And Explanation of the Higher Education Act
Education Act (HEA), signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson
in 1965, was designed to help families send their children to
college. In 1998, Rep. Mark
Souder (R-IN) introduced a provision, which banned federal
aid for students who had been convicted of drug-related crimes.
This provision applied even to misdemeanors and violations,
not just felonies.
In essence, the HEA provision
did nothing to help disadvantaged students struggling with substance
abuse problems, but it did impede access to education for the
poor and minorities, those already at risk of being shoved to
the periphery of society.
685, introduced by Rep.
Barney Frank (D-MA), would repeal this provision to allow
anyone to apply for financial aid. The exception is any student
charged with a drug related offence while in school. This would
effectively make any prior, legal encounters with the authorities
irrelevant to the financial aid process that most students go
through in order to receive money for college.
a petition urging your representatives to support bill H.R.
Those convicted under the
current drug laws should not have to suffer further consequences
as a result of their convictions.