U.S. Department of Education Rulemaking 2021-2022
Watch for timely updates to the resources on this page regarding the 2021-2022 USED Rulemaking.
2021 - 2022 Department of Education Federal Rulemaking
USED Website for rulemaking notices, recordings, proposal language and transcripts: Federal Negotiated Rulemaking Webpage. As of April 27, 2022 there have been 2 rulemaking committees. Note the voting outcome.
- Affordability and Student Loans Committee: 12 issues - 4 issues reached consensus
- Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee: 7 issues – 2 issues reached consensus
- Note Issue #6: Certification Procedures. 34 CFR 668.14(b)(32) (addresses Professional Licensure and Reciprocity)
WCET Frontiers Posts:
- More Federal Rulemaking Excitement for Distance Ed Fans…and Next Steps; WCET Frontiers, 3/24/22
- Excited about March Madness? Proposed Section 32 Will Excite Distance Ed Fans; WCET Frontiers, 3/21/22
- Federal Policy Surprises! Updates and Call to Action; WCET Frontiers, 2/22/22.
Resources Prepared by SAN:
- 2022 Negotiated Rulemaking Review - two page document; key points addressing Section 32 from Issue #6 Certification Procedures; Professional Licensure & Reciprocity.
- Institution - Planning for Advocacy- Suggestions for institutional planning to participate in the rulemaking process.
- Institution - Planning for Change - Suggestions for institutional planning to address regulatory changes at the institutions.
- Variability of State Professional Licensing Landscape - Examples describing the patchwork of state compliance requirements for programs leading to a professional license
- Overview of Distance Education Protections Desired by Consumer Advocates - Review of desired consumer protections raised by consumer advocates.
- Teaching Online Podcast (TOPcast): April 18, 2022; University of Central Florida; EPISODE 112: SARA (AND MORE!) UNDER SIEGE; Guests Russ Poulin and Cheryl Dowd join hosts Kelvin and Tom to bring some breaking news on governmental regulation that could change the way online higher education works in the US. Listen carefully and share with institutional colleagues to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- SAN/WCET/WICHE/SREB/NEBHE,MHEC Letter: February 14, 2022, to the Negotiators about proposed changes to a state authorization reciprocity agreement.
U.S. Department of Education Rulemaking Process:
- Federal Regulations are developed by the Department of Education to implement the aspects of the Higher Education Act, which is Federal law. The process to create the language for the regulations is through the Negotiated Rulemaking Process ("Neg Reg").
- The rulemaking process is directed through the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Strict adherence is required. Failure to follow the APA requirements could cause a regulation to be challenged and possibly vacated by Federal courts for failing to follow APA process.
- Key stakeholders affected by the issues to be addressed are nominated and become the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. This committee meets to discuss the issues and ultimately votes on a regulatory package for those issues. The committee must vote 100% in favor of the language of the entire regulatory issue package, which is called consensus. Issues that do not reach consensus can then be written by the Department.
- Strict regulatory calendar process includes the following:
- Consensus language and language written by the Department is to be released as proposed language subject to a public comment for at least 30 days.
- The Department must review all public comments and prepare responses as well as submit to Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to review for economic impact.
- Must be released as final regulations by November 1 in order for the regulations to become effective the following July 1. Release of final regulations after November 1 delays the effective date until the following July 1.
- Learn more about the Federal rulemaking process through review of these webinars and videos:
- Webinar: The Federal Rulemaking Process: How to Follow and Inform Colleagues about the Upcoming Negotiated Rulemaking Meetings and Outcomes; (Recording, Slide Deck, and Transcript)
- Video #1 Impact of HEA & Role of the Court related to Federal Regulations
- Video #2 Negotiated Rulemaking and Proposed Regulations