NAICU Washington Update

Oh, No - Not Again!

May 02, 2011

Colleges and those representing them in Washington are still reeling from two recent negotiated rulemaking sessions - one on implementing the 2008 HEA reauthorization and another on limiting student aid fraud and abuse.  But the Department had another surprise on April 29: they're planning yet another higher education negotiated rulemaking session in the near future.

The subject and purpose of the new neg-reg session?  Well, that's a mystery.

Without divulging any specifics on the upcoming session, on April 29 the Department identified sites for the three public forums that, the law mandates, must precede the actual negotiating sessions. All three forums will take place this month, meaning the Department must be planning to move quickly on this next round of change.

This marks the second time recently that the Department has called a negotiated rulemaking session that hasn't been driven by a statutory change.  The 2009-10 fraud and abuse neg-reg was likewise done without a change in law triggering the process.

On May 3, the Department made a formal announcement of its plans for neg-reg hearings, and also announced its plans to conduct four roundtables in conjunction with the hearings.  The three roundtable topics were identified as teacher preparation, college completion, and First in the World.  The latter two topics are related to proposals Obama has put forth in his 2012 budget proposal, but which appear to have little traction in Congress.

So if you'd like to share your thoughts with Department representatives, plan to be in Tacoma, Chicago, or Charleston, S.C., in the next three weeks.

Your thoughts on what?  We'll have to get back to you on that.

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