National education and labor news

Seventeen states sue Betsy DeVos

Attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in October against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her department’s decision to block Obama-era protections for students attending for-profit colleges.

The suit argues that the Department of Education violated federal law by halting the gainful employment rule without sufficient justification or public input. The gainful employment rule cuts off federal financial aid to career college programs that burden students with heavy debt and low salaries.

The attorneys general charge that the new policy “leaves students vulnerable to exploitation and fraud” from predatory for-profit colleges.

“What the Department of Education is doing is illegal,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. “But more importantly, what they’re doing is favoring these predatory for-profit institutions over students — and students who are overall extremely vulnerable.”

The lawsuit accuses DeVos of breaking the law by refusing to enforce the rule, which has been repeatedly upheld by courts despite numerous legal challenges from the for-profit college industry.

BuzzFeed, Oct. 17
Time, Oct. 18

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