20 states, including Virginia, win lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

WASHINGTON — Virginia was one of 20 states that won a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a federal court ruling in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

States in the suit challenged the U.S. Department of Education’s plan to abandon federal protection for students cheated by predatory, for-profit schools, according to a news release from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

“This is a big win for students across Virginia and around the Country,” said Attorney General Mark Herring on the ruling.

The court’s opinion ruled DeVos’ actions unlawful and ordered an immediate hearing in Washington to determine was to remedy the issues. A subsequent status conference was scheduled for Friday to address remedies.

20 state attorney generals were led to fill the multistate lawsuit to confront changes that DeVos and the Department of Education wanted to make to the Borrower Defense Rule, which was designed to hold abusive higher education for-profit schools and institutions accountable for how they interacted with students and taxpayers.

“The Trump Administration has continuously worked in favor of for-profit colleges, while undermining students and student loan borrowers,” added Herring. “This ruling will help us continue working to hold for-profit schools accountable and provide relief for students who took out loans under false pretenses.”

Following the collapse of for-profit Corinthian College, the Obama Administration finalized the Borrower Defense Rule after negotiating the terms for nearly two years. Less than a year later, DeVos would announce in May 2017 that the Department of Education was going to reevaluate the Borrower Defense Rule.

Devos would later announce her department’s intent to delay large portions of the Borrower Defense Rule and simultaneously announced its intent to issue a new regulation to replace the Borrower Defense Rule.