U.S. Crackdown on For-Profit Schools Is Said to Go Idle (NYT)
The Education Department’s sweeping crackdown on fraudulent practices at for-profit colleges has stalled under the Trump administration’s appointees, several current and former department employees say.
Current and former employees, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, said tight restrictions have been put on staff members scrutinizing for-profit institutions, constraining their contact with other state and federal agencies without high-level approval — a contention a department spokesman denied.
Some state officials who had collaborated with the Education Department in bringing legal cases against for-profit schools say their joint work has ground to a halt. They also say they are troubled by an apparent slowdown in granting debt relief to students who were cheated.
During the Obama administration’s second term, the department put both financial and regulatory muscle into the policing of a sector that was frequently criticized for deceiving vulnerable and poor students about the cost and benefits of signing up to get a degree.
Ms. DeVos has brought aboard officials who have worked in the for-profit college sector and have expressed skepticism about the Obama administration’s aggressive regulation and enforcement. Supporters say that for-profit colleges provide a ladder for the most disadvantaged students and that any misdeeds represent a tiny fraction of the industry….