By NASPA, January 10, 2018
In late November, the Department of Education published a proposed rule on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance and opened a 60-day public comment period. While the Federal Register is not fully operational during the shutdown, public comments on the Title IX Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) are still due by January 28, and regulations.gov is functional and accepting comments. NASPA staff have developed several resources intended to help higher education leaders learn about and respond to the proposed rule. Prior to the winter break, we held several information sessions (recordings are available in the NASPA Online Learning Community) and published a 4-part blog series providing a preliminary analysis of the proposed rule. Today we released a series of Resource Guides that expand on many of the topics we highlighted in December with links to research and data that individuals and institutions can use to bolster their comments as needed.
By Hallie Busta, Education Dive, January 7, 2018
This Dive Brief gives a quick snapshot of upcoming proposed higher education accreditation rules and provides further analysis. As highlighted:
By Lindsay Ellis and Lily Jackson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 11, 2018
As the current partial government shutdown has entered a record-breaking timespan, federal agencies that have not been funded for the remainder of the 2019 fiscal year closed in late December. Faculty and staff are affected in research fields due to closures of the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Agriculture. Emory University has reported that over 100 of its active grants have been affected. As government agencies rely on colleges and universities to charge the agencies as they spend money, small colleges and universities are especially impacted as invoices pile-up and there is less room for financial flexibility.
By Allan Bloom, The National Law Review, January 14, 2018
The Department of Labor has sent a new federal overtime rule to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) where it is expected to be under review for up to 90 days, with a possible additional 30 day extension. While the implementation of Obama-era overtime rules was halted, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has indicated repeatedly that he favors an increase in the minimum salary threshold for exemption, which was last raised in 2004.
By Adam Minsky, Forbes, January 14, 2018
While over 800,000 federal employees are not being paid during the current government shutdown, paying off student loans may have become more difficult to pay. Adam Minsky discusses options for furloughed workers including forbearance and income-driven repayment.
**Check for updates in the coming months. Most states return to session in January 2019**
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) (Introduced 12/10/2018)
-Latest Action: 12/10/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Introduced at the tail end of the 115th Congress, the Students Rights Act of 2018 is a free speech piece of legislation that would have prohibited the existence of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education. Representative Brat lost his reelection bid in 2018 so it is unclear if similar legislation will be introduced in the 116th Congress.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) (Introduced 12/13/2018)
-Latest Action: 12/13/2018 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
This bill was also introduced at the end of the last Congress would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide emergency aid grants under the student support services program.
-Primary Sponsor: Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) (Introduced 12/19/2018)
-Latest Action: 12/31/2018 Became Public Law
This legislation signed into law at the end of December provides new protections for GI Bill recipients, prohibiting institutions of higher education from collecting a late fee or requiring GI bill users to take out additional loans due to delayed payments.
**Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments**
-A Proposed Rule by the Education Department on 11/29/2018
-Comment period that ends on 1/28/2019
-Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Education (ED)
Summary: “The Secretary of Education proposes to amend regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). The proposed regulations would clarify and modify Title IX regulatory requirements pertaining to the availability of remedies for violations, the effect of Constitutional protections, the designation of a coordinator to address sex discrimination issues, the dissemination of a nondiscrimination policy, the adoption of grievance procedures, and the process to claim a religious exemption. The proposed regulations would also specify how recipient schools and institutions covered by Title IX (hereinafter collectively referred to as recipients or schools) must respond to incidents of sexual harassment consistent with Title IX's prohibition against sex discrimination. The proposed regulations are intended to promote the purpose of Title IX by requiring recipients to address sexual harassment, assisting and protecting victims of sexual harassment and ensuring that due process protections are in place for individuals accused of sexual harassment.”
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