The American Association of State colleges and universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and Texas State University hosted the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Higher Education Act Signing yesterday evening.
The event celebrated former president Lyndon B. Johnson signing the HEA act, which provided federal financial aid to students and colleges.
The celebration included guest speakers from the AASCU, a taped presentation from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and a panel discussion with two former U.S. Secretaries of Education.
Although the event was a celebration of the success of the HEA legislation, the ceremony also highlighted improvements needed in higher education. Director of Federal Policy of the AASCU, Barmak Nassirian, says that the country relies too much on debt.
“The States have over the course of the past 30 years gradually pull back and we are seeing a slow process of privatization of public higher ed, which used to be incredibly affordable.”
Nassarian also says there has been a proposal introduced to the recent session of congress to create a federal state partnership program, that would help reduce higher education costs to families.
The celebration was held at Texas State University, which is LBJ’s alma mater and where the former president signed the act 50 years earlier.
For more information on the Higher Education Act and its’ history visit AASCU.ORG.