Legislative Update: March 30, 2006, Reauthorization Amendments

REAUTHORIZATION OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 1965

SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS MADE IN ORDER – March 30, 2006

1. Biggert (Ill.) Allows unaccompanied homeless youth be considered independent students upon verification of their living situation by a McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison, a shelter director, or a financial aid administrator. PASSED

2.Gohmert (Texas)
Strikes certain reporting requirements for colleges and universities within Sec. 131(f). Also strikes Sec. 495(a)(1) that would allow states to apply to the Secretary of Education to become recognized accreditors. PASSED

3. Kennedy (R.I.)/Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
Makes child and adolescent mental health professionals eligible for loan forgiveness for high-need professions under Sec. 421 of the bill. PASSED

4. King (Iowa) Requires institutions that receive any federal funding whatsoever (including grants and scholarships) to submit to the U.S. Department of Education an annual report answering two questions. First, the report must state whether race, color, or national origin is considered in the student admissions process. If race, color, or nation origin is considered in the student admissions process, then the report must contain a subsequent analysis of how these factors are considered in the process. FAILED

5. Kirk (Ill.)/Larsen (Wash.)
Expresses the sense of Congress that student exchange and language education programs should focus on Chinese and Arabic, in light of the global importance of China and the Middle East. PASSED

6. Souder (Ind.)/Bishop (N.Y.)
Removes language in the bill that prohibits schools from denying transfers of credit based solely on the accreditation of the sending institution. Maintains the requirement that schools publicly disclose their transfer policies, and would also require a school to disclose any policy that would deny transfers of credit solely on the accreditation of the institution where the credit was earned. PASSED

7. Miller (Calif.)/Kildee (Mich.)/Grijalva (Ariz.)/Davis (Ill.)/Scott (Va.)
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Lowers student loan interest rates; establishes a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program to boost college participation rates of low-income, black students; establishes a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provides for year-round Pell grants; repeals the Single Lender rule. FAILED

8. McKeon
Pro forma amendment for the purpose of debate.