Democratic lawmakers sought to tighten oversight of the troubled industry. Then the lobbying began.
Just a few months ago, California’s Democratic-controlled legislature seemed poised to pass the nation’s toughest restrictions on for-profit colleges. School owners publicly fretted that they’d have to shut down.
Supporters of the seven-bill package, which sailed through the Assembly, hoped California could help close a gap in oversight as the Trump administration has backed away from policing quality in a sector that relies heavily on public money but has been plagued by fraud and poor outcomes. But as the legislative session draws to a close, nearly all of the bills have died or been significantly weakened, felled by a costly lobbying blitz and the complexity of crafting a state-based solution to a nationwide challenge.
Their demise marks a victory for an industry that has been plagued by scandals and school closures in recent years — and a setback for consumer and veterans groups that supported the legislation.