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Assertions that the U.S. Department of Education missed a deadline to delay state authorization rules are incorrect, a department spokeswoman said Thursday.

In a statement, the department said it “did not miss the July 1 deadline for this delay.”

A notice confirming the two-year delay in putting the new rule in place “was on public inspection Friday (6/29),” the department said. Though the document was “published on paper July 3, the effective date was still Friday (6/29).”

"It's good they finally provided an answer, it just might not be the right one," said Jared Bass, senior counsel for education and strategy at New America's education policy program. "Public inspection is not the same as publication, and it's publication in the Federal Register that makes a rule enforceable," he said. "From start to finish, this deregulatory effort has been riddled with irregularities and missteps, now even after the rule's delay."

Russell Poulin, director of policy and analysis for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, said that he would “leave it to others to determine the intricacies of the Administrative Procedures Act and related laws.”

“If the department’s leadership wishes to delay this regulation, they will find a way to do so,” said Poulin. “Meanwhile it is important for institutional personnel to understand that there are a host of related federal and state regulations that are in no way affected by this delay. They need to stay in compliance and, if they are at a SARA institution, they need to uphold the tenets of that agreement.”