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Lawmakers call pursuit of gainful employment regs ‘disgraceful,’ ‘reckless'


THE HILL.  JUNE 12, 2013. The Obama administration should abandon plans to enact regulations meant to target career training programs that saddle students with debt but fail to help them land a job, a pair of House Republicans said Wednesday.

The controversial rule, directed at for-profit schools, would deny the institutions access to federal student aid if they fail to meet certain benchmarks showing that an adequate number of graduates are able to repay their loans.

A federal judge struck down an attempt to enact the provisions last year, but the Department of Education this week signaled its intent to keep pursuing the measure. The decision has roiled some lawmakers, who argue would hurt the school, the students and the economy.

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who chairs the panel’s higher education subcommittee, noted that Congress has repeatedly voted against the proposal and called the administration’s continued support for the rule “disgraceful.”

“Members on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns that by imposing arbitrary requirements on proprietary colleges, this reckless mandate would reduce access for students, destroy jobs, and undermine the strength of the American workforce,” the lawmakers said Wednesday in a statement,

“By refusing to acknowledge these serious consequences, the administration is once again choosing to pursue its own failed agenda instead of working with Congress to find a better solution,” they wrote.

The Education Department announced via a notice published Wednesday in the Federal Register that it was forming a rulemaking committee to draft revised gainful employment regulations and put out a call for nominees to serve on the panel.