Improving Regulation and Regulatory Reform

The Department of Education's regulatory efforts are guided in part by two recent Executive orders.

Executive Order 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs," is part of the Administration's effort to manage the costs of compliance with Federal regulations. Under this Executive order, for each new significant regulatory action a Federal agency takes, that agency must eliminate two existing regulations. Further, for each fiscal year, the incremental costs associated with EO 13771 regulatory actions must be fully offset by the savings of Executive Order 13771 deregulatory actions.

Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda," established a Federal policy "to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens" on the American people, and directs Federal agencies to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force's duties include evaluating existing regulations and "mak[ing] recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification." The order further directs each Task Force to "attempt to identify regulations that: (i) eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation; (ii) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective; (iii) impose costs that exceed benefits; (iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies; (v) are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note)...; or (vi) derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified."

Section 3(e) of Executive Order 13777 calls on the Task Force to "seek input and other assistance, as permitted by law, from entities significantly affected by Federal regulations, including State, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, consumers, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations" on regulations that meet some or all of the criteria above. As part of our effort to solicit this feedback, we published a notice in the Federal Register. The comments we received in response to that notice are available at

The Task Force also has released three progress reports on its efforts:

In November 2017, Robert Eitel, Senior Counselor to the Secretary and the Department's Regulatory Reform Officer, testified before two subcommittees of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, regarding the Department's regulatory reform efforts. His testimony is available here.

In March 2018, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report [PDF, 844KB] on agency guidance practices, which was based on information submitted by agencies at the Committee's request. The report praised the Department's response as one of the "bright spots" in its findings and indicative of the use of effective information management policies and adherence to those policies.

In January 2019, the Department published a report [PDF, 177KB] on its progress in meeting the recommendations found in the 2015 report of the Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education.

Additionally, interim final regulations to codify procedures for issuance of rulemaking and guidance documents can be found at

Comment on Rules

Open rules and requests for comment on

As part of our regulatory reform efforts, we are interested in receiving comments on open regulations and requests for comment on Specifically, we are interested in your thoughts about how to improve the Department's proposals to be more effective, efficient, and easily understandable to help us achieve better outcomes for students while minimizing burden and streamlining requirements, where possible.

Existing rules

As part of our regulatory reform efforts, we are interested in receiving comments on existing regulations that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, as well as regulations that could be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to be more effective and efficient, achieve better outcomes for students, and be easier to understand.

Unified Agenda

The Department's Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions reports on the regulatory actions the Department plans to issue in the next year. The Agenda is available at: You may view the Department's current agenda by selecting "Department of Education" from the drop-down box under "Current Agenda Agency Regulatory Entries for Active Actions.".

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Information about the Department's previous Retrospective Review

Questions and Comments

If you have questions about the the Department's regulatory reform efforts in general, please send them to: or

U.S. Department of Education
Office of the General Counsel
Attn: Regulatory Review
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202

Last Modified: 10/05/2020