ED Delays on State Authorization Rules
June 26, 2014
ED again delayed full implementation of its rules, originally scheduled to take effect in 2013, on state authorization of institutions by the state in which they are physically located. If an institution's authorization does not meet the requirements of the regulations but the state is establishing an "acceptable authorization process," the implementation date will be delayed until July 1, 2015. An earlier delay had set the date for July 1, 2014.
State authorization for distance education programs has continued to be a contentious issue. ED's recent negotiated rulemaking effort did not lead to a consensus on appropriate requirements. Speaking at a conference on June 25, Ted Mitchell, the new undersecretary of Education, indicated that the agency will not push to finalize new rules on state authorization for distance education this fall but will take more time to ensure it gets it right. He did not indicate whether the state authorization issue would be split from other issues, including cash management, that were addressed in the same negotiations or if proposed rules will be delayed for all. Under so-called master calendar provisions in the Higher Education Act, ED must publish final rules by November 1 in order for them to take effect the following July.
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