Momentum Builds for Strong Gainful Employment Regulations
On Monday, we brought your attention to two important pieces highlighting the growing support in the civil rights community for strong regulations for for-profit colleges. Piggybacking on that, today our sister organization, The Center for American Progress, published an article "Measuring Post-College Gainful Employment: New Government Rule Makes Sense" laying out the common sense need for the gainful employment rule. Here's one notable excerpt:
The heated controversy over the gainful-employment rule shows just how difficult it will be to change the federal regulatory system into one where colleges share the responsibility for the cost and outcomes of higher education. But changes like this one are necessary to make sure the competition for federal dollars plays out through finding the best ways to serve students in the classroom rather than the best way to lobby politicians in Washington.
Additionally, the original letter that Campus Progress and 37 other organizations and coalitions signed on to late last month has gained an additional 10 signers, including the AFL-CIO and the Children's Defense Fund. You can read the full letter with the new signatories below. The letter was re-delivered today to the original recipients, including President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Stay tuned for more updates as they happen, and as always, they will be posted on our education page.
January 26, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your leadership to make college more affordable in order to expand opportunity and strengthen our economy. We appreciate that, in a time of intense budget pressures, your education reforms seek to maximize the return on taxpayer investment and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse. That is why we firmly support the Department of Education’s prompt adoption of a strong and enforceable “gainful employment” rule. We urge you to issue a final rule now that will protect students and taxpayers no later than the start of the 2012-13 academic year.
Numerous investigations have revealed pervasive abuses by some career education programs: deceptive and aggressive recruiting of students; inflated job placement rates and false reporting to authorities; overstatement of a program’s value and understatement of its high cost; and dismal completion rates. Too many of these programs are preying on low-income students, minority students, and veterans who are seeking to further their education and, by doing so, enhance their employment opportunities.
The proposed gainful employment rule implements requirements set by Congress and advances a common-sense principle: Federal financial aid shouldn’t go to career education programs that consistently leave students buried in debt they cannot repay.
The subprime mortgage debacle and ensuing financial crisis taught our country a hard lesson about letting such abuses run rampant. You have an opportunity, right now, to make the right decision for our students and our economy by strengthening and finalizing this common-sense rule. We will support you every step of the way.
|AFL-CIO||The Institute for College Access & Success and its Project on Student Debt|
|American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee||Institute for Higher Education Policy|
|American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers||Labor Council for Latin American Advancement|
|American Association of University Professors||The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights|
|American Association of University Women||League of United Latin American Citizens|
|American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3299||Legal Momentum (formerly the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund)|
|American Federation of Teachers||Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund|
|Americans for Financial Reform||NAACP|
|Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance||National Association for Bilingual Education|
|California Coalition for Civil Rights||National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)|
|Campaign for College Affordability||National Consumers League|
|Campus Progress||National Council of La Raza|
|Center for Law and Social Policy||National Education Association|
|Children's Defense Fund||Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project|
|The Coalition of Labor Union Women||Pride at Work|
|Consumer Action||Public Advocates Inc.|
|Consumers Union||United States Hispanic Leadership Institute|
|Council for Opportunity in Education||U.S. PIRG|
|Crittenton Women's Union||United States Student Association|
|Démos: A Network for Ideas and Action||Veterans of Modern Warfare|
|The Education Trust|
|The Greenlining Institute|
|Hip Hop Caucus|
cc: The Honorable Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
The Honorable Jacob “Jack” Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget
Melody Barnes, Director, Domestic Policy Council
Valerie Jarrett, Senior White House Advisor
Gene Sperling, Director, National Economic Council
Katie is the Communications and Outreach Manager for Campus Progress.