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Published: Sat, July 08, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

RI Attorney General Joins Suit Against US Education Secretary

RI Attorney General Joins Suit Against US Education Secretary

Attorney generals in eighteen states and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over the delay of implementing regulations sculpted to protect any federal student loan borrowers defrauded by for-profit colleges. Officials pointed to a legal challenge out of California, from a group that represents for-profit colleges, as reasoning for the delay, Politico reported.

The lawsuit asks that the borrower defense rule be enforced, at least until it is renegotiated via DeVos' rule-making committee. Under the rules, the Department of Education would automatically discharge the loans of borrowers whose school closed and who have not re-enrolled in another school within three years.

The rules, which would have made it easier for students to have loans forgiven if they were defrauded or deceived, were developed by the Obama administration and had been set to take effect last Saturday. The state of California won a judgment of more than $1 billion against Corinthian past year for misleading students in its advertising. Some colleges, DeVos said, were concerned they could be unfairly affected.

"Rolling back student loan protections harms Pennsylvania college students and their families", Shapiro said in a written statement announcing the suit. Bauer and Del Rose have been waiting for the rules to be enacted so they could file their lawsuit.

Led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a coalition of 19 states on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her department over their efforts to prevent the implementation of new federal rules created to protect students from the predatory practices of for-profit colleges and their allies in the student loan industry.

Education Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill called the lawsuit by attorneys generals "ideologically driven" and said the now-delayed rules suffered from "substantive and procedural flaws" that need to be addressed.

The rules that DeVos suspended would have required schools that are at risk of closing to put up financial collateral.

On Thursday, 19 Democratic attorneys general, led by Massachusetts's Maura Healey, filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in federal court, accusing DeVos of refusing to enforce duly enacted regulations in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. "Fraud, especially fraud committed by a school, is simply unacceptable".

The rules would have forbidden schools from forcing students to sign agreements that waive their right to sue.

Finalized by the Obama administration in 2014, the rule requires colleges offering career education programs to provide information to students to help them assess the value of the education they would receive.

The Education Department announced the new rules on borrower protections last November after a two-year process. DeVos has criticized the Borrower Defense Rule as "a muddled process that's unfair to students and schools", and has pledged to review the process.

She joined a coalition of 45 attorneys general in April, notifying hundreds of thousands of students that they were eligible to cancel any federal student loans they had used to attend Corinthian-operated schools.

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