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Acting Secretary of Education Testifies Before Senate Appropriation Committee

Today, Acting Secretary of Education John King testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss the President’s FY 2017 Budget request. One of the topics that the Acting Secretary addressed was Accreditation. Mr. King stated that Accreditors have not done enough to be transparent. In response to this lack of transparency, Mr. King said he will attempt to use the Department’s existing authority to improve Accreditor accountability, but he said that he believes there should be legislation to draw a more direct line between the Department of Education and Accreditors to increase accountability.

Additionally, Mr. King also faced criticism about so called “Dear Colleague” letters and their precedent setting nature. While “Dear Colleague” letters are non-binding and intended to provide guidance on particular technical matters, many institutions believe they are binding precedent. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) engaged Mr. King citing that while he says these letters are non-binding, they are effectively treated as law or regulation. Senator Lankford cited an instances where institutions are cited in violation of Department regulations, but in reality they are only disagreeing with the “Dear Colleague” letter guidance. The Senator suggested that if this is the case, regulations must be created via the rulemaking process. The Acting Secretary said that he would be happy to follow up with the Senator on this matter.
To view this hearing, please click here.

Upcoming Hearings

House Appropriations Committee, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

Tuesday March 14, 2016 10:00 AM
Budget Hearing – Department of Labor
The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, Department of Labor
2358-C Rayburn

Senate Commerce Committee

Wednesday March 15, 2016 2:30 p.m.
Hands Off: The Future of Self-Driving Cars


  • Dr. Chris Urmson, Director of Self-Driving Cars, Google X
  • Mr. Mike Ableson, Vice President for Program Management, General Motors
  • Mr. Glen DeVos, Vice President, Global Engineering and Services, Electronics and Safety, Delphi Automotive
  • Mr. Joseph Okpaku, Vice President of Government Relations, Lyft
  • Dr. Mary (Missy) Louise Cummings, Director, Humans and Autonomy Lab and Duke Robotics, Duke University

House Education & Workforce Committee Hearing

Thursday March 16, 2016 10:00 AM
"Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor"
The Honorable Thomas Perez, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
2175 Rayburn House Office Building.