States Stand Up to For-Profit Schools

In Education, States On
- Updated

Long before the federal government roused itself, individual state governments were fighting to bring discipline to an unruly and untrustworthy corner of the educational market — for-profit schools that saddle students with crushing debt in exchange for degrees that are essentially useless.

The states are still fighting the good fight: In a lawsuit filed last week in Federal District Court in Washington, attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia served notice that they will resist any attempt by the Trump administration to weaken or ignore hard-won regulations that protect students and taxpayers from predatory schools.

One such attempt has already been identified. This spring, the Education Department abruptly suspended federal rules that allow students who have been defrauded by colleges to have their federal loans forgiven. The state coalition, led by Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts, says that in so doing the department broke the law. The suit asks the court to declare the action illegal and to order the department to implement the rule without delay.

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