As part of the Administration’s regulatory reform directive, the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Education is seeking public comments on regulations and guidance that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification. 

The Department of Education (ED) created a Regulatory Reform Task Force to recommend existing regulations and guidance to the Secretary that could be eliminated or modified as part of the Administration’s regulatory reform directive. The Task Force is charged with identifying rules that, among other things, are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective, impose costs that exceed benefits or create a serious inconsistency with regulatory reform policies. This effort is not entirely new. Recall that in 2015, members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released a list of guidance and regulations subject to similar criteria that should be targeted for reform.

ED is soliciting input from the public to assist the Task Force and is particularly interested in identifying regulatory provisions or guidance that commenters find are “unduly costly or unnecessarily burdensome.” Comments should describe why the requested regulation or guidance should be repealed, replaced or modified, and include any supporting data or information and specific suggestions for alternatives. This announcement is an opportunity to raise concerns about regulations that were not mentioned in ED’s recent rulemaking announcement on borrower defense to repayment and gainful employment (such as the distance education rule for state authorization).

The announcement appeared in today’s Federal Register. The deadline for comments is August 21, 2017. Note also that the Task Force released a progress report today identifying its planned next steps, which include public meetings and outreach efforts by individual program offices over the next few months to solicit feedback on regulations and guidance for repeal.