Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Uncensored

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Uncensored

Article excerpt

TACTICS TO REAUTHORIZE HIGHER ED ECHO THOSE FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM

"Piecemeal" is suddenly the operative word for the Republican stance on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act as well as for reforming immigration laws. "No doubt there is some skepticism about moving forward in what might be described as a piece-meal approach," wrote Education Subcommittee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., in July. "But these are complicated issues. A step-by-step approach will better inform members and the public about the policies we are pursuing." The committee marked up three bills that could be parts of a package of six or seven bills presented to the full chamber for a fall vote: H.R. 3136 "Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project"; H.R. 4983 "Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act"; and H.R. 4984 "Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act." All three have bipartisan support But whether they can make it through the House and Senate as a package, is as questionable as is the success for the same tactic that House leaders want for immigration reform. Democrats like to do legislation in big omnibus comprehensive bills that are only partially discussed before a vote. Republicans like to parse complicated issues into pieces that can be discussed and tweaked in detail. The politics for the fall are that the Republicans control the House and will vote for piecemeal, the Democrats in the Senate for comprehensive. But that could change after the midterm November elections. If the Senate majority switches to Republican, the piecemeal approach would probably win overthe holistic/comprehensive strategy in both higher education reauthorization and immigration reform bills the next two years. There is one big difference between those two issues however: immigration is largely a federal matter, while education is state-controlled. "In education, we need to provide strong accountability while maintaining a limited federal role mtn^ and protecting the taxpayers' investment," ' Kline wrote.

FIRST LATINA CONGRESSWOMAN A REPUBLICAN

It might surprise HO readers as much as it did renowned Washington D.C. news analyst Steve Clemens to learn that lleana Ros-Lehtinen was the first Latina in the U.S. House of Representatives. "In fact I didn't know that myself until a journalist told me," laughed the Republican Congresswoman from Florida atan Atlantic Monthly interview with Clemens in July. She is also the first Latina to head the prestigious Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee. But her real love is education. "I always wanted to be a teacher," she said "and to work in education. …

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