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HomePatriot DispatchesA Bipartisan Issue: Gainful Employment

A Bipartisan Issue: Gainful Employment

“Can you think of any other issue that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the current Speaker John Boehner agree on?” asked Lanny Davis, a former legal counsel to President Clinton. “The policy is so wrongheaded that it brings liberals and conservatives together.”

So what is this magnificent force that is uniting these unlikely allies?  It is President Obama’s proposed gainful employment regulation on for-profit colleges.  A number of these for-profit colleges provide training for job positions ranging from plumbing to computer technicians.  The programs being offered by these colleges allow members of lower-income families seeking to improve their financial status greater flexibility in scheduling options.  Also, many of these schools offer loans to low-income minority students.

The gainful employment rule holds for-profit colleges responsible for ensuring that their students remain at or below an 8% debt-to-income ratio.  The Department of Education is using “black box” data from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration as a basis on which to determine to what extent for-profit colleges succeed in this objective.  For-profit colleges do not have access to this information.  They only have access to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

In addition, the base of data that is being used by the DoED has been derived solely from within the state of Missouri.  Statistical averages of how cost of living may play a part amongst varying geographic locations in determining whether or not this 8% baseline is genuinely feasible has not been taken into consideration in the mandates being set by the DoED.  In other words, the DoED is using a narrow scope of data as a basis for establishing a broad-spectrum educational policy.

If the students do not stay at or below the 8% debt-to-income ratio defined by the DoED, the federal government can withdraw financial aid from these schools, driving these schools out of business.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce in particular is very concerned about the impact that this legislation might have for lower-income citizens of all races, but primarily for African American and Hispanics.

In February of 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted against this proposal 289-136.  Yet in spite of the overwhelming response on the part of the House of Representatives, the Obama administration is moving forward with plans to implement this proposal into law, behind closed doors, with a sense of urgency and no transparency to speak of.

This has prompted Congressman Edolphus Towns to submit a letter to Congressman Daryl Issa and Congressman Elijah Cummings, who are both members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform, requesting that an oversight investigation be conducted regarding the manner in which the Obama administration is moving forward with its plans.

Points to consider…

1)    Are there some for-profit schools that might be misusing the finances being provided to them by the government?  Yes, but the same could easily be said for not-for-profit and public education institutions.  If the problem is misuse of funds, then why aren’t all schools being evaluated in the proposal being presented by the administration rather than only for-profit institutions?

2)    If for-profit institutions go under, who stands to gain the most from that outcome?  Public and not-for-profit educational institutions and, through those institutions, Teachers’ Unions stand to gain the most.  This could translate into an increase in employment for Teachers’ Union members along with high-dollar health care plans and pension programs.

3)    From the viewpoint of stock trading, there are already reports that for-profit school stock is being sold short on the market, which indicates that someone has either leaked this information in advance or an individual/group of individuals has a great deal to gain financially from these seeing these institutions fail.

4)    For-profit educational institutions do not follow a mandate regarding the curriculum they may or not present to their students in the same manner that not-for-profit or public educational institutions are required to do.  This piece of legislation, if it is allowed to proceed, could have vast implications for all for-profit educational institutions in the future and limit the educational options being presented to citizens of our nation.

5)    When members of Congress voted to “deem” Obamacare as law, in following President Obama’s lead and at his encouragement, they bypassed due process as provided in the Constitution of the United States.  Since that time, President Obama has indicated through his actions that he is willing to bypass Constitutional law in other areas as well, such as failing to seek the approval of Congress for extension of the War Powers Act for his “kinetic military action” that is being conducted in Libya.  With these things in mind, what reason do either Republicans or Democrats have to believe that he will stay within the constructs of the Constitution regarding other issues, such as the current issue of gainful employment legislation?

All factors being considered, this particular legislation and how Congress responds to it is something that we should keep a close eye on.  It could be a point whereby we begin to see bipartisan efforts made on the part of Legislative branch of our government to restore a balance in power by carefully and studiously reviewing each action on the part of the Executive branch of government.

In the meantime, we can and should learn as much about these topics as possible, then contact our local representatives to let them know where we the people stand on these issues.  This much at least we should hold ourselves responsible to do.

 

References:

https://dailycaller.com/2011/05/02/why-the-department-of-educations-gainful-employment-regulation-violates-students-privacy/

https://www.nationalbcc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1312:qkeystone-kopsq-in-real-life-at-department-of-education-on-gainful-employment-regulation-alford-and-davis-say&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=7

https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2011/02/eds_gainful_employment_scheme_takes_a_hit.html

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/27/obama-crackdown-profit-colleges-faces-stiff-resistance/

https://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/27/investigation-of-obama-doe-demanded-by-liberal-democrat/

https://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/files/2011/05/GE-letter-to-Issa-and-Cummings.pdf

https://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/05/26/liberal-democrat-calls-for-investigation-of-obamas-dept-of-education/

 

3 COMMENTS

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Gee, LH, it seems like only yesterday we were chatting about privacy matters in re health records. Now it seems Arne Duncan not only wants to know about students’ mental health so he can forward the information over to the firearms purchase permit people, he wants to get IRS data on them so he can deny them the opportunity to go to other than a State, and I do mean “State” school.
    The question looms larger and larger every day – are we at the point, or approaching the point, where we fear our government?

    • If you’re asking do we have reason to fear them as a result of the over-reach of the Executive branch in particular, the answer at this point is yes, we do. With each act of over-reach violations of our rights and freedoms take place. We are moving incrementally in the direction of a totalitarian government in a socialistic society.

      That’s one of the reasons I really want to watch and see what happens in the situation I described above. The House has made it plain by the way they voted against this that their portion of the Legislative branch isn’t going to support this proposal, yet Obama is moving forward on it anyway (which means he has some sort of end-around the Legislative branch in mind)
      If what I’m reading on some of black and legal Hispanic websites is true, these constituents are pretty upset (understatement of sorts) right now that the Obama admin would even remotely considering pursuing the DREAM Act. The economy is down, and these sectors of the population are finding themselves fighting against illegal immigrants for jobs. Guess who’s winning that particular battle? (And no, it has nothing to do with racism…it has to do with geographic locations and cost factors more than anything else)
      So now these legal citizens are seeing the Obama admin move in the direction of taking away an option they might have allowed them to have a chance to act as mature, responsible citizens by trying to improve their own financial situation? And the admin would be bypassing the Legislative branch to do it?
      In the past, Dems in Congress have either been complicit to taking the end-around approach or have given the current admin a pass on doing it. This particular situation of gainful employment is a bit different, though.
      I suspect (although I don’t know for certain) that a significant number of Dems (and particularly black legislators) believed that the Obama admin could be trusted not to bypass on them on an issue where their voices speak so loudly against something that he sets out to do. If that is true, then could they at this point be starting to see that the trust they placed in him on this matter was unfounded? Is this what the letter to Issa and Cummings indicates?
      Either way, it’s causing a lot of dissension in the ranks on the Dems side of the spectrum. Depending on how things go, we could see a showdown of sorts between the Legislative and Executive branches. If that happens, it could reveal a great deal more about the intentions this admin has regarding their plans to “fundamentally transform America” than anything else that has been revealed so far. If the situation does unfold this way, how does that impact this electoral season for the Dems?

      I agree with you that this admin may be seeing this gainful employment ruling as a means of beginning to attack other for-profit institutions, for the purpose of controlling curriculum being presented in the schools. If that is their true objective, they may not be willing to back down from this. I’m hoping that for-profit educational institutions will challenge it in court. There have been a few rulings of late that indicate the Judicial Branch may not be as compliant in letting the Executive branch continue with this over-reach as the Legislative branch has been so far.

      On a personal note, bob, because of past circumstances, I’m pretty case-hardened where the spirit of fear is concerned, and very strong-willed in refusing to let it get the better of me. It was just necessary for me to develop that kind of attitude, and I’ve carried it with me since that time. So if you’re looking for me to get wound up about fear, that isn’t likely to happen, okay? It isn’t that I’m naive or apathetic about it, because I’m not.

      • “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear… And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
        Frank Herbert

  1. Gee, LH, it seems like only yesterday we were chatting about privacy matters in re health records. Now it seems Arne Duncan not only wants to know about students’ mental health so he can forward the information over to the firearms purchase permit people, he wants to get IRS data on them so he can deny them the opportunity to go to other than a State, and I do mean “State” school.
    The question looms larger and larger every day – are we at the point, or approaching the point, where we fear our government?

    • If you’re asking do we have reason to fear them as a result of the over-reach of the Executive branch in particular, the answer at this point is yes, we do. With each act of over-reach violations of our rights and freedoms take place. We are moving incrementally in the direction of a totalitarian government in a socialistic society.

      That’s one of the reasons I really want to watch and see what happens in the situation I described above. The House has made it plain by the way they voted against this that their portion of the Legislative branch isn’t going to support this proposal, yet Obama is moving forward on it anyway (which means he has some sort of end-around the Legislative branch in mind)
      If what I’m reading on some of black and legal Hispanic websites is true, these constituents are pretty upset (understatement of sorts) right now that the Obama admin would even remotely considering pursuing the DREAM Act. The economy is down, and these sectors of the population are finding themselves fighting against illegal immigrants for jobs. Guess who’s winning that particular battle? (And no, it has nothing to do with racism…it has to do with geographic locations and cost factors more than anything else)
      So now these legal citizens are seeing the Obama admin move in the direction of taking away an option they might have allowed them to have a chance to act as mature, responsible citizens by trying to improve their own financial situation? And the admin would be bypassing the Legislative branch to do it?
      In the past, Dems in Congress have either been complicit to taking the end-around approach or have given the current admin a pass on doing it. This particular situation of gainful employment is a bit different, though.
      I suspect (although I don’t know for certain) that a significant number of Dems (and particularly black legislators) believed that the Obama admin could be trusted not to bypass on them on an issue where their voices speak so loudly against something that he sets out to do. If that is true, then could they at this point be starting to see that the trust they placed in him on this matter was unfounded? Is this what the letter to Issa and Cummings indicates?
      Either way, it’s causing a lot of dissension in the ranks on the Dems side of the spectrum. Depending on how things go, we could see a showdown of sorts between the Legislative and Executive branches. If that happens, it could reveal a great deal more about the intentions this admin has regarding their plans to “fundamentally transform America” than anything else that has been revealed so far. If the situation does unfold this way, how does that impact this electoral season for the Dems?

      I agree with you that this admin may be seeing this gainful employment ruling as a means of beginning to attack other for-profit institutions, for the purpose of controlling curriculum being presented in the schools. If that is their true objective, they may not be willing to back down from this. I’m hoping that for-profit educational institutions will challenge it in court. There have been a few rulings of late that indicate the Judicial Branch may not be as compliant in letting the Executive branch continue with this over-reach as the Legislative branch has been so far.

      On a personal note, bob, because of past circumstances, I’m pretty case-hardened where the spirit of fear is concerned, and very strong-willed in refusing to let it get the better of me. It was just necessary for me to develop that kind of attitude, and I’ve carried it with me since that time. So if you’re looking for me to get wound up about fear, that isn’t likely to happen, okay? It isn’t that I’m naive or apathetic about it, because I’m not.

      • “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear… And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
        Frank Herbert

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