State authorization rules that were supposed to be delayed for two years may have accidentally gone into effect due to an apparent error by the U.S. Department of Education.
On Friday, a notice became available in the Federal Register saying that the rules (which were due to go into effect on July 1, 2018) would be delayed until July 2020.
However, the notice was not officially published until today, suggesting that the rule may have gone into effect July 1.
Clare McCann, deputy director for federal higher education policy at New America, tweeted that the department likely missed a deadline to publish the delay notice on time.
If indeed the state authorization rules did go into effect, McCann said in an email that it was “probably a safe bet” that the department would not take any steps to enforce it. She added, however, that the situation might be "confusing" for institutions.
Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, tweeted that the department may have a difficult time rescinding the rule if indeed it has already gone into effect.
The department did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.
-- Andrew Kreighbaum contributed to reporting.