FR Doc E9-12092[Federal Register: May 26, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 99)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 24728-24729]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26my09-14]                        
   

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter VI

 
Negotiated Rulemaking Committees; Establishment

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Establishment of negotiated rulemaking committees; and notice 
of public hearings.

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SUMMARY: We announce our intention to establish one or more negotiated 
rulemaking committees to prepare proposed regulations under Title IV of 
the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The committees will 
include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that 
are significantly affected by the subject matter of the proposed 
regulations. We also announce three public hearings, at which 
interested parties may suggest additional issues that should be 
considered for action by the negotiating committees. In addition, for 
anyone unable to attend a public hearing, we announce that the 
Department will accept written comments.
    The Department will also be conducting forums after each of the 
three hearings to discuss (1) how changes in the Department's financial 
aid communications and processes (including the Free Application for 
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)) could improve college planning, 
preparation and access, and (2) how best to leverage Federal 
postsecondary programs to foster student educational persistence and 
degree attainment.

DATES: The dates, times, and locations of the public hearings are 
listed under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. We 
must receive written comments suggesting issues that should be 
considered for action by the negotiating committees on or before June 
23, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Please send written comments to Wendy Macias, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 8017, Washington, DC 
20006, or by fax to Wendy Macias at (202) 502-7874. You may also e-mail 
your comments to negreg09@ed.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the public 
hearings and forums, go to 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/negreg-summerfall.html 
or contact: Mary Miller, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 8066, Washington, DC 
20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7824. You may also e-mail your questions 
about the public hearings to: Mary.Miller@ed.gov.
    For information about negotiated rulemaking in general, see The 
Negotiated Rulemaking Process for Title IV Regulations, Frequently 
Asked Questions at 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html. 
For further information about negotiated 
rulemaking contact: Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K 
Street, NW., Room 8017, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone (202) 502-7526. 
You may also e-mail your questions about negotiated rulemaking to: 
Wendy.Macias@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an 
accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) by contacting the person responsible for information about 
the public hearings.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 492 of the HEA requires that, before 
publishing any proposed regulations to implement programs authorized 
under Title IV of the HEA, the Secretary obtain public involvement in 
the development of the proposed regulations. After obtaining advice and 
recommendations from the public, the Secretary uses a negotiated 
rulemaking process to develop the proposed regulations.
    We announce our intent to develop proposed regulations by following 
the negotiated rulemaking procedures in section 492 of the HEA. We 
intend to select participants for the negotiated rulemaking committees 
from nominees of the organizations and groups that represent the 
interests significantly affected by the proposed regulations. To the 
extent possible, we will select, from the nominees, individual 
negotiators who reflect the diversity among program participants, in 
accordance with section 492(b)(1) of the HEA.

Regulatory Issues

    We intend to convene one committee to develop proposed regulations 
governing foreign schools, including the implementation of the changes 
made to the HEA by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Public 
Law 110-315, that affect foreign schools.
    We intend to convene at least one other committee to develop 
proposed regulations to maintain or improve program integrity in the 
Title IV, HEA programs, relating to topics such as the following:
     Satisfactory academic progress.
     Incentive compensation paid by institutions to persons or 
entities engaged in student recruiting or admission activities.
     Gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
     State authorization as a component of institutional 
eligibility.
     Definition of a credit hour, for purposes of determining 
program eligibility status, particularly in the context of awarding 
Pell Grants.
     Verification of information included on student aid 
applications.
     Definition of a high school diploma as a condition of 
receiving Federal student aid.
    After a complete review of the public comments presented at the 
public hearings and from the written submissions, we will publish a 
subsequent notice (or notices) announcing the specific subject areas 
for which we intend to establish negotiated rulemaking committees, and 
a request for nominations for individual negotiators for those 
committees who represent the interests significantly affected by the 
proposed regulations.

Public Hearings

    We will hold three public hearings for interested parties to 
discuss the agenda

[[Page 24729]]

for the negotiated rulemaking sessions. The public hearings will be 
held on:
     June 15-16, 2009 at the Community College of Denver.
     June 18-19, 2009 at the University of Arkansas at Little 
Rock.
     June 22-23, 2009 at the Community College of Philadelphia.
    The public hearings will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., local time. 
Further information on the public hearing sites, including addresses 
and directions, is available at 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/negreg-summerfall.html.
    On the day following each public hearing, the Department will also 
be conducting two forums at the same location as the public hearing, 
from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., local time. These forums will be conducted 
concurrently. One forum will focus on approaches to the Department's 
financial aid communications and processes (including the FAFSA) that 
could improve college planning, preparation and access. The other forum 
will focus on ways that Federal postsecondary programs could play a 
stronger role in fostering student educational persistence and degree 
attainment. While the Department will be inviting representatives of 
students, families, college access professionals, and college success 
practitioners to participate in these forums, the forums will be open 
to the public with opportunities for public comment provided.
    Individuals desiring to present comments at the public hearings are 
encouraged to do so. It is likely that each participant choosing to 
make a statement will be limited to five minutes. Individuals 
interested in making oral statements will be able to register to make a 
statement beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the public hearing at 
the Department's on-site registration table on a first-come, first-
served basis. If additional time slots remain, individuals may be given 
additional time to speak. If no time slots remain, the Department has 
reserved one additional hour at the end of the day for individuals who 
were not able to register to speak. The amount of time available will 
depend upon the number of individuals who register to speak. Speakers 
may also submit written comments. In addition, for anyone unable to 
attend a public hearing, the Department will accept written comments 
through June 23, 2009. (See the ADDRESSES section of this notice for 
submission information.)
    The public hearing sites are accessible to individuals with 
disabilities. Individuals needing an auxiliary aid or service to 
participate in the hearing or a forum (e.g., interpreting service, 
assistive listening device, or materials in alternative format) should 
notify the contact person for information about hearings listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in this notice in advance of the 
scheduled hearing date. Although we will attempt to meet any request we 
receive, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary 
aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

Schedule for Negotiations

    We anticipate that these committees will begin negotiations in 
September 2009, with each committee meeting for three sessions of 
approximately three days at roughly monthly intervals. The committees 
will meet in the Washington, DC area. The dates and locations of these 
meetings will be published in a subsequent notice in the Federal 
Register, and will be posted on the Department's Web site at: 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/negreg-summerfall.html.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, in text or Adobe Portable Document 
Format (PDF), on the Internet at the following site: 
http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, 
which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, 
call the U.S. Government Printing Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498; 
or in the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.


    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1098a.
    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated 
authority to Daniel T. Madzelan, Director, Forecasting and Policy 
Analysis for the Office of Postsecondary Education, to perform the 
functions of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: May 20, 2009.
Daniel T. Madzelan,
Director, Forecasting and Policy Analysis.
[FR Doc. E9-12092 Filed 5-22-09; 8:45 am]

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