STATEMENT: Congress Must Pass a Comprehensive HEA Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released the text of his piecemeal plan to reform the Higher Education Act (HEA). Antoinette Flores, associate director of Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the proposal:

Our higher education system is failing students and taxpayers. Rather than make meaningful change, this proposal would increase the max Pell Grant for the most low-income students by just $20. Rather than holding schools accountable for helping students get to and through school and prepared for jobs that will help them repay their debt, this proposal includes no measures to hold schools accountable for the outcomes they produce. For more than a decade Congress has kicked the can down the road on reauthorizing the HEA, all the while students sink deeper into debt—a burden disproportionately shouldered by people of color and low-income individuals. While there are a few positive provisions, the time for half measures is over. Congress must pass a comprehensive HEA reauthorization that reflects the needs of students and taxpayers.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.