DeVos goes deep with anti-regulatory mission at Education Department

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to take new steps as early as this week toward reversing Obama-era protections for students in debt to for-profit schools, including those that go out of business. It’s the latest in a broader effort by DeVos to recast the mission of her department and to relax safeguards intended to protect economically vulnerable students.

DeVos is also expected to rewrite rules requiring for-profit schools to equip students with minimal employment skills to qualify for federal aid.

DeVos’ plans to transform her department have gone largely unheralded, despite the outcry that greeted her appointment last year as President Donald Trump’s leading voice on education policy. But her push to ease regulations on for-profit colleges has opened a new front in the Democratic resistance effort, sparking lawsuits from state officials.

California added another legal challenge Friday when the state sued the nation’s biggest loan company, Navient, arguing it had engaged in illegal conduct servicing federal student loans.

Such challenges are a shot across the bow at the administration and DeVos, who is working to redefine a department conceived to advocate for students — not schools or lobbyists seeking financial profits. The debate carries huge significance for U.S. taxpayers, who fund the billions of dollars in student loans and grants DeVos oversees each year.

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