Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The American Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for repealing protections for students at for-profit colleges.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses DeVos of violating federal laws by repealing the 2014 gainful employment rule, which established debt-to-earnings ratios for most for-profit colleges and vocational programs.
"With this lawsuit we are going to strike down DeVos' illegal repeal of the gainful employment rule and protect students from schools that leave borrowers with worthless degrees and debt you can never repay," Student Defense President Aaron Ament said.
The lawsuit seeks the immediate reinstatement of the gainful employment rule, which the Education Department repealed in 2019, stating the rule unfairly targeted proprietary institutions.
It also said that the term "gainful employment in a recognized occupation" included in the rule is unambiguous and does not need to be defined by regulation.
The AFT said DeVos' repeal was "riddled with errors and unfounded assertions" and that the department's assertion that the rule discriminated against proprietary institutions "is simply false."
"The rule did not discriminate against these types of institutions. Rather, the underlying statute made a distinction between gainful employment programs (at all types of institutions both nonprofit and for-profit ) and non-gainful employment programs," it said.
Department of Education press secretary Angela Morabito said the department will "vigorously defend its final regulation rescinding this deeply flawed rule."