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News & Press: Policy

COPAA Weighs in on House Higher Education Bill (H.R. 4508)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Denise Marshall

On Tuesday, December 11, COPAA sent a letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee voicing concern with H.R. 4508, which would reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). While the bill does maintain the Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities and could improve data collection on students with disabilities matriculating into college, it eliminates key programs vital to students with disabilities and lacks provisions supported by COPAA. H.R. 4508 removes Title II of the HEA which includes all grants that support teacher preparation programs so that general and special education teachers receive preservice training to teach students with disabilities. It also eliminates incentives for teacher preparation programs that train candidates in the use of universal design for learning. The billalso includes a new ‘safe harbor’ provision whichwould waive compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for institutions of higher education (IHEs) when they comply with voluntary guidelines on accessible instructional materials, and exempt IHEs from any monetary damages if they provide accessible material not in compliance with the guidelines.The bill does not align with COPAA’s priorities for the Higher Education Act reauthorization, and COPAA does not support exemptions from federal civil rights and anti-discrimination laws.


Read COPAA’s letter to Chair Foxx and Ranking Member Scott

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