Dreier Votes to Expand Higher Education Opportunities

October 12, 2001

WASHINGTON – Saying that “by melding 21st century technology and educational instruction we are breaking down barriers to opportunity,” Congressman David Dreier (R-San Dimas), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, voted today to approve legislation giving post-secondary schools more freedom to offer courses online. The Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001, or H.R. 1992 was passed with a bipartisan vote of 354-70.

“Expanding access to higher education is key to building the skilled workforce we will need to succeed in the 21st century economy,” said Dreier. “This legislation helps make learning affordable, accessible and a realistic option for those who work full time in the home or office. We have reaffirmed America’s commitment to continuing education and managed to do so with the latest technology.”

The Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001 amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to exempt qualifying institutions of higher learning from limitations restricting student financial assistance for telecommunications courses. Schools meeting guidelines for participation in the direct student loan program and fulfilling academic requirements for minimum instructional hours will now have the freedom to offer more telecommunications courses.

Dreier commended the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Johnny Isakson (R-GA), for their leadership in this effort. “H.R. 1992 recognizes a demand for flexible educational opportunities by reforming outdated restrictions on our institutions of higher learning,” said Dreier. “This legislation makes obtaining an education an easier task for millions of Americans.”