Over at the PJ Tatler, Bryan Preston catches a heartwarming tale of bipartisan cooperation, so rare in the toxic atmosphere of the beltway. While G.W. Bush may have failed in his efforts to be “the uniter, not the divider,” Barack Obama is clearly breaking new ground. Recent moves by the Dept. of Education to implement new rules seen as unfairly punishing private, for profit schools, are drawing calls for an investigation from liberal Democrat Edolphus “Ed” Towns. (NY-10)
[Towns]has a problem with the way the Obama Department of Education has gone about drafting its new “Gainful Employment, or “GE” rules. These rules are directed at for-profit schools, and would limit the financial aid they can extend to students. Rep. Towns voices his objections to the GE rules in a letter, dated May 24, 2011, to Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD), who is the Democrats’ ranking member on the committee.
The chief complaint from Representative Towns seems to be based on the fact that privately operated “career colleges” or trade schools (as opposed to public community schools) serve a disproportionately large percentage of minority students. Imposing restrictions which would make it more difficult for the private schools to offer financial aid would then, he reasoned, hit minority students from low income families the hardest.
Of course, the side of this story not touched upon by Towns’ complaint is that private schools are generally free of many other influences directly tied to the government. (Do I really need to say it?)
BONUS: Towns also objects to the way the GE rules – which have the effect of acting as federal law beyond the supervision of Congress – are being crafted in such a hurried fashion and, “in secret meetings.” The Tatler delivers a short video of Obama Education Sec. Arne Duncan dodging questions from a reporter on why he and his team are rushing this through in the dark of night.