Urgent: We NEED Your Support

Make Your Travel Plans Now!

FACTS successfully attained a “spot” on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Florida Board or Cosmetology (FB of C) to urge FB of C to take whatever action necessary to increase the Full Specialist minimum number of program hours to 600. FACTS needs a huge presence at this meeting on April 16th. Show your support. Let the FB of C hear your voice on this critical issue.

Remember, as of July 1st you can no longer use the 150% rule to teach Full Specialist at 600 hours and be eligible for Pell Grants and loans.

Drive east. Or north. Or south. Or southeast.

FACTS needs you, your educators, your students and your industry allies to attend and be vocal at this meeting.

Here’s an update on increasing the minimum number of hours for Massage Therapy to 650. According to an update FACTS just received from the attorney for the Florida Board of Massage Therapy (“FBMT”), the rule language was drafted and submitted to the Gov’s Office for Financial Integrity and Regulatory Reform (OFARR) on April 2nd.   If OFARR has no concerns, the FBMT should be able to file the rule language tomorrow. Once the language is filed, it’s out of FBMT’s control. The new Rule can become effective within as little as 50 days (if all goes perfectly) or it can take up to a year or more if a challenge(s) is/are filed and litigation ensues.

The July 1st deadline is looming. If the process is not completed by July 1st, the 150% Rule is “out the window” and your massage therapy program at 500 hours will no longer be eligible for Pell Grants and federal loans.

FACTS Director Michael Halmon attended a fundraiser in Miami last week for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY

You may have heard that Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) introduced House Bill 7810 in advocacy of the 150% Rule. There is a “Call to Action” on the AACS website, where you can fill in a form and notify your congress person that you support the Bill. FACTS Director Michael Halmon attended a fundraiser in Miami last week for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Michael took that opportunity to discuss with the Congressman the impact that the loss of the 150% Rule is having on Florida vocational schools and the need to advocate for the Smucker HB 7810.

Yet another challenge to Gainful Employment has been filed in the US District Court in NW Texas. Ogle School Management and Tricoci University of Beauty have filed suit against the U.S. Department of Education in an attempt to quash the 2023 Gainful Employment Rule. Now two lawsuits are pending in that same Court on the same issue – that were filed by AACS and this most recent one.

Moving on to the Borrowers’ Defense to Repayment litigation (“CCST V USDOE”).

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the lower court decision to reject a nationwide injunction to preclude the USDOE from processing BDR claims while the litigation is pending. The district court said CCST had not shown it would suffer irreparable harm—a key standard to receiving an injunction.

The Fifth Circuit appellate panel disagreed. The regulations, they said, would cause “immediate and irreparable injuries” as a result of increased compliance costs, changes to operating procedures and “immediate threats of costly and unlawful adjudications of liability.”

The appellate judges also called some provisions “certainly unlawful” and criticized the 2023 BDR Rule’s “vague, brand-new standards” for colleges’ conduct that could lead to approved borrower defense claims.

The appellate court said that “the unbridled scope of these prohibitions enables the department [USDOE] to hold schools liable for conduct that it defines only with future ‘guidance’ documents or in the course of adjudication”. The judges wrote: “Simply put, the statute does not permit the department [USDOE] to terrify first and clarify later”.

What does that mean for your school? While BDR claims may still be received and require response, those claims will not and cannot be adjudicated, because of this injunction, until the CCTS BDR litigation is resolved.