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19 AGs sue DeVos for delaying for-profit college rules

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at the Council

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at the Council of the Great City Schools Annual Legislative/Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 13, 2017. Credit: AP

New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman, along with Democratic attorneys general in 18 states and the District of Columbia, are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Washington and demands implementation of borrower defense to repayment rules.

The rules aim to make schools financially responsible for fraud and forbid them from forcing students to resolve complaints outside court.

They were created under President Barack Obama’s administration and were to take effect July 1.

“These rules served as critical protections against predatory for-profit schools that exploit hardworking students – students who are simply trying to invest in their own education and future,” said Schneiderman in a news release.

“Yet the Trump Administration continues to work against New York’s students—instead allying themselves with unscrupulous actors in the higher education industry. When Washington abdicates its responsibility to protect New Yorkers, we won’t hesitate to step in,” said Schneiderman.

The coalition includes Attorney Generals from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Colombia.

On June 14, DeVos announced the rules would be delayed and rewritten, saying they created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading the lawsuit and says DeVos’ decision is “a betrayal of her office’s responsibility and a violation of federal law.”

With Newsday Staff

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