Trump’s education secretary Betsy DeVos is terrible. She’s proof that being a billionaire doesn’t mean you are intelligent. In fact, being a billionaire might mean that you are something of a sociopathic idiot. But, she is surrounded and supports the privatization of education and the predatory loan practices of real dirtbags. She spent the entire first year of her tenure as head of the education department not helping out a single defrauded student. On Friday, a federal judge stopped DeVos’s plan to use earnings data to grant “only partial student loan forgiveness.” Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco said that the Trump administration was violating privacy laws in the data they were trying to use. This is a big victory for humans.
The decision is rooted in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s decision in December to provide debt relief to former Corinthian students by comparing the average earnings of students in similar vocational programs. That earnings information is collected under gainful employment, a regulation that penalizes career-training programs for producing too many graduates with more debt than they can repay.
The Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard University, a legal services clinic, filed an injunction in March to stop the practice. The group has argued that the Education Department has no right to use the data, which is supplied by the Social Security Administration, for any purpose other than to evaluate vocational programs. What’s more, the attorneys say denying full relief to Corinthian students is illegal.
This is a bright spot in an administration that has spent every waking hour unscrewing the nuts and bolts of our country’s social safety nets. According to the Washington Post this same court will be considering whether or not to force the Education Department to give out full student loan forgiveness to Corinthian students at a hearing scheduled for June 4. Corinthian colleges have had a lot of support from Republicans because defrauding young people is a good way to make a lot of money with which to line Republicans’ pockets. DeVos, like the rest of the conservative movement, has spent a considerable amount of time trying to build up swampy towers that keep out the voices of dissent.
But there are just too many of us and we will keep coming for you.