The Trump administration has become infamous for, among other things, its inordinately high turnover rate. Since the start of the Trump presidency, it seems as if almost every cabinet official has been swapped out for another, whether due to resignation or outright ousting. One person, however, that unfortunately has remained in her position is that of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who’s proposed policies have drawn widespread backlash and outrage from proponents of equal education. DeVos’s plans clearly aim to benefit schools that are positioned in wealthier and more well-off areas, giving them an even greater upper-hand in an already unstable educational landscape.
Aside from the atrocious attempts to further segregate the public education system in the country, a recent court ruling has found the DeVos education department directly violating the law in regards to a case regarding the for-profit Corinthian colleges institution. According to an article by the Associated Press:
‘A federal court has ruled that the Education Department violated privacy laws with regard to students defrauded by the Corinthian for-profit college chain.
In a break with Obama administration policy, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in December that some students cheated by the now-defunct schools would only get a part of their federal student loan forgiven… a California district court ruled late Friday that the department’s use of Social Security Administration data in order to calculate loan forgiveness violates the Privacy Act.’
DeVos, an outright and explicit proponent of for-profit education, derailed a major Obama-era policy in relations to student loan forgiveness last December when claiming that students claiming federal student loans would only receive partial relief instead of complete forgiveness. The plan by the Obama administration was implemented to provide students much needed assistance in paying back the surmounting cost of college-level education, which has long been a problem in the United States.
Judge ruled that @usedgov improperly used students' Social Security earnings data to calculate amount of loan forgiveness in violation of Privacy Act.
But the ruling makes clear that, in general, DeVos has power to determine the amount of loan forgiveness that borrowers get.
— Michael Stratford (@mstratford) May 26, 2018
Given the circumstances with Corinthian, and having been shut down due to their fraudulent activities and fabricated promises to students, the class action suit is now looking to ensure that students receive full loan forgiveness in regards to any debt incurred while at the now-closed colleges. Some students were deprived of the ability to obtain careers in their field of study, specifically in the medical field, given Corinthian’s lack of necessary training to their students.
A federal court rules Betsy DeVos/Edu Dept violated privacy laws for using the Social Security Admin to analyze loan forgiveness for students defrauded by for-profit Colleges.
They’re ordered to stop collecting debt from the defrauded students and seeking SSA's services.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) May 26, 2018
DeVos believes that her new policy will take into consideration any value received by students from their college education, and provide forgiveness as necessary. However, considering the subtle nuances involved in determining such value, it is difficult to see how the Education Department would be accurate in their findings.
Ex-#4profit college students get huge win over Betsy DeVos: Federal court blocks @usedgov from using its grudging formula to deny fair debt relief to victimized Corinthian students. Great lawyering by Harvard's @EdDebtJustice. https://t.co/ebUNway9Oj
— David Halperin (@DaHalperin) May 26, 2018
The court ruling on Friday is an important decision in the broader loan forgiveness rule that is currently under question, as students are fighting to ensure they do not incur debt for the negative value received from Corinthian. Currently, there is roughly 100,000 outstanding claims filed by students that are still pending at the school’s department, as they await the final decision by the courts. A hearing will take place on June 4, to determine the next steps regarding the class-action suit.
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