A federal court in California ruled Friday that the Education Department violated privacy laws when it used the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help it analyze loan forgiveness for students defrauded by the for-profit Corinthian Colleges.
The district court ordered the department to cease debt collection from the defrauded students and to stop seeking SSA’s services for the practice, according to The Associated Press.
The Education Department began the practice last year when Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that former students of the now-shuttered schools would have only part of their federal loans forgiven.
The court said it wants to hear more from Corinthian Colleges and those who have filed a class-action suit against the for-profit chain to determine if it will compel the department to return the full loan forgiveness, the AP reported.
About 100,000 students have ongoing claims for full loan forgiveness through the Education Department.
The Hill has requested comment from the department regarding the decision.
The group representing the defrauded students, Harvard University’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, hailed Friday’s court decision as a victory.
“The notion that students got anything other than negative value from Corinthian has been roundly disproved by student experience and the judgment of employers and the legitimate higher education sector,” director Toby Merill said.
The state of California sued DeVos last year over the decision to repay only some of the loans, calling it an “unconscionable” choice by the department.
“What Secretary DeVos is doing is unconscionable,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
“It is hard to believe that we are forced to sue the Department of Education to compel Secretary DeVos to carry out the Department’s legal duty and help these students rebuild their lives,” he added.
BY JOHN BOWDEN – 05/26/18
Federal officials lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children last year after a government agency placed the minors in the homes of adult sponsors in communities across the country, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee Thursday.
The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.
Federal officials came under fire two years ago after rolling back child protection policies meant for minors fleeing violence in Central America. In a follow-up hearing on Thursday, senators said that the agencies had failed to take full responsibility for their care and had delayed crucial reforms needed to keep them from falling into the hands of human traffickers.
“You are the worst foster parents in the world. You don’t even know where they are,” said Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. “We are failing. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. And when we fail kids that makes me angry.”
On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.
On February 14, 1939, the 823-foot Bismarck was launched at Hamburg. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art battleship would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war, Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone.
In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down, all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain. Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British Home Fleet in pursuit. On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hoodexploded and sank, and all but three of the 1,421 crewmen were killed. The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel it fled for occupied France. On May 26, it was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27 three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off.