Goodbye Betsy DeVos, who treated struggling students like crooks
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned today following MAGA’s terrorist attack on Capitol Hill, writing in a letter to President Trump, “There is no doubt about the impact of your rhetoric on the situation, and this is the inflection point for me.”
I’m glad she broke up with Trump over his despicable behavior this week, but DeVos’ entire tenure has been the inflection point for me. She leaves a terrible legacy of destructive policies around K-12 education, civil rights and sexual assault on campus. But this website has been particularly troubled by DeVos’ ugly and corrupt policies towards the for-profit college sector.
DeVos – appointed secretary by the former head of the fraudulent Trump University, rushed to a confirmation hearing by Senate Republicans and confirmed with a decisive vote from Vice President Mike Pence when even two Republicans voted against she – openly abandoned federal protections for students and taxpayers to quickly implement the for-profit predatory schools program. DeVos, herself an investor in for-profit education companies, has entrusted her policy to Diane auer jones and other unconfirmable helpers who had previously worked as senior executives for badly conducted colleges.
In addition to trashing all the rules and accountability mechanisms created in the education department following a wave of scandals and investigations into the for-profit university sector, Betsy DeVos added insult to injury by slyly suggesting that it was the students, not the schools, who were the crooks. In September 2017, Speaking At the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan, DeVos said that under rules passed by the Obama administration, “all one had to do was raise your hand to qualify for the money yourself.” – saying free ”.
DeVos was referring to the Obama Education Department’s borrower defense rule, which implemented a long-standing federal law giving defrauded students the right to have their federal loans canceled.
DeVos had put this Obama rule on hold, along with other reforms implemented after the revelations of shocking abuse by for-profit colleges – using deceptive and coercive recruiting tactics, overcharging, under-spending on education, lying to government watchdogs and swindling billions of dollars from taxpayers. Many for-profit colleges have faced federal and state law enforcement surveys for fraud and other abuses.
Yet DeVos, urged on by paid for-profit college lobbyist and leading Trump supporter Newt Gingrich, become the industry’s full-time advocate. DeVos’ Mackinac insult was bogus and utterly contemptuous of the hard-working students – veterans, single mothers and the like – who typically attend for-profit colleges. The borrower’s defense rule required much more than a student raising their hand; the Ministry had to conclude that a college had committed serious misconduct before a student had their loans canceled. Students who attended honest and quality schools would not be eligible. Plus, no student would get real money under the rule, just forgiveness of debt incurred through predatory practices.
Finally, even such a loan cancellation would not be “free”: the former student would not get their expensive private loans, which many for-profit students are forced to take out to pay for the astronomical, waived tuition fees; in most cases, they would not obtain renewal of eligibility for grants or scholarships already used; and they would have already spent countless hours studying, commuting, and taking classes, often without a useful diploma to show for all of their precious time.
But maybe none of this happened to billionaire protege Betsy DeVos, talk to wealthy republicans at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan. These defrauded students never looked for free money, but a chance to start over with nothing after being scammed by cruel crooks.
Free money, on the contrary, would be something like running a fraudulent college that gets millions, if not billions, from taxpayers and students without providing a decent education. Or exploit a deceptive university. Or be born the daughter of Edgar Prince, who became a billionaire industrialist.
But that speech was just one example of DeVos’ open contempt for broke and ripped off student borrowers. It was later revealed that when DeVos was forced to sign thousands of student loan cancellation requests that had already been approved by the ministry under Obama, she went out of her way to note that she was signing. .with extreme displeasure. “
By rescinding Obama’s borrower defense rule and replacing it with a rule that made it nearly impossible for most defrauded borrowers to get relief, DeVos’ department again argued that students, rather than colleges, are the shady operators, that students will unfairly take advantage of a strong borrower defense rule to subdue “[f]alse claims ”based on“ unfounded allegations ”.
The law requires agency rules to be supported by evidence, not just accusations; in overturning Obama’s borrower rule, DeVos presented no evidence of student fraud. Borrowers and state attorneys general are now asking federal courts to overturn DeVos’ no-evidence rule.
At the end of 2019, DeVos continued his theme that student borrowers are crooks, writing, “We cannot tolerate fraud in higher education,” but adding, “Neither can we tolerate furiously giving taxpayer money to those who have submitted a bogus claim or which are not eligible for relief. “
And throughout his DeVos mandate make every effort to block pleas filed by the defrauded individual, the students broke as the department canceled their federal loans.
The scammed for-profit students, with debts in the tens of thousands, sometimes over $ 100,000, felt they were on the verge of relief and a new future at the end of the Obama administration. Betsy DeVos spent four years making fun of them, questioning their integrity and, most importantly, denying or unduly denying their requests for loan relief, now the borrowers buried in unfair debts. His departure, along with that of his corrupt maid Diane Jones, and the arrival of the Biden administration, gives these men and women hope for something better.