Thompson Advances Measure to End Job-Destroying Education Regulation

Feb 18, 2011 Issues: Education

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today voted in support of House Amendment (H. AMDT.) # 214, a measure to prohibit funds for the Department of Education Regulations on Gainful Employment. The Department of Education’s Gainful Employment regulations are a controversial regulatory process that would impose arbitrary requirements on proprietary schools, deny access to students and undermine the strength of the American workforce. 

Thompson has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress on this issue, originally requesting the Department of Education to vacate the proposed regulations in May of 2010.

On September 29, 2010, Thompson spoke to a rally of career college students at the foot of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Thompson told the students, “You have every right to determine your own educational needs. You have every right to determine your future career path and you have every right to make your own destiny.”

H. AMDT. 214, an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Resolution, passed the full House earlier today with bipartisan support by a vote of 289-136.  

Floor statement as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Amendment # 214.

The president has promoted a policy to have five million new college graduates by 2020. I commend the president for that goal. However, I have to stop and wonder. How are we going to achieve the mission if the Department of Education is going to put up roadblocks such as the proposed rules for gainful employment?

The reality is that, career colleges serve many different purposes for people of all walks of life. This isn't an issue of black and white, Republican or Democrat. This is an issue of access to education.

I represent a very rural district in Pennsylvania, and many of my constituents don't have access to a community college and they live a significant distance from any university. My schools have sprung up out of necessity. Many students in Pennsylvania choose these schools because of their convenience. They realize that career colleges offer course work for all types of work to accommodate the busy schedules we all have. They realize that life does not just stop for four years so you can go to a school. They understand these institutions will provide them the skills they need to enter the work force and earn a decent living.

I have concerns that the Department of Education has stepped way beyond its authority and begun the determination of an arbitrary ruling on gainful employment.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. chairman, I ask my colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment. 

I yield back my time.