House Republican Budget Would Block Ratings System, Higher Ed Rules

House Republicans unveiled a spending bill for the 2016 fiscal year that would prevent the U.S. Education Department from using any of its appropriated funds to carry out existing regulations related to "gainful employment" for graduates of vocational programs, state authorization, teacher preparation, and the credit hour, reported Inside Higher Ed. It would also bar the implementation of President Obama's envisioned college ratings system.

The proposed funding measure – released on Tuesday by Republican leaders of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees spending for education, health and labor programs – would essentially block all efforts by the Obama administration to hold colleges more accountable for how they use federal funds, which Republican lawmakers have opposed as overreaching, misdirected and unlikely to work.

Overall, the 2016 spending legislation would slash education spending by $2.8 billion, but provide a few increases for higher education-related programs and the National Institutes of Health.

The measure would revoke a $370 million surplus in Pell Grants, setting up the program for shortfalls in the future, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. But it would increase the maximum award in the short term, raising it by $140, to $5,915, in the 2016-17 academic year.

The bill would bolster the budget of the National Institutes of Health by $1.1 billion, $100 million more than President Obama had requested. It would also boost funding for the TRIO and Gear Up college-prep programs would get an additional $60 million and $21 million, respectively, in the fiscal year that begins on October 1.


Related Links

Inside Higher Ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education