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Higher Education Act reauthorization introduced in the House
Kirill Abbakumov   on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

House Education and Workforce Committee introduced the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. If signed into law, this bill would be the first reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) since 2008.

The bill embodies the consolidation of federal student aid, the expansion of apprenticeships and reconfiguration of the Federal Work Study program. The bill also includes several provisions intended to reduce federal regulations on higher education institutions, including elimination of the gainful employment rule and stator limitations. Unlike the bipartisan Perkins Act reauthorization bill passed by the House earlier this summer, the PROSPER Act is being advanced as a party-line measure without Democratic co-sponsors, which means that bill would have little chance of advancing through the Senate as drafted.

The PROSPER Act passed out of committee on December 12, 2017, by a party-line vote of 23-17. While the Act does offer some potentially useful investments in work study, apprenticeship, and other workforce development strategies, this partisan bill doesn’t do enough to make it easier for individuals to get the skills and credentials they need to advance their careers. Despite all this, the PROPSER Act promises some foundation on which to advance HEA reauthorization.

More information on the key elements of the PROSPER Act can be found here.