“In 2015, the Senate HELP Committee will have deal with the over-due reauthorization of the Higher Education Act,” Main Street reports.
“Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won’t be among those involved in any of the decisions. The retiring Iowa Democrat is being replaced by Republican Joni Ernst, who was elected in this month’s mid-term election. Her committee appointments are yet to be determined.
In what amounted to a valedictory, Harkin, the outgoing chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced the Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA) last week, his bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act-the HEA, which he claims would give students and families better access to college. …
An old chestnut that Harkin continues to roast is reducing the cost of college, but he’s proposing some aggressive solutions. He wants to create a Federal State Affordability project to promote the participation of state governments, who have been laggards in making contributions to higher ed since the Great Recession. When that’s likely to change -and what Congress will do about it – isn’t clear. Harkin wants to bring back the year-round Pell grant and create a ‘Pell Bonus’ Demonstration project ‘to incentivize institutions to enroll and graduate more low-income students.’
Will that get off the drawing board-and into a re-authorized HEA next year? That remains to be seen.”