by Sam Hieb
Interesting McClatchy write-up on congressional efforts to block tighter regulations on for-profit colleges—an issue that’s been in the news lately with the demise of ITT Tech. And what do you know—who does McClatchy expose as being at the forefront of those efforts? Two North Carolina Congressional reps—Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Virginia Foxx, who are both seeking reelection:
Now, in an election year, after the collapse of a number of large for-profit schools and a 20 percent enrollment drop at the industry’s four-year schools, Burr, Foxx and other politicians who fought against the regulations may feel some heat.
….Programs failing to meet the guidelines would be at risk of losing eligibility for student financial aid, a virtual death sentence. The department estimated that about 1,400 programs serving 840,000 students, nearly all at for-profit schools, were at risk.
Burr and Foxx fought back yet again. On Feb. 25, 2015, Burr introduced his bill, with no Democrats among the 28 co-sponsors, to prevent implementation of the rule for at least two years. Over the preceding 3 1/2 weeks, his campaign received $9,000 from Bridgepoint’s PAC, and the task force issued its report assailing the maze of Education Department regulations and modifications piling up at the rate of a page each day. The 16-member panel, including then University of North Carolina system President Thomas Ross, called the pending for-profit rule “fundamentally flawed” and urged its repeal.
Note the lede—“Senate Democrats examined complaints that the industry had left many ex-students buried in debt with no diplomas to show for it.” We can only hope Democrats examine similar complaints at state-supported colleges and universities. But they wouldn’t want to alienate their voting base, would they?