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Virginia joins 19 states in suing Department of Education, DeVos

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring joined a coalition of 19 state attorneys general on Thursday to sue the Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The coalition claims that the U.S. Department of Education violated federal law by abruptly rescinding the Borrower Defense Rule, which would have taken effect on July 1 and established protections for student borrowers and taxpayers.

The state attorneys general are asking the courts to declare the department’s delay of the Borrower Defense Rule unlawful and to force the department to implement the Borrower Defense Rule.

"The Borrower Defense Rule is a commonsense measure to keep predatory for-profit schools in check, and to provide relief when students take out loans under false pretenses," Herring said in a prepared statement. "It's a critical protection for thousands of students that cannot and should not be unilaterally dismissed by the Trump administration. More than one million Virginia student borrowers have a total of more than $30 billion in outstanding student loan balances and they should not be abandoned by the unlawful revocation of this important protection."

The Borrower Defense Rule was intended to hold abusive higher education institutions accountable for cheating students and taxpayers out of billions of dollars in federal loans and to provide relief for victimized student borrowers. Under the rule, in the case that a for-profit college is charged with misconduct, victimized student borrowers would be entitled to federal loan forgiveness, and the Department of Education would be able to seek repayment from the indicted college.

The Obama administration finalized the Borrower Defense Rule in November 2016 after nearly two years of negotiations. The bill was written in response to the collapse of Corinthian Colleges, a national for-profit higher education chain.

Secretary DeVos announced in May that the Department of Education was “reevaluating” the Borrower Defense Rule. On June 14, the Department announced intent to delay large portions of the Borrower Defense Rule and to replace the Rule with a different regulation. The Department of Education did not solicit or respond to any public commentary or criticism of the action, and there was no public deliberative process.

Also in June, Herring urged DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to follow through on commitments to cancel the federal loan debt for Virginia students victimized by Corinthian Colleges.

To explain the delayed enactment of the Borrower Defense Rule, the Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register that cited ongoing litigation in the case California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) v. Betsy DeVos, in which CAPPS is challenging the validity of the borrower defense repayment regulations.
State attorneys general argue in their lawsuit that "the department's reference to the pending litigation is a mere pretext for repealing the Rule and replacing it with a new rule that will remove or dilute student rights and protections."

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey leads the coalition, which, in addition to Virginia, includes the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Herring has also worked with the Department of Education to notify potentially eligible students about the debt forgiveness program. His Consumer Protection section has secured $2.29 million in debt relief for approximately 2,000 Virginia students as part of a settlement with Education Management Corporation schools, according to the attorney general's office.


+1 MakeAmericaCringeAgain

had enough! —you are living proof that you can have very strong opinions despite having little or no education.  Not a very useful sort of person when it comes to trying to build a better society but you don’t care about that, am I right?

As a Taxpayer to the State of Virginia, don’t vote for a Demarcate for Governor.  Charter schools are against the State constitution and that should be changed.  Loudoun may be the richest county in the country, but the majority of schools stink.  We should have an affordable choice.  College education is not for everyone, so how about vamping up the Vocational schools and provide training for those who can not afford college or don’t want college.  American citizens should have choices in education. The education that Colleges are offering today is Safe Spaces, My way or the highway and SNOWFLAKES….I don’t want my tax dollars going to any college.  NO THANKS

Before he got in over his head, Trump ran a university. He had to pay $25 million to settle with those he had bamboozled.  Now he does it to the rest of us and the amen chorus of Trump supporters seems to think we should be happy about it? 

Thank you Virginia for showing what Federalism is all about—states having the right to call out the Federal government when it overreaches.

Great, now the liberals want the taxpayer to pay for the “free riders” who want to take out a student loan, drop out for smoking too much dope, and then claim they were misled about the deal they signed.  don’t like the terms, don’t sign the loan note—pretty simple.  I realize school prices continue to skyrocket due to scams like Sanders wife who defrauded investors for a school building, now they need to charge students more to cover the costs….fbi is on that…tired of people not taking responsibility for their own actions, if you take out the loan, pay it back.

corinthian aka zenith/everest/wyotech/heald &
trump u - scammers & schemers

for-profit predators make outright lies, abusive lending, fraud-riddled, falsified statistics about job placement, bribes to local employers, deceitful business models, high pressure tactics, etc.

thanks to ag herring for combating deceitful measures now under devos & co

pacerguy00 - It’s “your”, not “you’re”.

Herring is such a lightweight hanger-on. Why wasn’t he concerned when VDOE and LCPS were defrauding the US DOE by falsely certifying compliance with NCLB waivers?

Or why didn’t he care about Obama delaying the ACA provisions? Why he is a typical Hypocrat of course.

As you’re comments continue to prove, not all people are smart or make sound decisions.

When Trump University scams good people or the elderly out of their hard earned $$ I’d like a government body to be empowered to protect and seek damages on behalf of VICTIMS.

Potential college students can’t assume that all colleges are the same. Buyer beware. Don’t waste your money on bad schools that don’t support your values. Now the VA AG thinks all Virginians need to bail out the students who invested thousands in a bad institution.

So you make a foolish, poorly-researched decision (give $$ to a diploma mill), and the taxpayers have to bail you out?

Yeah, I don’t think so.

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