Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (03/30/2006)

College Access and Opportunity Act of 2006 - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to revise and reauthorize appropriations for HEA programs.

Title I: General Provisions - (Sec. 101) Establishes a single definition of institution of higher education (IHE) for purposes of participation in all HEA programs, including title IV student aid programs. (As a consequence, the 90/10 rule under title IV, which currently applies only to for-profit IHEs, would apply to public and nonprofit IHEs as well. See section 487 of this Act, which applies the rule to all IHEs and revises its enforcement.)

Provides, under such single definition, for continued title IV eligibility of IHEs that: (1) have dual enrollments for secondary school students; or (2) admit home-schooled students.

Revises provisions for IHEs outside the United States. Requires such IHEs to be legally authorized by the education ministry or comparable agency of the foreign country where they are located. Eliminates the requirement that students attending Canadian medical schools take the foreign medical exam. Directs the Secretary, with respect to foreign medical schools qualifying for participation in the title IV part B Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, to publish qualifying criteria by regulation. (Continues requirements for an advisory panel of medical experts to evaluate the standards of foreign medical school accreditation and determine their comparability to U.S. standards.)

Sets forth restrictions on funds for-profit IHEs. Makes for-profit IHEs ineligible for funds under title III (Institutional Aid) or title V (Developing Institutions).

(Sec. 102) Sets forth separate definitions of new borrower for purposes of: (1) the IV-B FFEL and IV-D Direct Loan program; and (2) the IV-E Perkins Loan program.

(Sec. 103) Elaborates on the current sense of Congress regarding the speech and association rights of students, to specify that there should not be discrimination against such students on the basis of their personal political, ideological, or religious beliefs.

(Sec. 104) Reauthorizes the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity until the end of FY2013.

(Sec. 105) Reauthorizes appropriations for grants for alcohol and drug abuse prevention.

(Sec. 106) Extends an authorization of appropriations to continue coverage of prior rights and obligations for servicing outstanding bonds from certain earlier programs under HEA title VII before it was amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 and the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.

(Sec. 107) Prohibits HEA funds from being used for: (1) publicity or propaganda not authorized by Congress before the enactment of this Act; or (2) producing any prepackaged news story not authorized by law in effect on such enactment date, unless it includes a clear notification that the story was prepared or funded by the Department of Education.

(Sec. 108) Revises requirements for higher education consumer information and public accountability. Sets forth requirements for redesign of the College Opportunity On-Line (COOL) website and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Directs the Secretary to publish a college consumer profile for each IHE participating in title IV programs.

Directs the Secretary to establish a college affordability index and report to consumers on IHEs that exceed the index by certain amounts in certain periods. Requires such IHEs to report on factors contributing to increases in their costs and charges and, in certain cases, to establish quality-efficiency task forces.

Directs the Comptroller General to study and report on IHE policies and procedures for increasing affordability of higher education. Requires the Secretary to conduct a student aid recipient survey at least every four years.

(Sec. 109) Prohibits nationwide databases of personally identifiable information on individual students receiving assistance, attending assisted IHEs, or otherwise involved in studies or data collections under HEA. Provides that such prohibition shall not affect title IV loan obligation enforcement activities.

(Sec. 110) Revises provisions for the performance-based organization for delivery of federal student financial assistance.

(Sec. 111) Removes expired language concerning the eligibility of IHEs in Freely Associated States for TRIO grants.

Title II: Teacher Preparation - Revises and reauthorizes title II, Teacher Quality Enhancement.

(Sec. 201) Revises title II part A, Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants for States and Partnerships, to include requirements for: (1) preparing and retaining highly qualified teachers as defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) (ESEA); and (2) recruiting minorities to teaching.

Includes among authorized uses of part A state grants: (1) supporting innovative programs, including charter colleges of education and university and local educational partnership schools, and specified activities; (2) developing ways of measuring the effectiveness of teacher preparation and professional development programs; (3) documenting student achievement gains and teachers' mastery of subjects taught as a result of these programs; and (4) developing strategies to improve the quality of preschool teachers and their preparation programs.

Requires states receiving such grants to establish systems to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher preparation and professional development in increasing student achievement and teachers' subject matter mastery.

Revises the part A partnership grant program to: (1) include a public or private education organization among the required entities in an eligible partnership; and (2) require a high-need LEA in a partnership to benefit directly from at least 50% of the partnership's funding.

Requires partnerships to carry out at least one of the following activities: (1) teacher preparation program reform to ensure the programs prepare teachers who are highly qualified, able to understand scientifically based research and its applicability, and able to use technology; (2) clinical experience for preservice and inservice teachers, including mentoring programs; (3) professional development; and (4) teacher preparation activities that train teachers to serve students with different learning styles and to improve student behavior.

Revises additional authorized partnership activities to include: (1) alternatives to traditional teacher preparation and alternative avenues to state certification; (2) clinical experience for current and prospective teachers in areas relating to mathematics, science, and technology, through participation with professionals in business, research, and work environments; (3) coordination with community colleges to implement teacher preparation programs through means such as distance learning; (4) teacher mentoring programs with specified characteristics; (5) teacher training in use of computer software for multilingual education to address the needs of limited English proficient students; (6) increased knowledge and skills of preservice teachers with respect to working with gifted and talented students; and (7) reduction in the shortage of highly qualified special education, mathematics, and science teachers.

Adds partnership application requirements relating to: (1) higher education faculty serving with highly qualified teachers in K-12 classrooms; (2) assurances that teachers, principals, and superintendents in private K-12 schools will be served; (3) a clinical program with close supervision of student teachers by teacher preparation program faculty and mentor teachers; (4) an induction program for new teachers that includes mentors trained and compensated by the partnership; and (5) ongoing evaluation of the teacher support system.

Requires partnerships to include a certification from the high-need LEA in the partnership that at least 50% of the grant funds will be used to directly benefit that LEA. Requires partnership grant funds to supplement, not supplant, other federal, state, and local funds.

Revises part A teacher recruitment grant requirements. Requires applicants to describe how funds will be used to recruit minority students. Gives a priority to applicants who assure they will recruit a high percentage of minority students.

Includes among required uses of teacher recruitment grant funds necessary support services to help scholarship recipients to transition from another career into teaching. Sets forth discretionary uses of funds, including: (1) recruitment into teaching of employees from technology industries and other high-demand industries; (2) outreach and coordination with inner-city and rural secondary schools to encourage students to pursue teaching careers; (3) dual degree programs in education and the student's chosen subject matter; and (4) recruiting high-achieving students, bilingual students, and other qualified candidates into early childhood education.

Revises part A accountability requirements. Requires state grantees to report on the extent of substantial progress with these funds in increasing the percentage of highly qualified teachers. Requires reporting on pass rates of test takers who complete at least 50% of a teacher preparation program's requirements. Requires states to include evidence of student achievement gains among criteria for assessing the performance of teacher preparation programs conducted by higher education institutions or alternative certification programs.

Requires such institutions or programs to include, for state report cards on quality of teacher preparation, comparisons of: (1) the average score on teacher certification exams of their students (who complete at least half of teacher preparation program requirements) with the average scores for other institutions in the state; and (2) average raw score data. Requires state governors or entities responsible for teacher certification and preparation to attest as to the quality and accuracy of the data being reported by the state to the Secretary.

Reauthorizes appropriations for part A programs.

(Sec. 202) Reauthorizes appropriations for activities under title III part B, Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology.

(Sec. 203) Establishes a new title II part C program of competitive grants for Centers of Excellence, to: (1) help recruit and prepare teachers, including minority teachers, to become highly qualified teachers in K-12 classrooms; and (2) increase opportunities for Americans of all educational, ethnic, class, and geographic backgrounds to become highly qualified teachers.

Requires such Centers to be established at IHEs that: (1) have highly qualified teacher preparation programs; and (2) are eligible as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, American Indian tribally controlled colleges and universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions or Native Hawaiian-serving institutions. Allows such institutions to be in consortia with one another, or in partnership with any IHE as long as the Center is located at the minority-serving institution.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012 for the Centers of Excellence program.

(Sec. 204) Establishes a new title II part D Teacher Incentive Fund program of competitive grants to assist states, local educational agencies (LEAs), and nonprofit or for-profit organizations to develop and implement, or expand, appraisal and performance-based compensation systems to reward teachers and principals who raise student academic achievement and close the achievement gap, especially in the highest-need LEAs.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012 for the Teacher Incentive Fund program.

(Sec. 205) Establishes a new title II part E National Teacher Corps program providing a grant to a highly selective national teacher corps for the recruitment, selection, training, and support of new teachers for high-need LEAs. Requires a study comparing the performance of students taught by such teachers with that of students of other teachers in the same schools. Authorizes appropriations for the program.

Title III: Institutional Aid - Revises and reauthorizes HEA title III, Institutional Aid programs.

(Sec. 301) Establishes a formula grant program, including a minimum grant amount, for American Indian tribally controlled colleges and universities (replacing the current competitive grant program). Authorizes the use of grant funds for: (1) acquiring adjacent property on which to construct instructional facilities; (2) assisting faculty in attaining advanced degrees in tribal governance or development of tribal public policy; and (3) developing and improving facilities for Internet and other distance learning academic instruction capabilities.

(Sec. 302) Revises requirements for grants to Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions. Authorizes the use of grant funds for: (1) construction and maintenance (as well as renovation and improvement) of instructional facilities, and acquisition of adjacent property for them; (2) assistance to faculty in attaining advanced degrees in tribal governance or development of tribal public policy; (3) development of curriculum and instruction in tribal governance or tribal public policy; (4) development and improvement of facilities for Internet and other distance learning academic instruction capabilities; and (5) education or counseling to improve financial and economic literacy of students and parents. Allows up to 20% of such a grant to be used for an endowment fund, if the institution provides nonfederal matching funds.

(Sec. 303) Revises the part B program of for grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase the minimum grant amount under certain conditions. Adds to the list of eligible part B graduate and professional institutions.

(Sec. 304) Requires eligible title III IHEs to offer at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree.

Includes education or counseling services to improve financial and economic literacy within authorized uses of funds for various title III programs.

(Sec. 305) Reauthorizes appropriations for title III programs.

Title IV: Student Assistance - Revises and reauthorizes HEA title IV, Student Assistance programs.

Part A: Grants to Students - (Sec. 401) Reauthorizes the Pell Grant program through FY2013.

Increases the maximum Pell Grant award to $6,000 for academic years 2007-2008 through 2013-2014.

Eliminates a tuition sensitivity provision which currently prohibits maximum awards to students attending low-cost institutions even if their income is low enough to otherwise qualify.

Prohibits Pell Grant awards to individuals who are subject to involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a sexual offense.

Provides for the awarding an additional Pell Grant during a single award year to certain students who attend year-round to accelerate their progress toward a degree.

Limits the period of a student's receiving Pell Grants to 18 semesters or 27 quarters.

Limits to not more than one academic year the use of a Pell Grant for certain noncredit or remedial courses, including English language instruction.

Shifts from the Secretary to the state or, in the case of private or home schools, designated school official the authority to recognize a rigorous secondary school program, the completion of which is required for a student to qualify for an Academic Competitiveness Grant.

Establishes a program to award Pell Grants Plus achievement grants to students who: (1) have completed a rigorous secondary school program for state Scholars; (2) are enrolled full-time in their first year of undergraduate education or a certification program; and (3) are eligible to receive Pell Grants for that year. Sets such Plus grant award at $1,000. Provides for a continuation award for the second year of undergraduate education if the student maintains compliance with certain eligibility requirements and obtains a grade point average of at least 3.0 for the first year. Authorizes appropriations for the program. Repeals HEA provisions for Academic Achievement Incentive Scholarships.

(Sec. 402) Reauthorizes appropriations for TRIO programs.

Extends the duration of TRIO grants to five years, and provides for transition to synchronous grant periods.

Requires the inclusion of foster care youth support services within TRIO programs.

Includes individuals who are homeless or unaccompanied youth as eligible to participate in TRIO services.

Specifies that IHEs with more than one campus may apply for separate TRIO grants to serve different populations on different campuses.

Authorizes funds in all TRIO programs to be used for education and counseling services to improve the financial and economic literacy of students and families assisted by TRIO.

Directs the Secretary, in approving applications for funding student support services or educational opportunity centers, to consider whether the applicant or proposed project provides services to low-income working adults to increase their access to higher education.

Increases maximum stipends for students in Upward Bound and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement programs.

Directs the Comptroller General to study and report on the procedures for allocating TRIO funds, especially the consideration of an applicant's prior experience in delivering services.

(Sec. 403) Directs the Secretary to establish performance measures for TRIO programs, which consider demographic and geographic variation and include expected outcomes, quality, effectiveness, and impact of services. Requires such measures to be used in evaluating each applicant's prior experience and past performance.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants for TRIO staff development activities.

Revises evaluation requirements to include investigation of alternative methods and other issues.

(Sec. 404) Reauthorizes appropriations for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP).

Specifies six-year grant duration and continuing eligibility of grantees to reapply.

Requires the inclusion of foster care youth support services within GEAR UP programs.

Allows services to students to continue into the first year of higher education.

Authorizes use of funds for education and counseling services to improve financial and economic literacy of students and families who are assisted by GEAR UP.

Includes individuals who are homeless or unaccompanied youth as eligible to participate in GEAR UP.

(Sec. 405) Reauthorizes appropriations for Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG).

Requires IHEs to give SEOG priority to Pell Grant recipients, and limits awards to nonrecipients to 10% of the IHE's allocation.

Authorizes the Secretary to allocate a portion of excess funds to IHEs on the basis of their relative numbers of Pell Grant recipients and such students' timely graduation rates.

Increases the allowance for books and supplies in determining cost of attendance, under SEOG (and the other two campus-based aid programs).

(Sec. 406) Reauthorizes appropriations for the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships (LEAP) program. Revises outreach and recruitment activities to include spouses of migrant or seasonal farmworkers. Includes among authorized follow-up services: (1) mentoring and guidance of students in college; and (2) for students in programs that do not award bachelor's degrees, encouraging transfers to and persistence in such degree programs.

(Sec. 407) Reauthorizes appropriations for the High School Equivalency program and the College Assistance Migrant Program (HEP/CAMP).

(Sec. 408) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for the Robert C. Byrd mathematics and science honors scholarship program.

Establishes and authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012 for: (1) a mathematics and science incentive program; and (2) a mathematics and science coordinating council grants program; (3) an adjunct teacher corps in mathematics, science, and critical foreign languages; and (4) a foreign language partnership program.

(Sec. 409) Reauthorizes appropriations for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program.

(Sec. 410) Repeals the Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships program.

Part B: Federal Family Education Loan Program - (Sec. 421) Provides student loan forgiveness under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program for service in areas of national need. (Replaces and expands the current program of loan forgiveness for child care providers.) Makes eligible those who serve under certain conditions as: early childhood educators, nurses, foreign language specialists, librarians, highly qualified teachers of bilingual education or in low-income communities, first responders in low-income communities, child welfare workers, speech-language pathologists, public service employees, medical specialists, child or adolescent mental health professionals, or in other areas of national need designated by the Secretary.

(Sec. 422) Makes additional administrative revisions to the FFEL program.

Part C: Federal Work-Study Programs - ( Sec. 441) Reauthorizes appropriations for Work-Study program (WS).

(Sec. 442) Eliminates a requirement that campus child care services be open and accessible to the community in order to qualify as community services for WS purposes.

(Sec. 443) Authorizes the Secretary to allocate a portion of excess funds to IHEs on the basis of their relative numbers of Pell Grant recipients and such students' timely graduation rates.

(Sec. 444) Increases the allowance for books and supplies in determining cost of attendance, under the WS (and the other two campus-based aid programs).

(Sec. 445) Increases the portion or amount of its WS allocation which an IHE may use for job location and development. Requires a specified portion of such amount to be used to locate and develop community service jobs.

(Sec. 446) Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012 for work college work-learning-service programs and requires at least one-half of all full-time students at such colleges, in addition to all resident students, to participate in the programs.

(Sec. 447) Authorizes IHEs to award work assistance to mentally-retarded students enrolled in comprehensive postsecondary programs.

Part D: Federal Direct Loan Program - (Sec. 451) Eliminates the requirement that borrowers under the Direct Loan (DL) program file a federal income tax return jointly with their spouse.

Part E: Federal Perkins Loan Program - (Sec. 461) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for the Perkins Loan program.

(Sec. 462) Revises Perkins loan terms and conditions.

Increases loan limits.

Eliminates a requirement that a borrower must request forbearance in writing.

Prohibits compromise payments on defaulted loans without the Secretary's approval.

Lowers the number of consecutive payments required for a loan to be considered rehabilitated.

(Sec. 463) Establishes the same rate for Perkins loan forgiveness for members of the Armed Forces as for certain teachers, law enforcement officers, and health and other public service workers in areas of need.

Part F: Need Analysis - (Sec. 471) Revises guidelines for determining a student's eligibility for the simplified needs test (SNT) and automatic-zero expected family contribution (AZ-EFC).

Provides for simplifying the student aid application process. Directs the Secretary to develop an EZ-FAFSA paper form, a form using skip logic, and a simplified electronic form for applicants eligible for SNT and AZ-EFC.

Includes under the definition of an independent student homeless youth and any student who is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, or was in foster care or a ward of the court until the individual reached the age of 18.

(Sec. 472) Includes under special circumstances a student being a ward of the court before turning 18, a homeless or unaccompanied youth, or adopted at or after age 13.

Part G: General Provisions Relating to Student Financial Assistance - (Sec. 481) Directs the Secretary to make a special effort to notify students and parents who qualify for free lunch, food stamps, or other such programs, of their potential eligibility for a maximum Pell grant.

(Sec. 482) Makes students from the Freely Associated States, except for those from Palau, ineligible for title IV programs. Makes citizens of Palau eligible for Pell Grants until September 30, 2007.

(Sec. 483) Excludes assistance received under the LEAP program from institutional refund provisions.

(Sec. 484) Revises requirements for institutional and financial assistance information for students.

Requires certain information to be made publicly available through appropriate outlets and included in reports required by the IHE's accreditor.

Requires information for students to include: (1) the IHE's educational mission and goals; (2) student outcomes for full-time undergraduate students; (3) the process for registering complaints with accreditors; (4) student aid eligibility penalties for drug-related offenses; (5) policies for accepting transfer of credit.

Allows IHEs to provide supplemental data to enrolled and prospective students on the completion or graduation rate for students who leave school to serve in the armed services, on official church missions, or with a recognized foreign aid service of the federal government. Permits IHEs participating in certain surveys to publicly report that data.

Requires IHEs to include specified consumer protection warnings in exit counseling materials.

Specifies that foreign IHEs are not required to report data on campus crime.

Requires IHE to make certain campus fire safety right-to-know information available to students and employees, and to require student groups that own or control housing facilities to make fire safety reports.

(Sec. 485) Revises a distance education demonstration program to: (1) authorize the Secretary to select up to 100 institutions in any year after the program's first year; and (2) permit participation by up to five degree-granting, accredited correspondence schools.

(Sec. 486) Establishes a college affordability demonstration program for increased innovation in the delivery of higher education and student financial aid in a manner resulting in reduced costs for students and IHEs. Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) select up to 100 IHEs, including those applying as parts of systems or consortia, for voluntary participation in such program; and (2) grant waivers of certain HEA requirements to such IHEs, systems, or consortia.

(Sec. 487) Revises requirements for title IV program participation agreements.

Applies the 90/10 rule, which currently applies only to for-profit IHEs, to public and nonprofit IHEs as well. Sets forth the types of funds which may counted toward the 10% minimum from revenue sources other than title IV. Makes ineligible for title IV funds any IHE that fails to meet 90/10 requirements for three consecutive years. Authorizes the Secretary, if an IHE does not comply with 90/10 for any year, to place such IHE on provisional certification, with increased reporting and monitoring, until compliance is demonstrated.

(Sec. 489) Allows certain academically gifted and talented students who have not graduated from secondary school to be eligible for Pell Grants.

Part H: Program Integrity - (Sec. 495) Revises requirements for accreditation. Prohibits states from: (1) requiring IHEs to be accredited by the state accrediting agency rather than another accrediting agency approved by the Secretary; or (2) favoring IHEs that have received state accreditation rather than accreditation from another Secretary-approved agency.

Requires accreditors to consider IHEs' stated missions, including religious missions.

Requires accreditors, where applicable, to demonstrate that their standards effectively address an IHE's distance education programs, but does not require separate distance education standards.

Requires an accreditor, in its accrediting or reaccrediting review, to confirm that an IHE has publicly disclosed transfer policies that specifically state whether it denies transfer of credit based solely on the accreditation of the sending institution.

(Sec. 496) Directs the Secretary to commission nonpartisan, comprehensive studies for reports to Congress on: (1) the prevention of fraud and abuse in title IV student financial aid programs; and (2) compliance of the title IV student aid application process with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Title V: Developing Institutions - Revises HEA provisions for Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) under title V (Developing Institutions).

(Sec. 501) Requires an eligible HSI to have an enrollment of undergraduate full-time students at least 25% Hispanic at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.

(Sec. 502) Eliminates five-year improvement plan requirements.

Requires HSI grant applications to contain assurances of enrollment of needy students.

(Sec. 503) Requires the HSI to offer not less than a two-year program that is eligible for full credit toward a bachelor's degree in order to be eligible under title V.

Includes among authorized uses of funds: (1) education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy of students and parents; (2) construction, maintenance, renovation, and improvement of instructional facilities; (3) purchase or rental of telecommunications technology equipment or services; (4) acquisition of real property adjacent to the campus; and (5) establishment of community outreach programs and partnerships between HSIs and local elementary or secondary schools.

Eliminates the two-year wait-out period between any two five-year part A grants to an HSI.

(Sec. 504) Establishes a program of competitive grants to eligible HSIs that offer postbaccalaureate certifications or degrees (part B grants). Limits a part B grant award's duration to not more than five years. Prohibits the Secretary of Education from awarding more than one part B grant to an HSI in any one fiscal year.

(Sec. 505) Reauthorizes appropriations for the part A program of grants to HSIs that offer baccalaureate degrees or are junior or community colleges.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012 for the new part B program of grants to HSIs that offer postbaccalaureate certifications or degrees.

Title VI: Title VI Amendments - (Sec. 601) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for International Education Programs (title VI). Includes among aims of international and foreign language studies programs (part A): (1) overseas linkages with institutions of higher education (IHEs) and other relevant organizations; and (2) helping the national effort to educate and train citizens to participate in homeland security efforts. Requires various grant programs to reflect part A purposes.

Includes among authorized activities of national graduate and undergraduate language and area centers and programs: (1) supporting instructors of the less commonly taught languages; (2) disseminating materials developed by the center or program to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public and private elementary and secondary education schools (schools), and IHEs; and (3) projects supporting students' understanding of science and technology in coordination with foreign language proficiency.

Revises requirements for outreach grants to and summer institutes of such centers to include partnerships (as well as programs of linkage and outreach) with: (1) two- and four-year IHEs, including colleges of education and teacher professional development programs; (2) federal and state agencies; and (3) LEAs and schools.

Includes, among authorized activities of undergraduate international studies and foreign language programs, the provision of grants to undergraduate students for educational programs abroad that are closely linked to the program's overall goals and that promote foreign language fluency and knowledge of world regions.

Changes from discretionary to mandatory the authority of the Secretary of Education to: (1) establish requirements for undergraduate international studies and foreign language program evaluations; and (2) require program grant recipients to report annually on the progress and performance of participating students.

Includes, among authorized research and study activities, systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of data.

Includes museums among the entities which may receive grants for technological innovation and cooperation for foreign information access.

Authorizes the use of such grant funds for: (1) acquiring foreign information resources in print or electronic forms; (2) developing standards for shared electronic access to international data; (3) establishing linkages between grant recipients with libraries, museums, organizations, or IHEs located overseas; and (4) other appropriate activities.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive or reduce the required nonfederal share for grantee IHEs if they are eligible for certain assistance under HEA title III (Institutional Aid) part A (Strengthening Institutions, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions) or part B (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) or title V (Developing Institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions) (III-AB or V).

Directs the Secretary, in making grants for graduate and undergraduate language and area centers and programs, to take into account the degree to which activities of centers, programs, and fellowships at IHEs advance national interests, generate and disseminate information, and foster debate on U.S. foreign policy from diverse perspectives.

Expresses the sense of Congress that HEA international exchange and foreign language education programs should focus on Chinese and Arabic language and culture because of the diplomatic, economic, and military importance of China and the Middle East.

(Sec. 602) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for business and international education programs (title VI part B), including centers for international business education (IBE centers) and education and training programs.

Includes, among the entities to be involved in collaborative activities with IBE centers, IHEs eligible for assistance under III-AB or V.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive or reduce the required nonfederal share for IHE grantees under part B IBE centers or education and training programs, if they are eligible for III-AB or V assistance and submit grant applications demonstrating need for such waiver or reduction.

(Sec. 603) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for the Institute for International Public Policy (title VI part C).

Includes (in addition to the currently specified Historically Black IHEs and other IHEs serving substantial numbers of underrepresented students) specific references to Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Hispanic-serving IHEs in provisions for the Institute's programs for: (1) increasing participation of underrepresented populations as professionals in international service (including private international voluntary service and the U.S. Foreign Service); (2) junior year study abroad; and (3) internships.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive or reduce the required nonfederal share for IHE grantees in the Institute's professional international service program if they are eligible for III-AB or V assistance and submit grant applications demonstrating need for such waiver or reduction.

Allows Institute grants for minority institutional development to be used to promote collaboration with other IHEs that receive title VI funds.

Replaces the current Institute program of study and fellowships for a masters degree in international relations with a program of study and fellowships for an advanced degree in international relations, international affairs, international economics, or other academic areas related to the Institute fellow's career objectives. Requires such advanced degree study program to be designed by the eligible grant recipient consortia, consistent with the fellow's career objectives.

Eliminates authority for an Interagency Committee on Minority Careers in International Affairs.

Names students in part C undergraduate and postbaccalaureate internship programs as Ralph J. Bunche Fellows.

(Sec. 604) Authorizes the Secretary to use up to one percent of title VI funds for evaluation, outreach, and dissemination.

(Sec. 605) Establishes an independent International Higher Education Advisory Board to advise Congress and the Secretary on title VI programs in relation to national needs with respect to national security, international education, international affairs, international business, and foreign language training.

(Sec. 606) Requires IHEs that are title VI funds recipients to: (1) give federal government agency employment recruiters the same access to students and their information as is given to other recruiters for graduate study or employment; and (2) not unduly restrict students from seeking federal government employment.

Requires applicants for title VI funds to support student travel and study abroad to describe their safety policies and procedures for students participating in the program while abroad.

(Sec. 607) Directs the Secretary to study and report to Congress on foreign language heritage communities of U.S. residents or citizens, particularly those that include speakers of languages critical to U.S. national security.

Title VII: Title VII Amendments - Revises and reauthorizes title VII provisions for Graduate and Postsecondary Improvement Programs.

(Sec. 701) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for the Jacob K. Javits fellowship program to allow IHEs to permit fellowship recipients an interruption of study due to active duty military service or a personal or family member illness. Revises requirements for allocation of fellowships. Directs the Secretary to ensure that one member of the fellowship board will be from a minority-serving institution.

(Sec. 702) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for the program of graduate assistance in areas of national need. Directs the Secretary to give grant priority to IHEs to prepare mathematics, science and special education faculty who can train highly qualified elementary and secondary mathematics, science, and special education teachers, and teachers for limited English proficient individuals.

(Sec. 703) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for the Thurgood Marshall legal educational opportunity program.

Revises activities for which the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) is to use program contract and grant funds provided by the Secretary. Includes among such activities: (1) assisting students to develop analytical skills and study methods; and (2) awarding fellowships to eligible law school students who either participated in summer institutes and are enrolled in an accredited law school or have successfully completed a comparable summer institute certified by CLEO. Revises types of program services to provide that undergraduate preparatory courses be in analytical skills and study methods.

(Sec. 704) Revises and reauthorizes appropriations for FY2007-FY2012 for the Secretary's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education program contracts and grants. Authorizes consideration of applications for projects relating to: (1) the needs of nontraditional student populations; (2) distance education delivery through communications technology; (3) expanded opportunities to enter and reenter postsecondary institutions and pursue study programs tailored to individual needs; (4) integrated education reform services to improve secondary school graduation and college attendance and completion rates for disadvantaged students; (5) the assessment of teacher preparation programs; (6) initiatives to help IHEs reduce illegal downloading of copyrighted materials; (7) increased fire safety in student housing; and (8) the establishment and operation of pregnant and parenting student services offices. Includes among special projects international partnerships with postsecondary institutions abroad.

(Sec. 705) Eliminates the Urban Community Service program (part C of title VII of HEA).

(Sec. 706) Revises requirements for demonstration projects to ensure that students with disabilities receive a quality higher education.

Includes among authorized project activities the development of innovative, effective, and efficient teaching methods and strategies to: (1) ensure such students' smooth transition from high school to postsecondary education; and (2) enable faculty and administrators to provide accessible distance education programs or classes to enhance such students' access to higher education. Requires project grant applications to describe how the IHE will work to replicate the best practices of IHEs with demonstrated success in serving students with disabilities. Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2012.

Title VIII: Clerical Amendments - (Sec. 801) Sets forth various clerical amendments.

Title IX: Amendments to Other Education Laws - Part A: Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 - (Sec. 901) Amends the Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 (EDA) to identify the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center as the place where Gallaudet University's EDA elementary and secondary programs are to be held. Expands the procedural safeguards available to disabled children and their parents. Requires Gallaudet to develop, for such elementary and secondary programs, academic assessments and standards for academic content, achievement, and adequate yearly progress in keeping with specified requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA).

(Sec. 902) Makes technical amendments to EDA with respect to minimum wage requirements for workers constructing federally-funded elementary and secondary school facilities at Gallaudet.

(Sec. 903) Identifies the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the IHE with which the Secretary has an agreement to operate and maintain the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).

(Sec. 904) Specifies that RIT's Board of Trustees is the NTID's governing body.

(Sec. 906) Requires NTID to have an annual independent financial and compliance audit made of RIT programs and activities, including those of NTID.

(Sec. 907) Requires Gallaudet and NTID to report on the disposition of enrolled students within one year of graduation or program completion.

(Sec. 914) Gallaudet University and National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act - Renames EDA as the Gallaudet University and National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act.

Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2012 for: (1) monitoring and evaluation activities; (2) federal endowment programs for Gallaudet and NTID; and (3) EDA in general.

Part B: Additional Education Laws - (Sec. 921) Directs the Secretary of Education to discharge or cancel the federal student loan indebtedness of spouses or parents of individuals who died (or die) or who became (or become) permanently and totally disabled from injuries suffered in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Provides for such cancellation of: (1) the entire student loan debt of the spouse of such an individual who was a public servant; and (2) that portion of student loans incurred by a spouse or parent on behalf of any other such individual who was a victim.

(Sec. 922) Amends the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 to extend through FY2012 authorizations of appropriations for the Underground Railroad educational and cultural program. Extends deadlines for certain studies. Repeals specified expired or executed provisions.

(Sec. 923) Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2012 for: (1) the title I grant program and title III endowment program under the Tribally Controlled Community College or University Assistance Act of 1978 (such Act); and (2) the Tribal Economic Development and Technology Related Assistance Act of 1990 (title IV of such Act).

Revises requirements relating to credits. Requires a tribally controlled college or university to be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency as a condition of eligibility for funds under such Act.

(Sec. 924) Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2012 for construction grants under the Navajo Community College Act.

(Sec. 925) Reauthorizes appropriations through FY2012 for Olympic Scholarships under the (Higher) Education Amendments of 1992.

(Sec. 926) Directs the Secretary to provide for a national association or organization to study undergraduate student learning outcomes and state-level public accountability frameworks, in consultation with a national advisory committee and specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 927) Directs the Secretary to study minority graduation rates from colleges and universities.

(Sec. 928) Directs the Secretary to study education-related indebtedness of medical school graduates.

(Sec. 929) Directs the Secretary to study trends in older adult learners attending college and how IHEs are addressing their needs.

(Sec. 930) Expresses the sense of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce regarding specified actions to make college textbooks more affordable for students.

(Sec. 931) Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to study and report on the quality of IHE distance education programs as compared with that of campus-based education programs.

(Sec. 932) Requires the Comptroller General to study and report on the allocation of funds under the SEOG, WS, and Perkins Loan programs, and suggest how such funds might be more appropriately distributed.

(Sec. 933) Directs the Secretary to convene a summit, by May 2007, of higher education experts, representatives from federal agencies, and business and industry leaders to focus on campus, community, and workplace environmental and economic sustainability efforts.

(Sec. 934) Requires the Comptroller General to study and report on the decline in the number of persons accepted into or participating in graduate medical education programs or fellowships that require more than five years of total graduate medical training and have fewer U.S. medical school graduate applicants than positions.