Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was in the hot seat this week, testifying on Capitol Hill before the Senate Appropriations Committee. The hearing was called to discuss the law suit brought by the attorney generals of 18 states and Washington DC over the halting of Borrower Defense Rules last month. So why are so many states suing the U.S. Education Department along with the U.S. Education Secretary? Last month, the federal organization suspended rules that would cancel student-loan debt for individuals that were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and other for-profit schools. The states are protesting because they claim that the department broke federal laws in delaying this announcement and limiting individuals’ ability comment on the action.
Imaging spending several years of your life attending a College or for-profit school, and then finding out that the school is shutting down due to a law suit from the state. Even though you still don’t have a legitimate degree, you are left with all the student loan debt. It may seem like a nightmare, but for some 16,000 students with loan forgiveness claims in the U.S., it is very much a reality. Now finally, imagine that the federal government halted your ability to seek forgiveness of this debt. This is the reason that one-third of the state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia are suing the Trump administration and the U.S. Education Department.
The complaints, filed in U.S. District Court asks that the court declare the delayed notices unlawful and order the Education Department to implement the Borrower Defense rule that would help students who have acquired debt from schools that states have successfully taken court action against. The largest amount of decenters over the department’s decision say that without the Borrower Defense Rule, for-profit schools can defraud students and evade accountability much easier. This would also make it harder for students to get their loans discharged.