July 6 (UPI) -- A group of 18 states is suing the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos over the decision to delay implementation of protections for students at for-profit colleges.
The lawsuit seeks a court order to force DeVos to implement a rule, drafted under former President Barack Obama, that was scheduled to go into effect in June known as the Borrower Defense Rule. It would make it easier for students who took out loans to attend for-profit colleges later found to be fraudulent to have those loans forgiven.
DeVos, a proponent of for-profit colleges, delayed implementation, saying the department needed to further study the ramifications of the new regulation.
Attorneys general of 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, disagreed, saying the federal rule was the only way to regulate mostly online, for-profit colleges that draw students from all 50 states. Because students telecommute, they can struggle to recoup financial outlays in another state if the for-profit school fails to live up to its promises, making federal regulation necessary, the states argued.
In addition to the District of Columbia, the 18 states party to the lawsuit are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state.