Next Education Secretary Should Promote Racial Equity, Group Says

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The next US Secretary of Education should use the long-neglected authority he has under the nation’s main higher education law to promote greater racial fairness, senior leaders in the student advocacy group say.

In one paper, group chairman Aaron Ament and vice chairman and chief counsel Daniel Zibel write that the Higher Education Act gives the secretary the power to determine which institutions can participate in the federal direct student loan program.

This means, for example, that the Department of Education can require institutions that wish to accept direct loans to sign agreements to enroll students receiving Pell scholarships at a rate comparable to those who do not receive the aid. , write Ament and Zibel. The ministry could also require agreements that students receiving Pell scholarships graduate at the same rate as those who do not receive scholarships, or graduate at a minimum rate to ensure colleges help them. to success.

The ministry could also use its authority to hold college university programs accountable, and it could require colleges to be financially responsible if students are unable to repay their college loans, the newspaper said. However, the ministry never used its authority for these purposes, according to the newspaper.

“Because the ministry has broad authority over the content of these agreements,” the document said, “the ministry can use these agreements as a gatekeeper to mandate ‘quality assurance’ programs, promote social equity and create structures allowing institutions to have funds. skin in the game ‘when it comes to student loan repayment.


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