Time running out for HEA reauthorization: a temporary extention of existing legislation is possible if the Senate fails to act.
THE 109TH CONGRESS BEGAN business with reauthorization of the Higher Education Act The Higher Education Act may refer to an Act of either the Congress of the United States or of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
HEA Higher Education Act of 1965
HEA Higher Education Authority
HEA Health Education Authority
HEA High Energy Astrophysics
HEA Happily Ever After
HEA Hockey East Association renewal still was not a done deal as the legislative body began to look toward the end of its session.
The House completed its part of the job in March, passing the College Access and Opportunity Act, which reauthorized the HEA for five more years. The Senate passed its first version of HEA reauthorization earlier this year as part of the Deficit Reduction Act, which included $12.7 billion in student loan cuts.
But following House action on the new reauthorization measure, the Senate was required to also approve a new version of the legislation. Ultimately, both houses must sign off on the same bill.
With each passing day, the calendar looms larger over HEA in the Senate. With a July 4 holiday, a scheduled four-week recess from August 7 through Labor Day Labor Day, holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September to honor the laborer. It was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor in 1882 and made a national holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1894. , and a target adjournment A putting off or postponing of proceedings; an ending or dismissal of further business by a court, legislature, or public official—either temporarily or permanently. date of October 6 so senators seeking re-election can campaign in their home states, the Senate's working days are whittling Whittling is the art of carving shapes out of raw wood with a knife.
Whittling is typically performed with a light, small-bladed knife, usually a pocket knife. Specialised whittling knives are available as well. down, soon to be but a precious few.
"A lot will depend on whether the Democrats decide to make HEA reauthorization politically controversial, because with so little time left in the session, controversial measures will have difficulty getting to the floor," says Terry Hartle, senior vice president for Government and Public Affairs Those public information, command information, and community relations activities directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in the Department of Defense. Also called PA. See also command information; community relations; public information. at the American Council on Education Established in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) is a United States organization comprising over 1,800 accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities and higher education-related associations, organizations, and corporations. (ACE).
The Washington higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. community had significant reservations about several parts of the House bill, and concerns remained after its passage. But through intensive lobbying led by ACE before the final vote, postsecondary advocates were able to tone down what could have been some harsher actions.
Among other things, they gained approval of an amendment that wiped out many of the new reporting requirements related to college prices that were included in the bill sent to the floor by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The same amendment also eliminated language to allow state agencies to become accreditors approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Some amendments to the committee bill that were particularly disturbing to institutions of higher education were defeated. One required any IHE IHE Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise
IHE Institutions of Higher Education
IHE International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (historical acronym only, replaced by: IHE Delft, the Foundation) receiving federal funds Federal Funds
Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve for international education programs under Title VI to report to the federal government any contributions or gifts they received from any source.
Another proposal voted down would have required every institution to provide an annual report of its student admissions process to the U.S. Department of Education. If the institution considered race, color, or national origin in its admissions, a more complex report would have been required.
Also averted was a proposal to require colleges to provide an annual report to the education department of steps taken to discourage illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.
ACE President David Ward, in a statement after the final vote, said the bill will make it easier for students to attend college by simplifying the federal financial aid application without overly regulating colleges and universities. However, he expressed disappointment that "federal budget constraints made it impossible to make further enhancements" to student aid programs.
If, for some reason, the 109th Congress nears the end of its session without agreement on HEA renewal, it still could act to temporarily extend the measure as it is now. Then it would be up to the 110th Congress that will be elected in November to start all over again in January.
TAX CUT ISSUES
Elsewhere in the Congress, House and Senate negotiators were completing work on tax-cut reconciliation legislation--the Tax Act of 2005--that included several issues important to higher education. One, a tax deduction Tax deduction
An expense that a taxpayer is allowed to deduct from taxable income.
See deduction. for college tuition costs, seemed headed for an "extenders package" of tax provisions that could be approved outside the main reconciliation bill.
Unclear was what lawmakers might do to a provision for IRA Ira, in the Bible
Ira (ī`rə), in the Bible.
1 Chief officer of David.
3 Two of David's guard.
IRA. charitable rollovers, which IHEs were seeking with a wide range of nonprofit groups. Rollovers would greatly benefit colleges and universities, as explained by ACE, by allowing older Americans to contribute assets held in IRAs to charities without first withdrawing the funds and recognizing them as income for tax purposes.
In a letter to House and Senate conferees, ACE and six other higher education associations spelled out their concerns about other provisions that they said were likely to affect charitable giving to colleges and universities. Among other things, those concerns related to deductions for cash contributions, certification of tax returns, and donor-advised funds that many colleges and universities sponsor.
SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
Across Capitol Hill, meanwhile, action by the Supreme Court in one case and inaction in another were causing concerns in different parts of the higher education community.
The country's law schools suffered a setback when the high court rejected a challenge to military recruiting on college and university campuses. A coalition of law schools, calling themselves the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights The Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights is an association of American law schools seeking to overturn the Solomon Amendment. It has filed suit in a case, Rumsfeld v. FAIR, heard by the Supreme Court on December 6 2005. On March 6 2006, FAIR lost the case. (FAIR), claimed that a law threatening to withhold federal funding from institutions that limit the access of military recruiters to campus infringed on free speech rights of universities. But the high court, in a unanimous 8-0 ruling written by new Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. denied the FAIR argument.
In another case, the court decided not to hear arguments in a case that could increase colleges' exposure to whistle-blower whis·tle·blow·er or whis·tle-blow·er or whistle blower
One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority: "The Pentagon's most famous whistleblower is . . suits. In the case, involving a lawsuit brought by a whistle-blower against Oakland City University Oakland City University is located in Oakland City in southwestern Indiana, and is the only General Baptist-affiliated college in the United States. Though its founding was in 1885, the present student enrollment is only 675 on campus and 1900 total. (Ind.), the court upheld an Appeals Court ruling against the university last fall. The bottom line is that the university could face trial on the whistle-blower's allegation that Oakland City made false statements to the government about its compliance with a federal law that bans incentive payments to students who are recruiters for institutions that receive federal aid.
COMMISSION AT WORK
Elsewhere in Washington, anxieties were raised by reports leaking from a higher education commission established by the Bush administration last fall to review college costs and accountability. The commission, created by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, with 19 members representing both academia and the corporate world, reportedly is considering changes in how U.S. colleges are accredited accredited
recognition by an appropriate authority that the performance of a particular institution has satisfied a prestated set of criteria.
cattle herds which have achieved a low level of reactors to, e.g. and how federal student aid is managed.
Accountability issues underscore much of the commission's work. "I think the commission needs to decide whether the goal is to improve the quality of student learning or set up a rating system for institutions. If they set up a rating system, they will find themselves going to thin dimensions of student learning while missing out on what most people go to college for," says Carol Geary Schneider Carol Geary Schneider has been president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities since 1998.
Schneider received her B.A. in history from Mount Holyoke College, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude in 1967. She received her Ph.D. , president of the 1,100-member Association of American Colleges and Universities This article or section is written like an .
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"People go to college to develop expertise in different areas," she continues. "A generalized test, by definition, is not designed to look at areas of expertise." The Bush administration's strategy to rank primary and secondary schools based on test scores "is not appropriate for the complexity of higher education," Schneider declares.
"There are a lot of ideas floating around but they haven't started to put much down on paper yet," says Hattie. The commission plans to issue a final report in August.
Alan Dessoff, a former reporter for The Washington Post, is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Md.