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Why 18 States Are Suing Betsy DeVos

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: The New York Times

The Democratic attorney generals of 18 U.S. states, as well as the attorney general that represents Washington D.C., have all filed federal lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Education and its leader, Secretary Betsy DeVos.

According to the New York Times, collective legal action was taken Thursday (July 6th) against Secretary DeVos and her agency over the way she attempted to put a freeze on some Obama-era rules, which were implemented to protect student loan borrowers that may have been financially taken advantage of by the colleges they attended.

These federal rules were set in stone during the month of October in 2016. They took aim at private universities and career colleges that are not state-sanctioned higher education institutions. DeVos, 59, is a multi-billionaire who earned her fortune by investing in and lobbying for the for-profit higher education industry.

The New York times also reported that a federal lawsuit was filed against the U.S. government in May 2017 by a national organization that protects for-profit higher education institutions. In a bid to help her allies inside this organization, DeVos blocked the government’s use of the borrower protection rules in June 2017.

The new rules were supposed to be finalized on July 1st but DeVos has forced a delay in the implementation of these regulations. She claimed that they were unnecessary in an official statement, according to the New York Times. “[These Obama-era rules legalize a] muddled process that is unfair to students and schools,” she said.

There was a lot of fear when DeVos was in the commission of getting confirmed as the U.S. federal education secretary by the Trump Administration. Her biggest opponents have consistently cited her strong ties to businesspeople who are making a fortune in the for-profit college industry, which has gotten a bad rap for being predatory.

Critics of DeVos have also cited her opposition to the public education sector. A spokeswoman for DeVos and the U.S Department of Education did not respond to attempts by the New York Times to contact the agency. Officials typically do not speak on issues concerning the pending or ongoing litigation of legal matters.

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