Opinion: Warren: It's Time to Hold DeVos Accountable
"Betsy DeVos recently completed her 100th day as Secretary of Education, and the resistance to her agenda has spread across this country like wildfire," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) writes in an opinion piece for CNN.
"Last week, Secretary DeVos and President Trump's Department of Education released a budget that would upend the student aid program and make it much harder for students to afford college and repay their student loans. At the same time, the head of the federal student aid office abruptly resigned amid reports of political meddling by DeVos.
With the educational and financial futures of millions of people hanging in the balance, here's a place to start scrutinizing Secretary DeVos.
Early in the Obama administration, Congress gave full ownership
of the federal student loan portfolio to the Department of Education, removing middlemen from the program and cutting out the profits that private banks skimmed off the system. This was a brave move that required standing up to some very powerful banks and private businesses that wanted to keep on skimming.
But now, years after the transition, the Department of Education often seems to ignore the original intent of this change and instead administers the trillion-dollar loan program for the financial benefit of nearly everyone except the students it is supposed to serve.
To the irritation of many in my own party, I regularly challenged
the Democrat-led Department of Education to clean up its act on student loans. I pushed federal officials to tighten the spigot
of federal funds that let fraudulent schools suck down billions in taxpayer dollars. I also fought to persuade the Department to cancel the loans of defrauded students, including thousands in Massachusetts. We made real progress
When the Department failed to hold giant student loan servicer Navient accountable after the company was fined nearly $100 million by other federal law enforcement agencies for allegedly overcharging thousands of active-duty military personnel, I called them
out and helped trigger an independent investigation. Those efforts ultimately helped push the secretary of education to begin refunding money to over 80,000 military borrowers
and to commit to a complete overhaul of the federal contracts with student loan servicers. More progress."
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Publication Date: 6/1/2017