Dept. of Veterans Affairs Seeks Exemption from State Authorization Rule

Last week, the U.S. Education Department concluded its third rulemaking session on new program integrity and improvement regulations. During a public comment period at the meeting, officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) raised concerns about the proposed state authorization rule – which would require programs to seek approval from every state where they enroll students in distance education – The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

Debbie L. Hettler, a clinical director in the VA's office of academic affiliations, asked Education Department officials to exempt federal facilities from the rule. Reading from a letter signed by the VA's acting chief officer for academic affiliations, Hettler warned that "the costs of multiple state registrations for academic institutions will prohibit programs from participating in training at VA facilities and other national federal agencies." She said her office was already aware of two academic programs that have barred their students from participating in out-of-state VA training programs as a result of the draft rule.

An Education Department official said the VA's request had come as a surprise. The official said the department would work with the VA to resolve its concerns.


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The Chronicle of Higher Education