Washington Watch: AACC’s new Regulatory Tracker


The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has developed a new tool for members to stay up to date on the federal regulatory landscape.

The 2024 AACC Regulatory Tracker provides a catalog of the major pending federal regulatory issues that the association is monitoring. It is organized by the current regulatory status of a particular item, from possible departmental action, to implementation of a final rule.

The entry for each topic includes relevant documents, detailed summaries of proposed and final rules, and formal comments submitted by AACC.   

The tracker will be updated regularly to reflect the most current information on a given regulatory topic.

Please reach out to Alexis Gravely, AACC legislative analyst, for any questions or feedback regarding the tracker.

On the horizon

Community colleges will be inundated with regulatory changes throughout 2024, beginning with final rules expected from three different departments over the course of the next few months. Each of these rules will require a heavy lift for institutional compliance.

The most problematic of the three will likely be the final regulations from the Department of Labor (DOL) on overtime exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). DOL has proposed increasing the salary threshold at which employees must be paid to be exempt from overtime requirements to at least $55,068 annually.

House Republicans have been critical of both the proposed rule itself and the speed at which DOL has moved it through the regulatory process, including during a hearing held last week to examine the policies and priorities of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division. A final rule that tracks closely with what has been proposed is expected to face legal challenges over the Biden administration’s interpretation of the FLSA statute, as Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Michigan) alluded to during the hearing.

Following a series of delays over the last year, final regulations on Title IX are also expected to be released soon. The Education Department (ED) sent the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) earlier this month, which is a required step in the regulatory process. A separate final regulation addressing Title IX as it specifically relates to athletics is expected at a later date.

The Department of Justice has also sent to OMB its final rule on web accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This regulation will require public entities, including community colleges, to ensure their websites and other online content are accessible to persons with disabilities. While some institutions may face challenges in implementing the new rule, which adopts the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as the technical standard for compliance, they will have a longer time to do so in comparison to the previously mentioned regulations.  

Finally, colleges will need to prepare to comply with the gainful employment and financial value transparency final rule, which goes into effect on July 1. As of now, the first batch of data that institutions will need to submit to ED to comply with reporting requirements is due by July 31.  AACC is co-sponsoring a free webinar on the implementation of this key regulation on Friday, March 1. Register today.

AACC will continue to keep members informed of their responsibilities under the various new regulations over the coming months. In the meantime, consult the Tracker!

About the Author

Alexis Gravely
Alexis Gravely is a legislative analyst at the American Association of Community Colleges.
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