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Education Department officials have recommended new life for an accrediting agency whose federal authority to operate was withdrawn by the Obama administration.

In a letter obtained by Inside Higher Ed, the department's senior official for accreditation, Diane Auer Jones, principal deputy under secretary of education, said that her review had found the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to be in compliance with 19 of the 21 relevant criteria, and recommended that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos give the agency a year to come into compliance on the remaining two.

Jones also said that she believe the agency, at the time then-Education Secretary John King withdrew its recognition in December 2016, had "likely" been in compliance at that time. 

DeVos said in April that she would restore ACICS's recognition pending a new review, acting after a federal judge the month before that King had failed to consider key evidence before terminating the agency's recognition.