Re: ED Docket No. ED–2020–OGC–0150, RIN 1801–AA22, Rulemaking and Guidance Procedures

Dear Secretary DeVos:

The National Women’s Law Center and 81 undersigned civil rights organizations, survivor advocates, student advocacy organizations and other organizations are writing to express our strong opposition to the Department of Education’s (“the Department”) Interim Final Rule on Rulemaking and Guidance Procedures as published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2020 (“Interim Final Rule”).1 Although the Department claims that this Interim Final Rule will “increase transparency” and “strengthen the overall quality and fairness of the Department’s processes for issuing regulatory and guidance documents,”2 it in fact does the very opposite and creates burdensome procedural requirements that will only serve to delay critical agency action. This delay will be particularly harmful in the current moment, as students and schools continue to struggle with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and remain in need of timely and responsive guidance from the Department, including guidance on how schools must protect students’ rights during this challenging time. The Interim Final Rule also undermines transparency regarding the Department’s interpretations of the laws it enforces, creates unnecessary confusion for students and schools, and fails to allow meaningful public input with regard to the Interim Final Rule itself through the notice and comment period. We call for the immediate withdrawal of the Interim Final Rule in its entirety. Read more…

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