Congress Asks GAO to Conduct Study on Digital Divide
The federal government should conduct a comprehensive study on distance learning and digital divide problems that can affect minority-serving institutions, some members of Congress say.
A group of Republicans and Democrats is asking the U.S. General Accounting Office to perform such a study, because Congress is considering major legislation to improve distance-learning programs at the college level. Most of those requesting the study are members of the House’s Education and the Workforce Committee.
“It is our hope that this report will inform the committee’s efforts to fully tap the potential of distance education in the pending reauthorization of the Higher Education Act,” says Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., senior Democrat on the House education panel.
The House currently is working on legislation that would broaden the use of financial aid in distance-learning programs. Specifically, it would allow more colleges to participate in aid programs even if more than half of their courses are taught via distance learning. The House is not scheduled to review all programs under the Higher Education Act for another two years.
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