News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

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Department Seeks Comment on HEA Rules

The Department of Education is seeking public comments on its proposed regulations for implementing the 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act.

Proposals to ease teachers' student-loan obligations and revise requirements for colleges that participate in the federal government's loan program have been among the most significant items on the table the past few weeks, as college and Education Department officials negotiated over the final regulatory wording.

The proposed regulations would enable the federal government to forgive up to $5,000 in loans for teachers who spend five consecutive years working in needy schools.

Among other provisions, the department is seeking comment on when the government must approve changes in campus locations or governance for colleges to remain eligible for federal student-loan programs.

Education Department officials argue that they would need to approve such changes at private colleges, but not at public institutions.

"It is controversial and speaks to the issue of how public and private schools compete for students," Jon Fuller, a senior fellow at the National Association of Independent Colleges, a group representing more than 900 schools, said of the department's proposal on that issue.

The proposed regulations appeared in the Aug. 10 Federal Register, which can be read online at dbname=2000_register&docid=00-20207-filed.pdf. (Requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.) Comments are being accepted through Sept. 25.

—John Gehring

Riley Appoints New Director of Communications

Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley has appointed Alexander Wohl to be the Department of Education's new communications director.

Mr. Wohl previously served as Mr. Riley's speechwriter and deputy chief of staff. He has been the department's acting communications director since March, when David Frank left to join a public relations firm.

A former newspaper reporter, Mr. Wohl received a law degree from American University in Washington in 1990. He also teaches law as an adjunct professor at American University.

—Joetta L. Sack

Vol. 20, Issue 1, Page 47

Published in Print: September 6, 2000, as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
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