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Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WELCH. First of all, I do want to thank Mr. Kline and Mr. Miller for bringing this bill to the floor, and I want to thank the staffs for working with Mr. Gowdy and me on this amendment and an amendment to follow.

One of the things that brought Mr. Gowdy and me together is the concern about the cost of education, and I know that has been a major concern for the Education and the Workforce Committee. But one of the dilemmas that we have is that, if we put more money in as taxpayers--and I am a strong supporter of more grant and more aid for our colleges--but if every dollar we put in is a dollar increase in tuition, then the students are treading water and the taxpayers are treading water.

So what are some of the things that we can do to try and help give the flexibility to our institutions of higher learning the ability to actually accelerate graduation and, therefore, help potentially lower the cost?

Mr. Gowdy outlined what this competency-based learning amendment would do. It would reward students who have some ambition and get started early. It would allow college administrators to properly give credit for that serious effort on the part of students, and it might help reverse what has been a trend where a lot of students are taking more than 4 years to graduate and allow them the opportunity with their effort and discipline to graduate in less than 4 years. If you graduate in 3 1/2 years, that is a significant savings to that family and that student who is borrowing money as a way of getting ahead in this society.

So I really appreciate the focus that the committee has had on this question and appreciate very much the work that Mr. Gowdy in trying to present to this body this amendment which will help, I think, facilitate the goal of making college more affordable. It is absolutely so essential to the young people of this country.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I would just say the same to Mr. Gowdy. I appreciate working with him on this and also on our Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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