Thursday, September 30, 2010

Education bureaucrats close ranks against for-profit institutions

For-profit education is under assault from elitists who hate the idea of free market educational institutions. It is also under attack from bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Education who are trying to make it hard for students to arm themselves with the education needed to find a job. Elitism is alive and well at the Department of Education.

The Department of Education announced this week that they are “on schedule to implement new regulations of the for-profit education sector dealing with gainful employment and 13 other issues to protect students and taxpayers.” The non-profit sector feels threatened; therefore allies in the Administration are trying to use the power of the federal government to provide non profit schools a competitive edge to slow the growth of for-profit institutions. For-profit institutions are the trend and they are becoming more popular.

Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) has introduced legislation to prevent the Department of Education from denying federal financial aid to students attending for-profit colleges and vocational certificate programs. Senator Risch said of his effort:

The ‘gainful employment’ rules could deny hundreds of thousands of students access to the training and skills development they need to secure a job in today’s troubled economy. Highly-skilled workers are in high demand in certain sectors and propriety schools are uniquely qualified to meet that need. It is simply irresponsible for the government to throw roadblocks in front of students and institutions at a time when job creation in America should be the administration’s number one priority.

Senator Risch’s legislation, S.3837, the Education for All Act, would forbid the Department of Education from singling out students from proprietary and vocational institutions and treat them differently than other students. These institutions have proven to be uniquely qualified to help students find jobs in today’s complex economy.

Risch joins Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) in writing letters expressing concern about this proposed rule. Enzi wrote that the proposed rule “unfairly holds for-profit institutions to a higher standard for student debt and default than all other institutions of higher education.” These elected federal officials are all concerned about the Department’s action on this issue is the number of members sending letters of interest to the Department of Education is up to 80 members of Congress according to the Coalition for Educational Success.

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