The turnover to the 116th Congress provides a renewed opportunity for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). There is agreement across both parties that higher education is a priority area, which could lead to a bipartisan approach to advance HEA reauthorization. In fact, since 1980, HEA has only been reauthorized when control across the House of Representatives, Senate and White House is shared between parties.
Advance CTE offers recommendations for the reauthorization of HEA under the following topics:
- Higher Education is Workforce Development;
- Eliminate Barriers to Financial Aid Program Access;
- Streamline Data Collection and Ensure Cross-systems Alignment;
- Increase Flexibility for Innovative Educational Models; and
- Develop and Nurture the CTE Teacher Workforce
As the new Congress considers reauthorization, the major challenges facing the economy, most notably the skills shortage, must be central to these debates. Our higher education system must be more responsive to the evolving demands of an ever more competitive global economy. Too many employers report a shortage of qualified workers, while university and college graduates burdened with tremendous debt are unable to find work related to their fields of study. This calls for a major realignment of our nation’s higher education policies.
The upcoming reauthorization process will provide Congress a critically important opportunity to achieve this vision for investing in America’s workforce by ensuring affordable and accessible postsecondary opportunities for every learner.
Meredith Hills, Policy Associate