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A federal district court judge issued an order Wednesday partially blocking enforcement of the gainful-employment rule for cosmetology schools that sued in February to halt the regulation.

The Department of Education defended gainful employment in court in March but earlier this month announced it would pursue a rewrite of the regulation along with the borrower-defense rule.

The judge ordered that the cosmetology schools be given more flexibility in filing appeals of earnings data and that the department must give those schools more time to file appeals. The order applies only to American Association of Cosmetology Schools programs and was written to avoid "upending the entire GE regulatory scheme."