Friday, March 5, 2010

Tell Your Senators to Support the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA)

With the White House calling on Congress to pass health-care reform legislation by March 18th, the timing for the Senate's consideration of H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), is fast approaching. This is significant because Congress had also considered using the reconciliation process to pass SAFRA; however, the reconciliation process can only be used once per year. SAFRA has been on hold while health-care reform legislation worked its way through Congress.

We need each trustee, president, and community college leader to voice support for the bill immediately. As part of the National Legislative Summit next week, hundreds of community college leaders will descend upon Washington and urge their Members of Congress to support SAFRA. But we need your immediate assistance to ensure that Senators know how important this legislation is for community colleges.

Community colleges are now part of the national discussion and now is our time to seize the moment and ACT on behalf of our students and institutions. SAFRA contains the largest federal investment aimed at community colleges. Please act NOW to ensure continued support of your intuition.

Under SAFRA, the Federal Family Education Loan Program would be eliminated and all new federal student loans would be Direct Loans. Most importantly, SAFRA contains the American Graduation Initiative (AGI), which provides almost $10 billion for community colleges. We need you to urge your Senators to keep AGI funding at $12 billion, the level requested by President Obama. If the Senate decides to accommodate the March 18th timeframe, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will need to introduce and pass their version of SAFRA soon.

ACCT has prepared a draft letter for your use. The letter can be sent directly to your representatives through ACCT's Policy Center online at: Additionally, you should also make phone calls to your Senators in support of H.R. 3221. Senators may be reached utilizing the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121.

ACCT's House-passed H.R. 3221 summary of community college-related items within the bill can be found at:

For more information, contact Jee Hang Lee at or (202) 775-4450.

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