Rep. Virginia Foxx to Lead GOP Attack on Higher Education

The North Carolina Republican is opposed to loan reform and, apparently, graduation.

By Julianne Hing Jan 07, 2011

Earlier this week North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx was appointed as chair of the House Higher Education Subcommittee. She’s got actual education credentials. She taught English and sociology before leaving the classroom for a career as a college administrator and eventually head of a community college. Now she’s going to bring her experience educating young people to the national stage. Or not.

Foxx doesn’t think higher education should be publicly funded, and told the Chronicle of Higher Education that higher education "should never be afraid of accountability." "If it can’t prove the worth of a program, then it needs to examine itself," she told them. "Wherever taxpayer dollars are being spent, there has to be accountability."

And then Foxx, who’s known for making shocking statements (Foxx’s floor remarks from 2009 on health care reform come to mind), said this: "I don’t think the measure of success of a community college is always graduation. Many times, all people need to learn is a skill and perhaps get certification in an area."

Foxx is a fan of for-profit schools and opposes regulation of them. She’s also opposed to student loan reform, which the Obama administration passed last year. The bill took away $60 billion in government-backed subsidies for student loan companies that provided federal student loans at zero cost to themselves but at a high price to students. Now, the government will administer loans directly to students. SAFRA, as the student loan reform bill was called, also boosted Pell Grants, the federal grants for low-income students. All of this, Foxx is opposed to.

College students of America, now you know who’ll be looking out for your interests in Congress. See Rachel Maddow’s takedown of Foxx on her Thursday night show.

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