Home > Uncategorized > Repeal of Obama Era Rule Penalizing Profiteering Post-Secondary Schools has $5,000,000,000 Price Tag

Repeal of Obama Era Rule Penalizing Profiteering Post-Secondary Schools has $5,000,000,000 Price Tag

August 1, 2018

As the headline for this post indicates, the Trump administration’s decision to eliminate the “gainful employment” metric for post-secondary education will come at a steep cost to taxpayers… something that at one time would be problematic for the GOP. Here’s Politico’s report on the issue from yesterday:

DEVOS’ ROLLBACK OF ‘GAINFUL’ RULE WILL COST BILLIONS, EDUCATION DEPARTMENT PROJECTS: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plan to eliminate an Obama-era rule aimed at curbing abuses by for-profit colleges is expected to cost taxpayers nearly $5 billion, according to an Education Department analysis obtained by POLITICO.

DeVos in the coming weeks is expected to propose rescinding the “gainful employment” regulation that governs federal funding of for-profit schools and other career colleges. The policy, which cuts off aid to low-performing programs, was a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s crackdown on for-profit education companies.

The Trump administration, as part of a required budgetary analysis of its plan, has estimated that eliminating the rule will cost $4.7 billion over the next decade, according to documents reviewed by POLITICO.

The bulk of the increased cost is driven by an expected uptick in students using Pell grants to enroll in college programs that would have otherwise failed — or been on the verge of failing — under the Obama-era standards. Department officials also expect an increase in federal student loans to flow to for-profit schools following the elimination of the rule, according to the analysis.

On second thought, laying this kind of support for deregulation of profiteering education enterprises shouldn’t be associated with the Trump administration. Several states led by GOP Governors (most notably Ohio and Pennsylvania) and neoliberal Democrats (I’m looking at you, Andrew Cuomo) have given the green light to disreputable on-line enterprises and/or “reformers” whose track records are based on the exclusion of needy students and profits depend on the provision of free space.

But Ms. DeVos isn’t stopping her efforts to undo the student-consumer protection guidelines set forth by the Obama administration. Later in yesterday’s post Politico reported on the following changes on the horizon:

DEVOS PUTS MORE HIGHER ED RULEMAKING ON THE AGENDA: The Education Department plans to form a rulemaking committee in January to begin negotiations over revisions to federal rules on college accreditation and non-traditional education providers, as well as ways to ease restrictions on some federal funding of religious colleges. It’s part of the administration’s plans to overhaul a wide range of federal regulations governing higher education, about which the department unveiled new details this week.

The plan also includes further rollbacks of Obama-era policies. The department plans to rewrite “state authorization” rules that were aimed at prodding states to bolster their oversight of colleges. Officials are also considering changes to the federal definition of a “credit hour,” which the Obama administration said was needed to prevent colleges from awarding more credits and therefore receiving more financial aid dollars than they deserved.

Other proposals would upend long-standing federal regulations. The Trump administration said, for example, it plans to rewrite the federal requirement that online courses provide “regular and substantive interaction” between students and the instructor in order to receive funding. Michael has the full rundown.

If the Department of Education was the only agency being de-regulated it MIGHT be possible for a newly elected President and newly appointed agency head to undo the damage being done to consumers and citizens… but the scope of deregulation underway in THIS administration is breathtaking!

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