Democratic attorneys general in 18 states including Connecticut and the District of Columbia are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Washington and demands implementation of borrower defense to repayment rules.
The rules aim to make schools financially responsible for fraud and forbid them from forcing students to resolve complaints outside court.
They were created under President Barack Obama's administration and were to take effect July 1.
On June 14, DeVos announced the rules would be delayed and rewritten, saying they created "a muddled process that's unfair to students and schools."
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading the lawsuit and says DeVos' decision is "a betrayal of her office's responsibility and a violation of federal law."
Attorney General George Jepsen announced on Thursday that Connecticut has joined 18 other attorneys general in the federal lawsuit against DeVos.
"For several years now, Connecticut has been involved in a multistate investigation of the predatory practices of certain for-profit colleges and universities," Jepsen said on his website. "Our investigation, as well as inquiries conducted by Congress, have demonstrated how some of these institutions seek to maximize their access to federal taxpayer dollars by luring in students with misleading promises about the quality of the education they will receive and the prospects for their futures following completion of a program. These students end up in crushing debt, with worthless diplomas, while the for-profit colleges rake in exorbitant profits on the taxpayer dime."
Jepsen went to say "it is exactly this sort of abuse that the Borrower Defense Rule addresses."
"But despite the extensive and proper effort put into crafting the rule, the Trump Administration has unilaterally and illegally suspended its implementation. Today, I am joining with my colleagues to ask the court to do what is right and legal and to stop Secretary DeVos and President Trump from causing further injury to students who have been deceived and misled."
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