On Monday, July 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education hosted the first of two public testimony forums in preparation for the expected November 2017 negotiated rulemaking sessionon the Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) rule and the expected December 2017 negotiated rulemaking session on the Gainful Employment (GE) rule. The second public testimony hearing will be held on July 12, 2017, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The two hearings this week allow interested parties to comment on the rulemaking agenda topics suggested by the Departmentto date (limited to date to the GE and BDR rules), and to suggest additional agenda topics. The testimony offered on July 10, 2017, included a broad range of viewpoints, ranging from supportive to opposed to the BDR and GE rules negotiated under the previous administration and the Department’s action to re-negotiate both rules. A few organizations offered comments suggesting an expansion of the negotiations to include a comprehensive review of current Title IV financial responsibility provisions, including institutional composite scores and cash managementrequirements. Duane Morris attorneys will continue to closely monitor and report on these new rulemaking sessions. We are also assisting clients in preparing and submitting public comments and developing positions for evaluation by the rulemaking committees.
Interested parties may still submit written comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments should reference Docket ID ED-2017-OPE-0076 and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST, July 12, 2017. The next formal opportunity for public comment will be after the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking promulgated by the Department after the negotiations conclude.