A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Archives of Information on Priorities of Previous Administrations
|FOR RELEASE: September 25, 1998||Contact: Julie Green (202) 401-3026|
STATEMENT BY U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION RICHARD W. RILEY
On the Conference Report of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act
The bipartisan conference agreement on the Higher Education Reauthorization Act includes a number of President Clinton's key initiatives to lower the student loan interest rate, prepare more students for college, recruit and train well-qualified teachers and modernize student aid delivery. This bill will go a long way toward strengthening higher education for the next century. I am pleased to support it.
This bill lowers the student loan interest rate which will save college students hundreds and thousands of dollars over their loan repayment period; launches a national effort to help disadvantaged students prepare for college early by providing middle school students with mentoring opportunities and information about financial aid and course preparation; improves teacher quality, training and recruitment at a time when our nation is faced with the need to hire more than 2 million teachers over the next ten years; promotes high quality distance learning opportunities to provide students with increased educational opportunities as society becomes more dependent on technology; and revolutionizes student aid delivery by creating the first federal performance based organization.
I remain disappointed that this legislation includes an unnecessary new lender subsidy and the fact that the low student loan consolidation rate does not extend for a longer period of time, and will work with Congress to revisit these concerns in the future. On balance, however, I believe that this bill is a positive step forward for students, teachers and the future of higher education.