Friday, 24 November, 2017

Betsy DeVos freezes Obama-era rules meant to protect student bor

Sen. Warren, other Democrats protest student loan changes A War on Teachers? Let's Hope So: New at Reason
Grace Luna | 15 June, 2017, 02:43

For far too long, predatory for-profit colleges have sold students on the promise of receiving an excellent education, only to burden them with crushing student loan debt and limited job prospects.

Four influential Democratic senators - Dick Durbin (IL), Patti Murray (WA), Sherrod Brown (OH), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) - have written to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to warn that her department can not, without engaging in an extensive process, delay or cancel an Obama administration rule providing debt relief for defrauded students.

The department says it will convene special committees to rewrite Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment regulations.

DeVos, a Republican and advocate of public-private partnerships in education, said she was delaying the effective date of the rule on accelerating the process, which was enacted at the end of a year ago under the administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

She added that almost 16,000 defense claims that are now being processed by the department will be fulfilled. These rules under the Higher Education Act of 1965-a law first passed at the height of the civil rights movement-provide critical protections for students seeking higher education and a better life for their families. "Promises made to students under the current rule will be promises kept", she stressed.

The motion to intervene in this case has been filed by the Attorneys General of California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Tuesday responded to criticism that the Trump administration might allow federally funded charter schools to discriminate against LGBT students.

"We commend the Department for moving forward to begin conversations that will really protect students from academic fraud", Steve Gunderson, CECU's president and CEO, said in a statement.

The Obama administration cracked down on for-profit chains such as The Corinthian Colleges and the ITT Technical Institute. The coalition calls for the DOE to waste no time in reviewing and approving student loan forgiveness applications related to this case. Separately, 2,000 MA students who attended Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit chain that went bankrupt in 2015, also were eligible for loan discharges.

"Relieving these hard-working Americans of their fraud-induced student debt will free them to participate more fully in their local economies, or even continue their educations with reputable schools", Becerra writes.

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