Both Senator Dick Durban and Congressman Raul Grijalva represent states in which some of the most corrupt educational institutions exist, yet the two are going after educational institutions in each other’s backyard.
Earlier this month, Grijalva asked for a status report from the department of Education over its involvement in the FBI investigation of 19 Concept Charter schools in Durban’s state of Illinois, as well as Indiana and Ohio.
Durbin recently directed DOD to place the University of Phoenix on probation regarding its participation in the Department’s Tuition Assistance program and continues to use that decision as leverage in his fight to shut down for-profit institutions.
On Friday, Senator Lamar Alexander, John McCain (R-AZ) sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan demanding answers regarding efforts by a task force, headed-up by the Department of Education and comprised of at least eight federal agencies, to “unfairly target the University of Phoenix and other fully accredited for-profit educational institutions.”
In the letter, the senators expressed concern about the lack of information about the interagency task force’s overall authority, mission, duties and activities.
The duo is also questioning Durbin’s participation in the interagency task force’s meeting this week to discuss his views on for-profit higher education.
“It has come to our attention, however, that the task force recently held a meeting with one of our Senate colleagues, specifically, Senator Durbin, to discuss his views on for-profit higher education. In fact, Senator Durbin has used social media to boast about his attendance at this recent meeting,” write the senators. “As Congressional leaders on these most critical issues, we are seeking clear and consistent oversight of all postsecondary institutions to ensure students and families are afforded a quality and accessible education. It is our understanding that this task force is comprised of at least eight federal agencies and will utilize staff and other resources of those agencies. It is our hope that these publicly-funded resources will be directed toward a fair and transparent review of issues facing for-profit and non-profit institutions, and not for a pre-conceived, political agenda to stir the pot of public perception. To do so otherwise would neither be productive nor benefit the public trust.”
Last month, Senators Alexander, McCain and Flake sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter urging him to examine and reconsider DOD’s decision to put the University of Phoenix on probation regarding its participation in the DOD Tuition Assistance Program for active-duty military personnel.
Grijalva, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus and former member of the Communist Party, in a letter dated November 3, to Duncan, asked for a status report on the FBI investigation of 19 schools in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, according FultonCounty.com. Grijalva wrote, “As a member of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, I have a particular interest in charter schools operations that are funded by public taxpayer dollars. I believe that we have an obligation to ensure that no federal funds are being misused in these schools.”
While no educational institution is free from criticism, the University of Phoenix has earned a reputation as a money pit, in which students are forced to spend more money toward earning their desired degree than they anticipated.
Still, the nation’s educational institutions have been the desired field upon which unprincipled ideologues, like McCain, Durbin, and Grijalva wage campaign season battles on behalf of their patrons. Those patrons, like the owner of the University of Phoenix, need to make sure they can keep making money hand-over-fist while students are saddled with more and more debt for degrees that have little real value.