warfighters.

Under this rule, only colleges that maintain significant resource reserves would be able to comply with these State authorization requirements.

Just let me point out that Central Texas College is a small public school doing great work for educating our soldiers around the world. We shouldn't let the bureaucrats in Washington take away the opportunity for an education for thousands of soldiers and other students that rely on distance education. This little school that sits on the edge of Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, is educating soldiers around the world on shipboard and in military posts, and we need to make sure that this H.R. 2117 is passed to protect their education.


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