Nearly 20 attorneys general across the nation filed suit Thursday against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her decision to delay the implementation of regulations meant to protect students who were cheated by predatory colleges.
The lawsuit, headed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and joined by 17 other states and the District of Columbia, was filed in a federal court in D.C., The Associated Press reported. It demands that the Education Department implement rules that were finalized in October by the Obama administration and were scheduled to have gone into effect Saturday, according to The New York Times.
Implementation of the rules, known as “borrower defense,” was delayed in May by the Trump administration. Officials pointed to a legal challenge out of California, from a group that represents for-profit colleges, as reasoning for the delay, Politico reported. At the time, DeVos said the rules had created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools” and that they would be rewritten.
The state attorneys general argued in their lawsuit that the California challenge was “mere pretext” used to justify changing rules that had already been agreed to and finalized.
Further, the lawsuit claims DeVos’ delay violates the Administrative Procedures Act, a federal statute that governs the way in which administrative agencies propose and establish regulations.
“Nearly two years of negotiations went into the formation of the borrower defense rule after the for-profit Corinthian College collapsed,” Healey said Thursday morning in one of a series of tweets on the suit. “With no public input or deliberation, the Trump (Department) of Higher (Education) suddenly and unlawfully canceled this rule.”