U.S. Department of Education Plans to Rescind Gainful Employment Regulations, Senate Considers FY19 Appropriations Bills

While the U.S. House of Representatives remains in recess until September 4, there’s still news from the Capitol this week. Read below to learn more about a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Education and the Senate’s plans to continue work on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) appropriations process.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Plan to Rescind Gainful Employment Regulations 

On August 10, the U.S. Department of Education released details about a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that includes rescinding the federal gainful employment regulations. Developed in 2014, these regulations established criteria for eligibility for federal student aid based on the debt-to-earnings ratio for students who had received federal student aid for programs at for-profit colleges and certificate programs at non-profit community colleges and other postsecondary institutions. Additionally, the notice in the Federal Register states that, “The Department plans to update the College Scorecard, or a similar web-based tool, to provide program-level outcomes for all higher education programs, at all institutions that participate in the programs authorized by title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.” Comments on the proposal can be submitted through the Federal Register until September 13.

Senate to Consider Appropriations Bill on the Floor This Week

The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill this week, which covers a number of key education and workforce programs. The bill will be bundled with the Senate’s Defense appropriations bill into a “minibus.” The House has not yet considered its FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on the floor. Given that October 1 marks the beginning of the government’s new fiscal year, Congress will need to take action before then to avoid a government shutdown. As we reported, any differences between the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bills (e.g., the House bill proposes a $102 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant for FY19 and the Senate bill proposes funding at the FY18 level) would need to be worked out before allocations for education and workforce programs could be finalized.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

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