STATEMENT FROM AASCU PRESIDENT MILDRED GARCÍA, ED.D., ON THE INTRODUCTION OF BILL TO REAUTHORIZE THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) appreciates Chairman Bobby Scott’s introduction of a comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The HEA is a vital piece of legislation that was last reauthorized 11 years ago and is long overdue for a significant modernization of virtually all of its programs. This bill is a serious and deliberate effort to increase access, protect students and taxpayers, and improve oversight. However, as with any complex legislation that impacts a significant sector of the nation’s economy, there are specific areas of concern—most notably for AASCU, the omission of a federal-state partnership program for the entire public sector and the bill’s educator preparation provisions—that we will work with the committee to address as the bill moves through the approval process.

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The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.- based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.