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Would a Biden Education Dept. Be More Aggressive Than Obama’s?

Inside Higher Ed

Kery Murakami
October 23, 2020
Many think it could be.
Talk to higher education experts about what the Education Department could do under a Biden administration, and they expect, at the least, another volley of the match that would stretch through three presidencies.
The Obama administration enacted regulations making it easier for people who had been defrauded by for-profit colleges to have their student debt forgiven and to hold institutions, particularly for-profits, accountable if graduates do not find jobs that pay well enough to repay their student debt.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos canceled both the so-called borrower-defense and gainful-employment rules, as well as another Obama administration guidance telling colleges to crack down on sexual harassment on campuses.
But if Biden, Obama’s vice president, wins the election, now barely more than a week away, he’s expected to bring those rules back.
“There’s a huge mess [that] they’re going to have to hit the ground running and clean up,” said Amy Laitinen, a higher education policy adviser under the Obama administration, now with the left-leaning think tank New America.
In a call with education reporters Thursday, Stef Feldman, the Biden campaign’s policy director, seemed to downplay what actions he might take through executive order, noting instead that he has a “strong record of working across the aisle to get action done … I’m confident Vice President Biden will be able to get big, bold legislation passed.”