WASHINGTON — Secretary of Education and Grand Rapids native Betsy DeVos is being sued by the attorneys general of 18 states and the Washington D.C. for putting the Borrower Defense Rule on hold last month.
The AG’s of Massachusetts, New York and 16 other states filed the suit Thursday against DeVos and the Department of Education, according to NPR.
The rule was adopted last November by former President Barack Obama and was designed to make it easier for students in debt to have their loans for college forgiven.
DeVos announced last month that the rule would be put on hold, but the states say that she made the decision without public comment and that DeVos is attempting to help for-profit colleges succeed in taking more money from students in debt.
“Since Day 1, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a news release. “Her decision to cancel vital protections for students and taxpayers is a betrayal of her office’s responsibility and a violation of federal law. We call on Secretary DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to restore these rules immediately.”
The rule is designed to help student have their student debts forgiven if they go to a for-profit school — such as ITT Technical Institute — if a state has successfully taken action against such a school.
The 18 states that are part of the lawsuit are:
The attorneys general who filed the lawsuit are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Michigan is not one of the states involved in the suit.
“These rules served as critical protections against predatory for-profit schools that exploit hardworking students – students who are simply trying to invest in their own education and future,” said New York Attorney General Schneiderman. He added, “When Washington abdicates its responsibility to protect New Yorkers, we won’t hesitate to step in.”