House Passes Bill to Expand Internet Learning Opportunities in Higher Education

October 11, 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House today passed H.R. 1992, the Internet Equity and Education Act, sponsored by Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), by a solid bipartisan vote of 354-70. The bill provides needed changes to the Higher Education Act to allow all learners to take the fullest advantage of what the newest technologies, such as the Internet, can provide for their education.

“We must act to remove the barriers that stand in the way of innovative approaches to educational challenges,” said Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who sponsored the bill. “By the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, we will know if our efforts at expansion were successful and if greater expansions are warranted.”

“By passing this bill, we’ve sent a strong message to colleges and universities that Congress truly is committed to relieving their regulatory burden while improving and increasing Internet education services for their students,” said Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), who chairs the Education & the Workforce Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness. “This bill provides a needed first step to ensuring that a postsecondary education is available to all who want to pursue it.”

“Distance education provides a tremendous opportunity to expand access to postsecondary education to those who may otherwise be unable to participate,” said Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), chairman of the Education & the Workforce Committee. “This legislation contains a thoughtful balance between prudence and innovation.”

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