CREDO Action

Stop Betsy DeVos from sabotaging investigations

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Petition to Congress:

"Pass the Protecting Student Aid Act of 2019."

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    Stop Betsy DeVos from sabotaging investigations

    In 2015, Corinthian Colleges collapsed and left deceived students stuck with debt but no degrees. In the wake of the scandal, the Obama administration created a new team within the Department of Education – the Student Aid Enforcement Unit – to police the billions in grants and loans administered each year. By the time Obama left office, the unit had a dozen attorneys and investigators working around the clock.1,2

    Then Betsy DeVos happened.

    DeVos spent the last three years sabotaging the investigations unit to make sure scam artists and predatory for-profit schools get a free pass.3 Now, progressives in the House of Representatives have a plan to undo DeVos's damage and protect students, and they need our help.

    Stand with House progressives: Stop Betsy DeVos from sabotaging investigations.

    One of the main targets of the investigative team was DeVry Education Group. In 2016, DeVry settled with the Department of Education and the Federal Trade Commission and agreed to pay $100 million in damages to the students it defrauded and deceived. When DeVos arrived on the scene, the investigations office was looking into a number of for-profit giants, including DeVry, for deceptive practices, claims about graduates getting jobs and misleading advertising.4

    DeVos quickly sabotaged the investigations by reassigning and marginalizing staff, and instructing them to narrow their focus. Today, only three investigators remain, processing applications and engaging in small compliance inquiries. Worst of all, DeVos actually hired the former DeVry dean Julian Schmoke, to oversee the new, toothless investigation team.5

    House progressives are fighting back. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Donna Shalala teamed up on the Protecting Student Aid Act of 2019, which would make the Student Aid Enforcement Unit official and give it the congressional mandate – along with staff and funding – it needs to do this necessary work.6

    Students are nothing but dollar signs to Betsy DeVos and her for-profit college pals. We need tough action to confront her seemingly corrupt appeasement of the most predatory industries within higher education – and that means pointing out that progressives are leading the way.

    Stand with House progressives: Stop Betsy DeVos from sabotaging investigations.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, "Murray, Senators Denounce Move By Secretary DeVos to End Investigations and Office Responsible for Protecting Students from Predatory Colleges," May 24, 2018.
    2. Danielle Ivory, Erica L. Green and Steve Eder, "Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits," The New York Times, May 13, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, "Reps. Pressley, Shalala, and Tlaib introduce the Protecting Student Aid Act of 2019," Sep. 20, 2019.