Advocacy quick hits: ED wraps up second neg-reg table

U.S. Education Department (Photo: AACC)

The U.S. Education Department (ED) last week hosted the second of three negotiated rulemaking sessions on Title IV program integrity and quality issues, including accreditation, state authorization, distance education, return of Title IV funds, cash management and TRIO eligibility.

The second rulemaking table presented many of the same themes, concerns and disagreements as the first session, which took place in early January. These include a shared commitment between ED and negotiators to simplify processes around return of Title IV funds but disagreements over how to capture withdrawal dates for students enrolled online.

Other areas of conflict included the cash management proposal to require colleges to move to an “opt-in” model for including textbooks in tuition and fees (a key component of “inclusive access” programs used by many community colleges), the regulation of distance education programs, and state authorization issues around reciprocity agreements. These issues failed to generate unanimous support during temperature checks and, at this stage, it is unclear if negotiators can reach consensus on these papers.

The American Association of Community Colleges is highly engaged in this rulemaking and with the negotiators representing community colleges, and we will continue to update members in the coming months.

The final rulemaking sessions will take place from March 4-7. The topics for discussion are consequential for community colleges.

Read the rest of this week’s Advocacy Quick Hits.

About the Author

Kathryn Gimborys
Kathryn Gimborys is a government relations manager at the American Association of Community Colleges.
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