An article in the April 22 issue of Open Campus’s The Job newsletter highlighted JFF CEO Maria Flynn’s testimony at a hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on April 20.
In an interview with The Job editor Paul Fain, Flynn said that the goal of her testimony was to address issues that are becoming more important as the way people prepare for and move through their careers evolves—issues such as free college, student loan cancellation, reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), apprenticeships, and Pell Grants.
In two of the specific recommendations in her written testimony, Flynn called on Congress to explore alternative educational financing models such as income-share agreements and lifelong learning accounts, and The Job noted that a recent Government Accountability Office report on ways to help workers experiencing economic disruption also called for the creation of lifelong learning accounts.
“It remains to be seen how a proposal around lifelong learning accounts would fit into other pressing federal business, but there seems to be a strong and growing consensus around the need to make financing for periodic reskilling more affordable,” Flynn told The Job. “And we have the policy vehicles in place to make those changes through changes to WIOA, Section 127, and policies in the federal tax code that could provide tax-advantaged status for individuals who save for or invest in lifelong learning.”