The U.S. Department of Education (ED) published a notice in the Federal Register this week extending the deadline for submitting comments on a proposed regulatory rollback. The comment solicitation asked stakeholders for their thoughts on areas where ED’s regulations and guidance documents go too far in restricting stakeholder action and/or go beyond the agency’s statutory authority to regulate States and Districts. ED is under Executive Order to review and revise those documents to ensure the maximum level of flexibility, and has solicited input from advocacy groups directly as well as in the Federal Register.
This move comes after civil rights groups, in an effort led by the National Women’s Law Center, have flooded the posting with comments supporting current regulations. More than 2,000 commenters have submitted responses saying that “[a]ll Department of Education civil rights regulations and guidance documents are important and necessary” and urging the administration to preserve all “current significant guidance” on civil rights, including protections based on sex, race, national origin, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The original Federal Register notice was published in June of this year and asked for comments to be submitted by August 21, 2017. With this new notice, ED will extend that comment deadline for an additional 30 days, until September 20, 2017.