Press Release

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the PROTECT Students Act

For Release:


Elena Temple

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the PROTECT Students Act, introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Susie Lee (D-Nev.), which enacts important protections for students and taxpayers against predatory colleges that cheat students and leave them with large debts they cannot afford:

“Higher education is intended to provide students a pathway to opportunity. It was never meant to be a for-profit business that exploits students and sentences them to a lifetime of debt. Predatory colleges that target borrowers should be held accountable for their illegal and unscrupulous practices.

“With this legislation, Reps. DeLauro and Lee are doing what Betsy DeVos should have done: protect students. They are coming to the aid of more than 139,000 students who have been the victims of misleading and deceptive conduct by their schools; veterans who are targeted by profiteers for their GI Bill benefits; single mothers who are subjected to abusive marketing practices; and other students who are cheated by those looking to line their own pockets.

“While it’s despicable that the Department of Education has allowed for-profit colleges to operate without real oversight and adequate student protections, this proposal is the antidote to the department’s conduct. It provides real relief to students through far-reaching reforms that hold predatory colleges accountable to students and taxpayers alike.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.