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Congressional Republicans need to grow a backbone to fix this higher ed mess: op-ed

The Higher Education Act, which sets many of the federal government’s policies on higher education, such as Title IX policies, is up for renewal by Congress this year.

Joy Pullmann, executive editor of The Federalist, argues that Republicans have an opportunity to make significant reforms for protecting free speech on campus before voting to renew the act, but so far they seem poised to roll over for Democrats on this important issue.

“The nation’s largest piece of higher education legislation is up for renewal, but Republican leaders are preparing to push it through with practically no significant reforms in order to get Democrat votes,” Pullmann begins.

Republicans should include new protections for free speech in the renewal of the act, she argues. For them, “the smart thing to do would be to force Democrats to vote down a HEA revamp over its free speech assurances.”

She points the blame for the higher education bubble squarely at the federal government, and the political reluctance of the Democrat Party to take action:

Higher education is in a crisis that is largely of the government’s making. American taxpayers have increasingly subsidized higher ed even as it has gotten massively bloated, massively politicized, and massively ineffective at helping young people get ahead in life. Lawmakers have a duty to dismantle these systemic problems they and their colleagues have helped construct.

Democrats have no motivation to make substantive changes because the U.S. education system is biased in their favor. They don’t want free speech because it threatens their ideological hegemony over U.S. education institutions. They don’t want to tie accountability to or divest the government of taxpayer-backed student loans because they want the system to financially collapse so they can fully nationalize academia. The current education system is culturally, financially, and governmentally slanted left. So they have zero incentive to play ball.

“The only way to bring Democrats to the table to truly reform America’s massive system of federal subsidies to academia is to make them feel political pressure about their support for and contributions to this mess,” Pullmann continued.

“… Republicans should stop making excuses for this situation, and for heaven’s sake stop voting for policies that fuel it, and start showing creative leadership about how to responsibly deflate the special-interest pork bubble that U.S. higher education has become.”

Read the full article.

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