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Legislation to Repeal State Authorization Requirements

Last Friday, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, introduced a bill, H.R. 2117, that would repeal the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) regulations establishing a federal definition of the credit hour and imposing state authorization requirements that would significantly impact online distance learning. Both provisions are currently set to take effect on July 1. (See previous posts on the state authorization issue and WCET's state authorization blog for more background on the topic.)

Congresswoman Foxx's office issued a press release on Monday announcing the proposed bill, which you can view here along with information about the status of the bill. The legislation has not received much coverage thus far, but Foxx's press release indicates that she has the support of the chair of the full House Committee on Education and the Workforce, John Kline, which could facilitate passage of the bill in the House. How it might be received by the U.S. Senate is unclear. As previously noted, though, the national higher education community continues to raise significant concerns with ED and both houses of Congress about the pending state authorization requirements and a possible federal definition of the credit hour.