State lawmakers, advised by Robert Shireman, want to fill what they call a void in federal leadership by enforcing regulations on for-profit institutions and recently converted nonprofit colleges.
California lawmakers are going after for-profit institutions with a slate of bills meant to tighten regulations, some of which also are aimed at nonprofit universities with big online programs.
Lawmakers in the state say the bills are a response to the rollback of for-profit oversight led by Betsy DeVos, U.S. secretary of education. And policy makers in California aren’t alone in pushing back at the state level: bills introduced recently in Maine, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington also seek to regulate for-profit colleges.
Some of the proposals, which Robert Shireman and the Century Foundation helped craft, appear to go after specific institutions. Shireman, a former deputy undersecretary of education in the Obama administration and a senior fellow at the foundation, said states watched as DeVos dropped Obama-era student aid regulations that largely targeted the for-profit sector. And he said some state lawmakers subsequently approached him and other groups for guidance.