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Reauthorization may be stalled

January 12, 2006

Inside Higher Education has reported that Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act may have stalled again. This would be to the delight of many public Colleges and Universities, and is good news for public higher education institutions across the country.

The article describes three possible scenarios:

(1) negotiators from the House and Senate could agree on and pass a full-blown bill that contains all of the provisions that were not included in the budget measure;
(2) lawmakers could put together legislation that contains selected Higher Education Act provisions that are perceived to be crucial (or politically desirable), as well as measures that fix flaws that have been or will be identified in the budget legislation; or
(3) Congress could just extend the remaining parts of the higher education law in their current form for a year or even five years. Congress passed a bill in December that temporarily extended the Higher Ed Act through March.

Higher Education groups should push to extend the current law for just another year for two reasons. With the midterm elections approaching and, with them, a chance we could get a different Congress. Even if that does not happen, the next year is a good opportunity for Colleges and Universities to work with students, faculty, staff, and alumni in educating members of Congress. Congress always seems to listen better to constituents during an election year.

The Inside Higher Education article does a great job of explaining the current situation at the federal level. Read the full article here: http://insidehighered.com/news/2006/01/12/hea

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