February 22, 2017

Balderas, other AGs ask DeVos to keep protections for students at for-profit colleges

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas signed onto a letter with ten other attorneys general asking Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to not change change protections for college students from for-profit colleges.

The letter lists a number of for-profit colleges that were investigated and sued by attorneys general, many of which have since gone out of business.

“I am urging Secretary DeVos and the Congress to protect New Mexico students from the great harm that is inflicted when these corporations put profits over people,” Balderas said in a statement announcing the letter. “I will continue to fight at the state level to protect New Mexicans from abusive practices that can ruin their finances and harm their families, but Secretary DeVos must act at the federal level to ensure federal protections for our students.”

The letter says that many of the for-profit colleges “engaged in a variety of deceptive and abusive practices.” The practices, the letter states, harmed both students and taxpayers.

The attorneys general seek “new regulations and reformulating policies to help protect students and taxpayers.”

The letter comes even as the New York Times wrote about how for-profit colleges will likely benefit from those in the Donald Trump administration. Already, stock for some large for-profit colleges have seen large increases.

You do not need an M.B.A. to figure out why. Top officials in Washington who spearheaded a relentless crackdown on the multibillion-dollar industry have been replaced by others who have profited from it.

The Education Department, the Times wrote, can “punish egregious violators by cutting off federal financial aid — the industry’s lifeblood — with the efficiency of a guillotine.”

DeVos has largely been silent on if she would wield this authority.

In addition to Balderas, the attorneys general from Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. and Washington state signed onto the letter