Department of Education

News & Analysis as of

Student Loans: Departments of Treasury and Education Move to Simplify Income Driven Repayment Plans

Much of the regulatory focus for student lending has been directed toward Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans in recent months. The first student loan related move in 2017 by the Departments of Education and Treasury is no...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Final Regulations Regarding Teacher Preparation Programs

On October 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) published final regulations regarding teacher preparation programs, implementing the accountability provisions of Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidance Interpreting Civil Rights Laws Protecting Students with Disabilities

Regulators have given school districts new guidance on how to remain compliant with federal laws concerning services to students with disabilities thanks to some year-end agency filings. U.S. Department of Education...more

Office for Civil Rights Issues Dear Colleague Letter: Restraint and Seclusion of Students With Disabilities

On December 28, 2016, the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued four guidance documents concerning students with disabilities. Along with two frequently asked questions documents concerning students...more

2017 May Be an Eventful Year for Student Loan Industry

As expected, student loans were a major issue in 2016, as the presidential election brought the issue to the forefront and regulatory scrutiny continued to rise. 2017 is now upon us, and the CFPB wasted no time getting the...more

New Guidance Issued by the Department of Education on the Rights of Students with Disabilities

At the end of last month, the Department of Education released three new sets of guidance on the federal civil rights laws that govern students with disabilities. All three offer valuable information about current and...more

New Laws Expand Use of Opioid Antagonists to Schools for 2017-2018 School Year

In 2015, the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force was formed to develop a statewide action plan to address a growing public health problem in Michigan - overdose deaths. As opioid painkillers, such as...more

Seventh Circuit Applies Escobar Standard to Once Again Reject False Claims Act Liability Based on Implied False Certification...

On October 24, 2016, the Seventh Circuit applied the standard announced by the Supreme Court in United Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016), for False Claims Act (“FCA”) liability...more

2016 in Arbitration Law: Fleeting Victories for Consumer Advocates?

If I had drafted this annual summary post on November 7, 2016, it would have looked different. At that point, the year had produced numerous (final or proposed) federal regulations that significantly restricted the use of...more

Universities and Colleges Must be Vigilant When Certifying Student Loans

In Jackson v. Univ. of N. Texas, et. al., the University of North Texas (“UNT”) and various student loan companies faced allegations of improper oversight of student loan certifications and claims submissions in violation of...more

Title IX Enforcement and Interpretation: The Winds of Change are Blowing

Seyfarth Synopsis: Title IX enforcement issues continue to notably permeate the agenda of colleges and universities. The winds of change to Title IX enforcement may be blowing in 2017. This Management Alert will review the...more

Top Ten Education Developments, Breaches, and Settlements of 2016

This year has been a busy year for education law in the area of data privacy. Educational institutions continue to be a rich target for hackers. Additionally, there were some important developments in the interpretation of...more

The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Supports a Female Transgender Student's Right to Use the Girl's School Restroom

The majority of a three judge panel of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction that ordered Highland Local School District (Highland) to allow an 11 year old transgender student, who...more

OCR Complaints – Trends and Predictions

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued two reports highlighting its work during both fiscal year (FY) 2016 and President Obama’s entire eight-year term of office. The number of OCR...more

Impact on Transgender Students as the Meaning of “Sex” Discrimination Under Title IX Evolves

The rights due to a student under Title IX continue to evolve. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on “sex,” which historically has meant that biological male and female students are required to be treated as equals....more

OSEP Speaks Again: Ensure Your Evaluations Address All Areas of Potential Concern

On October 22, 2016, the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”), via its latest informal guidance/opinion letter (“Letter to Carroll”), once again addressed whether, once a school...more

Website Accessiblity - An Introduction to the Problem and Best Practices for Education Agencies and Schools

Are you reading this article on a computer? I would venture to guess that you are. How did you access this page? Did you have to navigate through multiple web pages? While you were at it, were you surfing the internet,...more

Alert: Judge Denies ACICS Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order

In an afternoon hearing on December 20, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton denied the motion of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ("ACICS") seeking a temporary restraining order...more

Alert: Final Distance Education Rule: ED Backs Away from State Reciprocity Agreements

The Department of Education (ED or the Department) announced the publication of its final rule on state authorization for distance education programs on December 16, 2016. Although the final rule is similar to what ED...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. New Legislature Sworn In, Governor Shares Initial Priorities - On Wednesday, December 7,...more

Alert: ACICS Files Suit to Overturn Loss of Recognition

On December 12, 2016, US Secretary of Education John King issued his final – and expected – decision denying the appeal filed by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ("ACICS") and terminated its status...more

CFPB releases report on college credit card agreements and compliance bulletin

The CFPB released its annual report on college credit card agreements (the fifth issued by the CFPB), together with a compliance bulletin regarding the obligation of colleges and universities under the CARD Act to publicly...more

Eighth Circuit Considers Materiality Under the FCA Following the Supreme Court’s Escobar Decision

On October 19, 2016, the Eighth Circuit issued one of the first post-Escobar opinions addressing materiality under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). In United States ex rel. Miller v. Weston Educational, Inc, No. 14-1760, 2016 WL...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – December, 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last week, I met a lovely couple who stopped by my office to visit. They live just down the street from my school and they are homeschooling their two children who would otherwise be in grades 2 and...more

Supreme Court to Rule on Case Addressing Bathroom Access Based on Gender Identity

On October 28, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in the matter of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which asks the Court to weigh in on the issue of restroom access for transgender students. The...more

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