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Alexander, Murray Announce Higher Education Act Reauthorization Working Groups

Launch effort to examine accountability, accreditation, campus safety and college affordability as they work toward ninth reauthorization of Higher Education Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced several bipartisan, full committee staff working groups to address four major issues related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act:

“The Higher Education Act we see today—a nearly 1,000 page law with an equal amount of pages devoted to higher education regulations—is simply the piling up of well-intentioned laws and regulations, done without anyone first weeding the garden,” said Alexander. “I look forward to working with Senator Murray as we start from scratch in reauthorizing the Higher Education Act to find ways to best serve students and taxpayers by eliminating unnecessary red tape, saving students money, and removing obstacles to innovation in the best system of higher education in the world.”

“Access to quality and affordable higher education is important for students, and it is a crucial part of building an economy that works for all families, not just the wealthiest few,” said Murray. “The Higher Education Act provides critical protections and support for our nation’s students.  As we work to reauthorize and improve the law, I am going to be focused on making college more affordable, reducing the crushing burden of student debt, strengthening protections so that all students have a safe learning environment without the threat of sexual assault or violence, and ensuring all students have clear pathways into and through higher education. I look forward to working with Senator Alexander and our colleagues on a bill that helps all students succeed.”

The staff working groups will examine the following topics:

  • Accountability
  • Accreditation
  • College Affordability and Financial Aid
  • Campus Sexual Assault and Safety

Alexander and Murray are developing a bipartisan committee process as they work toward the ninth reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, including a series of hearings in addition to the working groups. The senators have held three hearings and will hold additional hearings to inform their process as they work to produce legislation in committee this fall.

The bipartisan staff meetings are open to all members of the Senate education committee.

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