Held by Department of Labor, September 7-24
The Department of Labor has begun holding listening sessions around a potentially redrafted “Overtime Rule” to replace the one stymied from going into effect in 2017. The sessions will be held in five cities throughout September: Atlanta, Georgia; Seattle, Washington; Kansas City, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; and Providence, Rhode Island. A proposed rule is scheduled to go be released in January 2019.
NASPA and 5 other higher education associations, August 29, 2018
NASPA submitted comments to the Department of Education on how the proposed Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) Rule could negatively impact both students and institutions and recommendations for improvement. NASPA acknowledges that while most of our member institutions are unlikely to be subject to the rule directly, many students who pursue relief under this proposed rule will seek to complete their educations at our member institutions, and their financial well-being and success will become our concern.
The American Council on Education (ACE) and 20 other higher education associations, including NASPA, August 30, 2018
These comments address concerns regarding the proposed rules released by the Department of Education to provide implementation guidance to Borrower Defense to Repayment. Concerns raised within the comments pertain to: partial relief and determination of financial harm; single federal standard; group claims; borrowers’ obligation to prove intent or reckless disregard; timeframe for asserting claims and the use of new evidence; pre-dispute arbitration clauses and class action waivers; false certification discharge; closed-school discharges and the teach-out process; and process error in the rule.
By Alexa Wesley, Research and Policy Associate, September 6, 2018
College affordability is one of top challenges framing the current context of higher education. Given the economic realities of today’s students and institutions, what role do student affairs professionals play in addressing the rising costs of college? This post explores this question and outlines a few areas in which student affairs professionals are working to effect change around college affordability.
By Erica L. Green, The New York Times, August 29, 2018
The New York Times (NYT) obtained a copy of the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX rules prior to the draft rules being sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and released an analysis of the rules. Unlike guidance documents, the Title IX rules, once they go through the entirety of the rulemaking process, will have the full effect of the law. Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill commented that information obtained by The Times “is premature and speculative, and therefore, we have no comment.” A copy of the rules was not released to the public by the NYT and it remains uncertain how long it will take for the rules to be officially released to the Federal Register.
By Michael D. Shear, The New York Times, August 31, 2018
In late April, The DC District court issued yet another injunction on the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Judge Bates said the decision to roll back the program was “arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.” The decision gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 90 days to deliver a stronger case, and when DHS failed to do so, Judge Bates ordered that DACA should be reinstated. After the April court decision, Texas and eight other states sued the Trump administration to end the DACA program. At the end of August, a federal judge on the Texas case declined to halt DACA. Judge Hanen’s ruling was unexpected given his prior ruling in 2015 on the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, which was halted by Judge Hanen from going into effect. He noted that the programs are different in that DAPA never took effect, while over 700,000 young immigrants currently rely on DACA and the harm of ending the program posed too great a risk at this point, to those benefiting.
By Casey Quinlan, Think Progress, September 6, 2018
President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, Judge Brett Kavanaugh went through a series of court hearings last week and is on track to secure confirmation when voted on in the next few weeks. On Wednesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) questioned Kavanaugh on his views regarding race conscious programs like that of affirmative action. Judge Kavanaugh continually circumvented the questions on affirmative action, responding at one point, “I have promoted diversity in law clerk hiring.” However, Kavanaugh’s past records suggest that he is against it, stating in a 2003 email, “Diversity is a permissible goal but a state must use race-neutral criteria when available.”
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Inside Higher Ed, September 10, 2018
Sexual assault prevention and response advocates are currently watching the progress of a U.S. Court of Appeals Case for the Sixth Circuit, for outcomes that might affect due process in cases of sexual assault for states in the circuit. The circuit court found on Friday that a student accused of sexual assault at the University of Michigan had not been able to properly challenge the narrative of findings against him. In the case, University of Michigan denied the accuser a chance at direct cross-examination due to the nature of the investigation style which allowed for interviews with the two parties without direct contact. The court decided that, “if a public university has to choose between competing narratives to resolve a case, the university must give the accused student or his agent an opportunity to cross-examine the accuser and adverse witnesses in the presence of a neutral fact-finder.” This opinion goes against that of survivor rights advocates who often find face-to-face questioning harmful to the complainant.
**Check for updates in the coming months. Most states return to session in January 2019**
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) (Introduced 06/20/2018)
-Latest Action: 09/07/2018 Message on Senate action sent to the House
Over the past week, the House and Senate have been working to resolve differences between disparate versions of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill in an attempt to avoid a government shutdown before September 30. The House will vote on a negotiated version of the bill this coming Wednesday and sources from Politico report that the Senate could also vote as soon as next week.
**Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments**
-Notice by the Department of Education on 09/05/2018
-Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Department of Education
Summary: “The Secretary of Education invites publishers to submit tests for review and approval for use in the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS), and announces the date by which publishers must submit these tests.”
-Proposed Rule by the Homeland Security Department and the Health and Human Services Department on 09/07/2018
-Comment period that ends on 11/06/2018
-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), DHS; U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), DHS; Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Summary: “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (“the Departments”) propose to amend regulations relating to the apprehension, processing, care, custody, and release of alien juveniles. In 1985, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit, Flores v. Reno, challenged the policies of the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) relating to the detention, processing, and release of alien juveniles. The parties reached a settlement agreement, referred to as the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA). The FSA, as modified in 2001, provides that it will terminate forty-five days after publication of final regulations implementing the agreement. The rule would adopt in regulations provisions that parallel the relevant and substantive terms of the FSA, consistent with the HSA and TVPRA, with some modifications discussed further below to reflect intervening statutory and operational changes while still providing similar substantive protections and standards. It therefore would terminate the FSA. The rule would satisfy the basic purpose of the FSA in ensuring that all juveniles in the government's custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors, while doing so in a manner that is workable in light of subsequent changes. The rule would also implement closely related provisions of the HSA and TVPRA.
Most prominently, the rule would create an alternative to the existing licensed program requirement for family residential centers, so that ICE may use appropriate facilities to detain family units together during their immigration proceedings, consistent with applicable law.”
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