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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Natow

Could We See a Higher Education Act Reauthorization in 2020?

Inside Higher Education is reporting that leadership and staff on the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee have been quietly negotiating a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), which has not been reauthorized in over a decade. From Inside Higher Education: "Though he didn’t say it is a drop-dead deadline, the Tennessee Republican and chair of the Senate's education committee [Lamar Alexander, R-TN] said in little-noticed remarks two weeks ago before a group of community college trustees that he wants to have a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act passed by his committee by the end of March -- or only about a month from now." Reauthorization of the HEA is said to be a priority for Senator Alexander, who is retiring after this term.

Also, HELP committee ranking member Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) recently told a Washington state public radio station that she is working with Senator Alexander "now to rewrite the Higher Education Act to address the cost of college and safety on campus," according to Inside Higher Education.

Still, any reauthorization of the HEA would need Democrats and Republicans to agree on how the law would handle Title IX policy, something about which the parties have not been able to reach an agreement so far (see prior Inside Higher Education reporting on the Title IX issue).

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