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ED Reveals Final Regulation on Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs

The United States Department of Education (ED) has announced final regulations tied to competitive grant programs and open licensing. When educational institutions apply for grants, they are required to share certain findings and resources publicly, with some exceptions, so other educators, students and institutions may benefit.

The final regulations, which can be found on this ED site, include the following:

  1. The open licenses will give the public permission to use and reuse deliverables created in whole or in part with department competitive grant funds provided by the department.
  2. The requirement applies both to grant deliverables (e.g. teacher professional development training modules) and any final version of program support materials necessary to the use or reuse of the deliverables.
  3. Grantees or subgrantees will provide a dissemination plan and may select the open license appropriate to their grant deliverables.
  4. Based on feedback from public comments and input from other federal agencies, the department has added certain categorical exceptions, such as for the Ready to Learn Television grant program.
  5. The department will fully implement this rule for all applicable competitive grant programs in fiscal year 2018.

The rules support the ED’s commitment in the Third U.S. Open Government National Action Plan to expand access to educational resources through open licensing. The ED is following suit with other federal agencies, including the Departments of Labor, State and the National Science Foundation, which currently administer programs with open licensing requirements.

To date, more than $135 million worth of innovations in higher education has been made available to the public through open licenses, according to the ED. For example, one grantee, College for America at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), created a learning platform and skill-building modules to provide academic assistance for underprepared adults re-entering higher education that any other interested institution will be able to freely use.

To learn more about the final regulations, visit Homeroom, the official blog of the Department of Education. Or peruse the text of the regulation on this site.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].

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