Following the lead of Trump University, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is trying to protect for-profit colleges that defraud students.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to be operating under the bizarre, inverse premise that for-profit colleges need government protection from students. To that end, she has quietly dismantled the agency’s ongoing investigation into the shady practices of some of those companies.
The New York Times reports that DeVos has “effectively killed investigations” into widespread fraud and abuse at the schools. She has also “marginalized, reassigned or instructed [members of the special probe team] to focus on other matters.”
Last year, DeVos announced she was delaying Obama-era protections for students defrauded by for-profit colleges,
That regulation, which was supposed to take effect July 2017, would have allowed tens of thousands of students to have their loans forgiven if the for-profit schools they attended had deceived them about their education and career prospects.
DeVos put a freeze on the rule, and sought to delay its implementation until 2019. Rather than allowing defrauded students to quickly recover lost funds, DeVos and her team are slow-walking the process in court.
Eighteen Democratic attorneys general sued DeVos over the delay.
“It’s another example of the Trump administration favoring these predatory for-profit schools at the expense of students, many of whom are vulnerable, and also at the expense of the federal government,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh told the Associated Press at the time.
But now it appears DeVos has simply dismantled the entire investigative process.
The anti-consumer action comes as little surprise, however, after DeVos chose a former associate dean at DeVry University as head of the DOE’s enforcement unit.
“This is a joke, right?” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted about that appointment in August 2017. He noted that DeVry remains at the center of the controversy regarding pro-profit schools defrauded students.
Meanwhile, who ran perhaps the most famous for-profit fraud school in America? Donald Trump, of course.
Once again, DeVos is scrambling to protect for-profits schools instead of defending at-risk consumers. Just like her boss.