Deregulation Hearing Dominated By Title IX Debate

Last week, the U.S. Education Department held the first in a pair of public hearings on the Trump administration's regulatory reform agenda.

The meeting—meant to solicit input on agency regulations related to postsecondary education that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification—was dominated by a debate over Title IX enforcement, Politico Morning Education reported. Civil rights advocates urged the administration to rethink its decision to rewrite Obama-era guidance for schools handling sexual assault allegations.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last month granted colleges new discretion in how they comply with requirements under federal Title IX law to handle sexual misconduct on campus. The department rescinded 2011 and 2014 guidelines issued by the Obama administration that survivor advocates say have been critical in pushing for new protections. The agency then replaced those guidelines with interim guidance and announced plans to initiate a notice and comment process to codify new rules on campus sexual assault.

Other speakers at the hearing brought up rules governing state authorization of online schools and the federal definition of credit hour. Multiple participants also said the department could work to clarify requirements under the Clery Act, which requires schools to report crimes on campus.

Several speakers urged the administration not to roll back any more regulations and to rethink its decision to rewrite two major Obama-era higher education rules: gainful employment and borrowers defense.


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