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12.04.19

By:  Wesley Dockery
Source: International Business Times

Student Loan Crisis: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Suggests Separate Agency To Manage Student Debt

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos suggested Tuesday that the United States should set up a separate federal agency dedicated to managing the country's $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. 

"One has to wonder: Why isn't [Federal Student Aid] a standalone government corporation, run by a professional, expert, and apolitical board of governors?" DeVos said at an annual conference hosted by the Education Department's FSA branch in Reno, Nevada. 

DeVos has claimed that the Federal Student Aid division is an "untamed beast" and that it turns the Department of Education into a "bank." DeVos claims that this new agency would report to Congress. 

One congressional Democrat quickly shot back at the suggestion. 

“The Federal Student Aid office should already be putting students at the center of its work and should already be free from political whims,” Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said about the suggestion. “The Department should focus its time and resources on implementing the existing student loan programs in good faith. There’s nothing that could be done with a new agency that can’t be done today.”

DeVos has frequently been criticized for her handling of student loans. In November, she canceled student debt for 1,500 borrowers who had attended the Art Institute of Colorado and Illinois Institute of Art due to lawsuits from students and advocacy groups. The Education Department had reportedly disbursed aid for students to attend these schools, after they lost their seal of approval from an accreditor, an illegal offense. 



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