Feds vs. Higher Ed; Government Power Grab Harms Low-Income Students

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 29, 2011 | Go to article overview

Feds vs. Higher Ed; Government Power Grab Harms Low-Income Students


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Obama administration's default position always happens to amass more power for big government. An example is the White House's proposed set of new regulations for higher education.

An ideologically diverse coalition is fighting the Education Department's draft proposal for higher-ed funding. The new rules would make it harder for students to receive government-backed loans to attend for-profit universities such as Strayer and Phoenix. Conservatives complain the regulations effectively limit private-sector competition, while National Urban League President Marc H. Morial says the rules would predominantly hurt at-risk students, including minorities, parents and full-time workers.

Until now, critics mostly questioned the content of the Obama administration's regulatory choices. On March 24, two former federal education lawyers went farther, questioning the administration's very authority. Kent D. Talbert and Robert S. Eitel were general counsel and deputy general counsel of the Education Department from 2006-2009. In the latest issue of the Federalist Society's magazine Engage, they argue the O Force has exceeded statutory authority and the plain meaning of the words chosen by Congress.

Under the old rules, the Education Department must give notice and a hearing to colleges when it wants to terminate or limit their eligibility to participate in federal financial-aid programs. …

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