Senate Democrats Push for Answers on Delayed GE Rules

A dozen Senate Democrats sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday, requesting more information regarding the decision to delay the effective date of the gainful employment rule until July 1, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The rule, crafted under the Obama administration, is intended to judge career-oriented programs based on the student loan debt of their graduates in relation to the graduates' earnings.

The lawmakers, led by Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Patty Murray of Washington, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, called on DeVos to explain the decision.

Senators Warren, Durbin, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio also sent a letter to Kathleen Tighe, the department's inspector general, requesting an investigation into the delay to ensure that the move is not part of a politically-driven attempt to permanently delay implementation of the regulations.

"The gainful-employment rule is a critical protection for both students and taxpayers," the letter to Sec. DeVos stated. "This delay needlessly stalls important protections for students and taxpayers, and creates more uncertainty for schools."

The senators asked DeVos for a "prompt response" to their questions. However, recent history indicates that a response may not come at all. In late February, six Democratic senators, led by Murray and Warren, sent a separate letter to DeVos, asking for clarification of reports of a task force on higher education regulation to be led by Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University. In the letter, the senators requested a response "no later than March 9," but the senators' offices have yet to receive an answer.

 

Related Links

Letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

https://www.durbin.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Senate%20Gainful%20Employment%203.13.17.pdf

Letter to U.S. Education Department Inspector General Kathleen Tighe

https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2017_03_3_ED_IG_Letter.pdf

The Chronicle of Higher Education

http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/senate-democrats-seek-answers-on-delayed-enforcement-of-gainful-employment/117295