April 20, 2019

April 19, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

April 18, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

April 17, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

U.S. Department of Education Seeks Public Comment on Regulatory Reform Initiatives; Issues Regulatory Reform Task Force Progress Report

On June 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) published a Federal Register notice that it is seeking public input regarding regulations or guidance to be repealed, replaced or modified. The Department is particularly interested in regulatory provisions that members of the public find unduly costly or unnecessarily burdensome. The Department also published the first progress report of its Regulatory Reform Task Force, which was formed pursuant to a February 2017 presidential executive order requiring federal agencies to create such task forces to evaluate existing regulations for potential repeal, replacement or modification. Comments in response to the Federal Register notice must be submitted no later than August 21, 2017.

In the progress report, the task force identifies more than 150 regulations and a total of 1,772 items of policy-related guidance to be reviewed. The regulations range from matters of general applicability such as the Department Seal and Freedom of Information Act, to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and Title IX anti-discrimination rules. The report also notes that the Gainful Employment and Borrower Defense to Repayment regulations will be part of its review and that those regulations are going to be further reviewed as part of rulemaking proceedings commencing later this year.

As we noted in a separate alert earlier this month, the Department has also delayed implementation of the Borrower Defense to Repayment Regulations. While the initial report of the task force indicates that it will recommend keeping certain regulations (such as those regarding Direct Grant Programs and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention), modify others (such as FERPA) and rescind other rules, this first progress report is silent with respect to the task force’s views on a majority of the Department’s regulations.

As a next step, the task force is requiring offices within the Department to recommend regulations to be repealed, replaced or modified. The task force also announced that it plans to meet with major constituencies and stakeholder groups, including some major higher education association groups to seek their input. The task force also intends to facilitate discussions on these issues at conferences, including at the Department’s annual Federal Student Aid Conference, which this year will occur in November 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

©2019 Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

John Przypyszny, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, Public Education Attorney
Partner

John R. Przypyszny counsels institutions of higher education, education companies as well as accrediting agencies on the broad range of legal issues and education law related issues that impact their institutions and businesses on a day-to-day basis. He advises clients on education law matters involving the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting bodies, state agencies and other government regulators. He also has extensive experience advising institutions of higher education on the statutory and regulatory requirements of federal student financial aid...

(202) 842-8858
Jonathan Tarnow, Education and Government affairs lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Partner

Jonathan D. Tarnow advises clients on a wide range of education law matters involving the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting bodies, state agencies and other government regulators. He has extensive experience advising public, non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education on the statutory and regulatory requirements of federal student financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, and has represented institutions in Title IV compliance reviews and audits, including administrative hearings and appeals related to findings of non-compliance. Jonathan is a partner in the firm's Government and Regulatory Affairs Group and a member of the Education Team and the Privacy and Data Security Team.

He frequently represents private equity funds, private investors, publicly traded and privately held education companies, and financial institutions that serve postsecondary educational institutions on transactions in the education sector. This includes purchases and sales of institutions or their assets, conversions of private institutions from proprietary to non-profit status, credit facilities to support acquisitions or ongoing operations, and other complex transactions involving colleges and universities.

(202) 354-1357