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Responsive Documents (9/30/10 FOIA) - CREW: Department of Education: Regarding For-Profit Education: 7/8/2011 - CCM Search for 11-00026-F

Responsive Documents (9/30/10 FOIA) - CREW: Department of Education: Regarding For-Profit Education: 7/8/2011 - CCM Search for 11-00026-F

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Published by CREW
On July 23, 2010, CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Education seeking records of communications between Education officials and individuals and entities prominent in the for-profit education industry and individuals who may have publically criticized the industry for personal financial gain. Recent news reports document the efforts of several individuals to garner support for tighter regulation of the for-profit education industry by the Department of Education while at the same time concealing that they stand to reap personal financial gain from more restrictive regulations. Education just proposed new regulations for the industry and CREW seeks to learn, in part, to what extent Education may have been influenced by the efforts of individuals and entities with undisclosed financial conflicts of interest. On September 30, 2010, CREW sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Department of Education seeking documents pertaining to four for-profit education companies in light of Education's decision to postpone issuance of new regulations to seek more outside input. CREW seeks to learn the extent to which Education's proposed regulations and policies in this area have been influenced by either the for-profit or non-profit industries.
On July 23, 2010, CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Education seeking records of communications between Education officials and individuals and entities prominent in the for-profit education industry and individuals who may have publically criticized the industry for personal financial gain. Recent news reports document the efforts of several individuals to garner support for tighter regulation of the for-profit education industry by the Department of Education while at the same time concealing that they stand to reap personal financial gain from more restrictive regulations. Education just proposed new regulations for the industry and CREW seeks to learn, in part, to what extent Education may have been influenced by the efforts of individuals and entities with undisclosed financial conflicts of interest. On September 30, 2010, CREW sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Department of Education seeking documents pertaining to four for-profit education companies in light of Education's decision to postpone issuance of new regulations to seek more outside input. CREW seeks to learn the extent to which Education's proposed regulations and policies in this area have been influenced by either the for-profit or non-profit industries.

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Published by: CREW on Jul 08, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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04/06/2012

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original

 
II
ANDREWS.
ROSEN
(halrmtJS
lrtd
CED
The
Honorable
C8ss
R.
Sunstein, AdministratorOffice
of
Information andRegulatory
Affairs
Office
of
Management
and Budget
125
11ttt
Street, NW
Washing1on,
DC20503
October
21,
2010
Re: ED-OPE 1840-AD04,
Proaram
Integrity:
Gainful Employmeot
Dear Mr.
Sunstein:
As
you
know,
the
U.
S,
Department
of
Education
(ED)
has
bifurcated its proposed
final
regulationsregarding
pro
·gram
inte&rity
in
federal
financial
aid
programs.
Curre'ntly before
OMB
are
the
ED'sproposed regulations covering fifteen
sections
of
proposed
new
regulations,
including
two
sectionsdealing with
the
ED'sso-called "Gainful
Employment.,
(GE)
proposal. I refertothis set
of
proposed
regulatio~
as
"Reg
L."
Reg
I
is
scheduled
for
publication
on
or around Novemberl,
20
LO,
andis
scheduled
to
go
into
effect on
July
1, 2011
.
The
remainderoftb.e ED's
GB
proposal
is
not
scheduled
to
be
published until
early
201
1.
I refer
to
thelatterproposal
as
"~g
2.''The
two
sections
of
he
GE
proposal
that
are
included
in
Reg
1relate
to
:
(a)
graduation rate
and
jobplacement disclosures;
and
{b)
ED's
proposal
that
it
a,pprove
all additional programs based
on
ED'sdetermination
of
whether such programs lead
to
gainful
employment (Program
Approval).
BecauseKaplan's
comments
regarding Program
Approval were
included
in
its
response
to the
Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking
for Reg
2,
Iwrite
to
ensure
that
our concerns regarding
the
proposed
Program
Approval language are brought
to
OMB
s
attention.·Kapl
an
participatedinthe ED
's
rule making sessions and supports
the
ED's efforts
to
ensure
that
studentS
achieve
their
d~sired
outcomes
withou
tincurring
overly
burdensome debt
obligations
.
While
we
support several ofth.e ED's
proposals
,
we
havesubmittedcomments expressingconcerns
with
certainitems
co
ntained
in
both sets
of
proposed regulations:Kaplan's general objection is
that
the
proposed
rules will have unintended consequences
that
hinderorimpedea
schoo
l'sabilitytoprovide students high-quality educational
programs
that
prepare students
to
obtain jobs andcommence careers that
may
transform
their
lives. Acase
in
point
is
the
ED's
Program Approvalproposal.
Kaplan,
Inc
.
6301
1Cap
l
an
Unlv·
eTSi
ty
Aven~.
fort
uudttdlle,
FL
)3309
 
The
Honorable
Cass
R.
SunsteinOctober21,
2010
Page2
The
ED's
Program
Approval
propOsal
requires proprietary schools
to
obtain
approval
from
the ED
before offering
any
additional programs
that
are eligible
for
Title
IV
aid.
To
obtain
approval,
schools would have
to
provide ED the following infonnation:(
1)
the
proj~ted
enrollment for the program
forthe
next
five
years
for
each
school
location that will offer the
program.
(2)
·documentation
from
employers
not
affilia~d
with the school, attesting that
the
program's curriculum aligns with recognized occupations at those employers'·businesses,
and
that there are projected job vacancies or expected
demand
for
those
occupations at those businesses, and(3)
if
he
additional program constitutes asubstantive
change
(as
defined
underexisting
regulations), documentation
of
the
approval
of
he substantive change
from
its
ac~iting
agency.
75
Fed.
Reg.
43616,43624
(July
26,
2010).In essence, the ED proposes
that
it must approve all
new
programs
and
that
any such
aj,prove.l
wouldinclude a
gainful
employment
analysis.
This costly approval step
is
redundant
and
\lllriecessary.
State regulatory bodies and accrediting agencies are already responsible
fot
oversight
and
approval
of
new programs. In fact,
in
the
NPRM
for
Reg I,
the ED
proposed
to
require State regulatory
bodies
to
take
an added role
in
program oversight
The
additional administrative
bl.U'den
that
the
Program Approval requill!ments will
impose will
result
in
delays
in creating
new
programs
of
study
and increasing their costs. Kaplan
aloneimplemented
scores
of
new
progrtunS
over
the
last
year.The
ED
is
not staffed
to
efficiently reviewthe anticipated
numbers
of
programs
with
the
speed required for educational institutions
to function
effectively or students
to
take best advantage
of
changes
in
workforce
demand.
In
fact, there
is
asignificant danger
tbat
new
and
needed programs will
be
indefinitely delayed.The
proposed
Program
_
Approval
rules
appear
to
require
that
schools
obtain local
businesses•
supportto demonstrate
the
demand
for
any
new program.
75
Fed.
Reg.
43.624; Proposed
Section668
.
7(gXii)
&
(iii).
The
requirement
that
an institution must prove
that
there are
projected
jobvacaooics or1hat employers are predicting that
they
will
experience certain levels
of
demandfor
those oocupations at their
bwinesses
is unrealistic.
Few,
if
any, employers
will
be
willing or
able
to
predict
future
demand-
especially
in
these
economic
times.
In
addition, such a requirement
does
not
fall
within any reasonable understanding ofthe statutory requirement
that
progrem.s
prepare
students
for
gainful employment. Moreover,
the
proposed roles
do
not adequately explain
how
theprocess
of
employer affinnation
will
be
conducted or how
the
ED
will verify or review
that
affirmation.
 
The
Honorable Cass
R.
SunsteinOctober2l, 2010Page3
The
proposed
Program Approval rule's
employer
attestation requirement also does not
discuss
how
this
requirement
would
be applied
to
on-lineorothernationalschools. Because
this
requirement
lacks
any
defined
objectivemetric
that
the
ED
mustuse todetennine whether
cr
not
a program isacceptable,
it
leaves the
ED
with
vague
and
arbitraryultimatepower to
a_pprove
ordeny a
program
.Finally,the proposed Program
Approval
rules effectively make
the
ED
-
not
the
demands
of
he
economy or students-the arbiter of postsecondary cfferings. Such a
~ystem
will be costly
end
inefficient;
it
also
is not designed
to
result
in
programs that will best servestudents
and
our
nationa1
economicinterestB.
Proprietary schools serve millions ofstudents
and
are
at
the
forefront
of
innovation,particularlyinnovaticn
in
thedelivery
of
education.
We
are
pioneers
of
online education
and
blended
academic
programs,
of
the
use
of
dataanalysis
to
supportstudent retention,
and
of
newmethods for measuringstudent learning.See,
fur
CX8lllple,
Clayton M.Christensen, Scott
D.
Anthony,
Erik
A.
Roth,
Seeing
Wlwt's
Next,
Harvard Business
School
Press, at Chapter Five(2004).The proposed
Program
Approval rules
will
significantly
impede
our schools'ability
to
ccntinue providing students
with
current,
innovative
and
needed programs
and
will
have
significant negative
consequences
formillions
of
students.I respectfully urge
the
OMB
to
direct ED to withdraw its
Program
Approval
proposal
Finally, I note
that,
while
the
ED's
full
package
of
proposed
rules
had
previously been
labeled
"economically
significant"'
Reg1
appears
to
now
have
been reclassified
as
noteconomicallysignificant.
As
stated inavoriety
of
Kaplan's priorsubmissionsand lettersto
ED
and
OMB,
ED'sproposed regulations,
whether
in
Reg
1 or Reg2
wilf
affect over 2.7
million
students
at
proprietary
schools.According
to
IPEDS
1
data,theaverage
tuition
for
a proprietarysectorprogram is
$10,
000-
$14,000.
If
onesimplymultiplies
the
number
of
studentsaffected
by
the average tuition,
it
becomes
abundantly
clearthatthe
ED's
proposals' annual effect on postsecondary institutions
in
allsectors
and
the U.S. economy could easily
nm
in
the billions
of
dollars.
It
is difficult
to
&!hom
how
Reg
1
could
have been re-labeled as not"economicallysignificant regulatory action". Under ExecutiveOrder 12866, Section 3(!)(1),aregulation
is
con~idered
significant. and requiresahigher level
of
economic scrutiny,
if
t
is
likely to result
in
aregulation that
may:
Have
an
annual effect
on
the economy of$100million or
more
or adversely affict
in
amaterial
way
the
economy
,
a
sector
of
he
economy,
productivity,
competilfon,
jobs,
t~
environmenl,
publtchealth
or
safety,
or
State,
loca~
or tribal governments or
communities.
Clearly, Reg 1 will have an annual effect
well
in excessof$100 million. Kaplan respectfullyrequests that the
OMB
re-classify the ED,s draft regulations and
subjcx,1
them
to
therequiredlevel
of
scrutiny.
1
IntegratedPosts"oudaryEducation Data
Sy
stem (IPEDS)is
the
cora
p~econdary
education
data
coJlectionprogram
for
tho
NationalCenter
for
EducationStatistics
(NCES).

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