Senator Murray participated in a Center for American Progress event in DC on February 28th 2019; she was the keynote speaker and outlined her Higher Education goals.

As per a Politico Pro article “Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, on Thursday outlined her priorities for overhauling federal higher education policy this year as she begins “good-faith negotiations” with Republicans over a bill.

But she also suggested she’d be open to reaching a deal that doesn’t include any of the various free college proposals championed by many of the Democrats running for president in 2020. Such proposals are a non-starter with most congressional Republicans.

Murray (D-Wash.) said she wants to reach a deal with Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.) the committee’s chairman, on a comprehensive overhaul of the Higher Education Act rather than a more modest compromise.”

In her speech, she made specific remarks of note for the following areas:

In regards to Higher Education affordability;

“…our HEA reauthorization must include a state-federal partnership to promote new investments in our students and families and to pave affordable pathways to higher education.  And we should increase investments in need-based aid like Pell Grants, The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant—or the SEOG, and Work Study. We also need to address the total costs of college, not just tuition—but food, text books, housing, transportation, child care and more.”

“We need to fix the path to loan forgiveness already laid out in federal law, for students who have been cheated by their schools, for our public servants, and for those who can no longer work because of a disability.  And our system of federal student loan servicing has to work for borrowers not against them—which we know is far from the case today.”

In regards to Higher Education access;

“…we need to expand access to students who have been traditionally left out of higher education by enhancing federal investments and support systems that help those historically underrepresented students, including: students of color, first-generation college students, student parents, homeless and foster youth, women, students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, working students, veterans, service members and their families.

And it’s not just about expanding admissions—colleges need to do more to support students while they are in school with: access to peer mentoring, providing counseling to help them navigate financial aid, get academic support, and career counseling, connecting students with food and housing benefits, ensuring they have a safe place to sleep, and reducing the cost of textbooks and supplies.”

In regards to Higher Education Campus Safety & Civil Rights:

“One of my top priorities in this HEA reauthorization is to address the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses across the country…we must also address discrimination on campuses.”

 

Her speech can be viewed here

If you would like to read further information on her speech or read the full speech, you can view that here