18 states sue DeVos over for-profit college regulation delay

18 States Are Suing Betsy DeVos Over For-Profit College Rules

Almost 20 attorneys general across the nation filed suit Thursday against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her decision to delay the implementation of regulations meant to protect students who were cheated by predatory colleges.

California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington joined MA in the lawsuit against DeVos, which argues the Education Department is violating the Administrative Procedure Act in its halting of the borrower defense rule.

In Oct. 2016, the Dept. of Education finalized an overhaul of its "Borrower Defense" rule, with the goal of making it easier for students to have their federal loans discharged if they attended a school that had used illegal or deceptive tactics to persuade them to borrow funds to finance their education. While DeVos" plans won't erase the regulations, originally passed in the "90s, they halted stricter versions due to come into effect on July 1.

"Since Day One of the Trump administration, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the administration have sided with for-profit schools over students", Healey told reporters. In response, she was accused of being on the side of "predatory" for-profit educational institutions, rather than the students who were "ripped off" with the "worthless" degree programs. "We call on Secretary DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to restore these rules immediately".

The case was filed in the Federal District Court of D.C.




In May, DeVos signaled her intent to target the borrower defense rule and subsequently said that its implementation would be delayed.

The lawsuit says DeVos and the Education Department failed to take legally required steps to delay already established rules. Subsequently, the Attorney General's Office worked with the Department of Education as the primary negotiator representing the interests of state attorneys general to enact new regulations and improve the loan forgiveness process for students defrauded by their schools. Madigan and other attorneys general argued in their lawsuit filed today that "the Department's reference to the pending litigation is a mere pretext for repealing the Rule and replacing it with a new rule that will remove or dilute student rights and protections".

Today's complaint asks the Court to declare the Department's delay notice unlawful and to order the Department to implement the Borrower Defense Rule.

But the attorneys general-all of whom are Democrats-said in their suit that DeVos is trying to avoid public hearings while betraying college students who have been duped by for-profit colleges. The regulation would have cut off federal funding to career programs that consistently left students with more debt than they could afford.

She specifically cited the pending litigation against the borrower defense regulations as a reason for delaying those rules. That lawsuit only sought a preliminary injunction on the arbitration-related aspect of the rule, but DeVos has delayed all of the revised provisions from going into effect.

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