8/23/2018 – Betsy DeVos Fills The Swamp For For-Profit Colleges

THIS WEEK: Kavanaugh And Vouchers … New Assault On Schools … Taking States To Court … Education A Wedge Issue … Transgender Rights Denied


Betsy DeVos Fills The Swamp For For-Profit Colleges

By Jeff Bryant

“Betsy DeVos has filled regulatory positions for for-profit colleges with former employees and advocates for these schools … She and her appointees dismantled key federal student loan servicing reforms that protected student loan borrowers and made it easier for college students to have loans discharged when they’ve been defrauded by schools … New rules proposed by DeVos would make it extremely difficult for students to prevail should they fall victim to fraud … While making it easier for for-profit colleges to rip off students, DeVos is also allowing many of these institutions to convert to “nonprofits to free these institutions from remaining federal regulations and help them burnish their tarnished brands. DeVos’s action have come just as yet more for-profit colleges are closing campuses under suspicion of defrauding students.”
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Kavanaugh Could Unlock Funding For Religious Education, School Voucher Advocates Say

The New York Times

“School voucher champions see Judge [Bret] Kavanaugh as a critical vote in overturning longstanding constitutional prohibitions, often called Blaine Amendments, that outlaw government funding of religious institutions in more than three dozen states. The amendments have been used to challenge programs that allow taxpayer funding to follow children to private and parochial schools, and are seen as the last line of defense against widespread acceptance of school voucher programs … There are no voucher cases pending before the Supreme Court, but relevant cases are moving through lower courts.”
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40 Cities In 10 Years: Leaked Presentation Offers More Details On New Group’s Goals To Spread Charter (And Charter-Like) Schools


“The new organization aiming to spread a mix of charter schools … across the country wants to reach 5 percent of low-income students in the U.S. within five years … The City Fund … has already amassed over $200 million and a well-connected staff … The group’s goals and strategies … include expanding charter schools or charter-like alternatives. Known as the portfolio model,’ it’s a controversial approach … The City Fund’s goal is for cities to have a large charter sector, ‘often scaling to serve 30-50% of students’ … One thing that is explicitly not part of the approach: more public money for schools.”
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How Do You Get Better Schools? Take The State To Court, More Advocates Say

The New York Times

“A wave of lawsuits over the quality of schools in more than a half-dozen states … could serve as road maps for advocates in other states amid a nationwide teachers’ movement and a push in some state legislatures for more school funding. The legal complaints have different areas of focus – from school funding to segregation to literacy – but all of them argue that the states are violating their constitutions by denying children a quality education … The recent cases show a renewed energy for using the courts to fight for better education, and they may signal an end to a period when many courts, after the last recession, seemed unwilling to require states to spend more money on schools … Advocates are focused on state courts because of roadblocks at the federal level … Almost every state constitution guarantees the right to an adequate education.”
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Primary Results Make It Clear K-12 Funding Will Be A Wedge Issue This Fall

Education Week

“One thing to glean from … primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin is that school funding will continue to be a prime issue of concern this fall … Winners from the latest round of gubernatorial primaries took strong stances on how (or whether) to shore up their schools’ coffers, and their messages seem to be resonating with voters … Candidates have pitched new tax schemes, pledged to overhaul funding formulas, or doubled down on ways to make school spending more efficient.”
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Transgender Students Asked Betsy DeVos For Help. Here’s What Happened.


“After his graduation in 2017 [Alex] Howe filed a complaint with federal civil rights officials at the Department of Education, hoping to ease the way for other transgender students at his school to use the bathrooms of their choice … His complaint is one of at least five involving transgender students denied bathroom access that was thrown out by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has halted such investigations. Another transgender student … said his bathroom-related complaint hasn’t been dismissed, but his case has stalled for three years. He doesn’t know why … The Education Department’s dismissals are just a slice of what advocates see as a broader assault on LGBT rights across the federal government in the Trump administration.”
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