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Foxx Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate Burdensome Higher Education Regulations

WASHINGTON – Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., has introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce federal intrusion and limit the costly regulatory burden on colleges and universities.

H.R. 970, the Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act, would eliminate unnecessary federal regulations that restrict choice and opportunity in higher education, including the gainful employment regulation, the state authorization regulation and the federal credit hour regulation.

“Unnecessary regulations are stifling pioneering institutions at a time when forward-thinking solutions are desperately needed. The Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act would remove the threat that these regulations pose to student choice, innovative schools and an American economy that stands to benefit from responsive higher learning institutions,” said Foxx, who serves as chair of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education. “Republicans and Democrats should toss these bad ideas aside and work together to strengthen higher education for students and taxpayers while maintaining the flexibility and choice that set American colleges and universities apart.”

H.R. 970 would: 
• repeal the gainful employment regulation, which would levy arbitrary burdens on community and proprietary colleges and deny vulnerable students access to postsecondary education;
• repeal the state authorization regulation, which forces states to follow federal requirements when deciding whether to grant an institution permission to operate within the state;
• repeal the credit hour regulation, which establishes a federal definition of a credit hour and increases the government’s control over institutions’ academic affairs;
• prohibit the U.S. Department of Education from promulgating teacher preparation regulations that tie institutional eligibility for TEACH grants to tenuous accountability systems;
• prohibit the U.S. Department of Education from developing a postsecondary institution ratings system (PIRS), which would deny students access to the college or university of their choice due to an arbitrary rating system that grades institutions with a one-size-fits-all approach; and
• clarify the incentive compensation policies to ensure third-party service providers are allowed to enter into tuition sharing agreements with nonprofit colleges and universities.

Co-sponsors include Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., French Hill, R-Ark., Mike Kelly, R-Pa., John Kline, R-Minn., Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., Todd Rokita, R-Ind., and Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.


U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and is the elected Republican Conference Secretary. Dr. Foxx is the chair of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and serves as Vice Chair of the House Rules Committee.

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