Representative Bobby Scott, the House education committee chairman, suggested Tuesday in a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her department had illegally awarded federal aid to two ineligible for-profit college programs operated by the defunct Dream Center.
Scott, a Virginia Democrat, also threatened to issue subpoenas if the Trump administration doesn’t cooperate with his committee’s ongoing investigation into the Education Department’s handling of Dream Center Education Holdings, which went under earlier this year.
The education committee has for months pursued a slow-moving investigation into the collapse of Dream Center, which operated the Art Institute and Argosy University chains since 2017. In his letter Tuesday, Scott attributed the slow pace of the inquiry to stonewalling by the Education Department, which he said had released documents that are either unresponsive or heavily redacted.
“If the department continues to refuse to respond, the committee will then be forced to conclude that the department is purposefully frustrating Congressional oversight for reasons that are not in the best interest of the American tax-paying public,” he wrote. “Therefore, the committee is left to consider utilizing the full powers at Congress’ disposal to obtain these critical documents.”
Dream Center, a Los Angeles-based religious organization, purchased the college chains, including more than 100 campuses, from the for-profit Education Management Corporation with the intention of running them as nonprofit programs. The department determined in February that the programs failed to clear standards to change tax status and cut off federal aid, essentially ending their ability to continue operating…. (continue reading)