September 1, 2017

DeVos slime of the day

GQ - Betsy DeVos, who spent decades working against public education, seems fully on board with this strategy. Her brief tenure as secretary of education has been marked by decisions that inflict maximum pain on students, from making it harder for them to stay out of delinquency on student loans to encouraging a government-sanctioned monopoly on lending to threatening to renege on a loan-forgiveness program for public-sector workers.

It shouldn't be a surprise then that, according to Politico, DeVos has chosen Julian Schmoke Jr., former dean of the for-profit DeVry University, to head the Student Aid Enforcement Unit, whose purpose is to make sure that schools aren't misleading or defrauding students. In fact, when the Obama administration announced the creation of the Student Aid Enforcement Unit, they specifically cited DeVry misleading students about their prospects for future jobs and salaries. DeVry's parent company had to pay $100 million to the Federal Trade Commission over the allegations.

On top of policing schools for potential abuses, the unit is supposed to process "borrower defense claims," which is a protection for borrowers repaying loans for colleges guilty of fraud. Per Politico, DeVry had nearly 2,000 of these claims pending as of July.

Elizabeth Warren and other Democractic senators wrote DeVos asking her to choose someone with a history of consumer protection and managing attorneys. To highlight how absurd a choice Schmoke is, his predecessor was a former consumer-protection attorney with the FTC, which, to recap, is the agency that DeVry's parent company had to pay $100 million for misleading students.

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