Ron DeSantis Goes For Jugular of Education Establishment, Sues To Halt “Unchecked Power” Of Federal-Enabled College Accreditators
“The result is that private accrediting agencies enjoy near limitless power over state institutions,” Complaint asserts, seeks injunction to block Education Department from enforcing accreditation-related provisions of the Higher Education Act.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is going after a big game in his latest battle over Florida and education. He is suing the Biden administration over the college accreditation system, which he rightfully calls unaccountable.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
DeSantis Challenges Constitutionality of Accreditation
For 58 years, the accreditation system of higher education has stood, enshrined in federal law and reaffirmed with each reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Now, a federal lawsuit from the state of Florida is looking to upend that entire system, which is a key part of the federal accountability system that helps to determine which colleges and universities receive access to federal financial aid.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and other state officials argue in the lawsuit filed last week that Congress has “ceded unchecked power” to the private accrediting agencies, violating the U.S. Constitution. They want a federal judge to permanently block the Education Department from enforcing accreditation-related provisions of the Higher Education Act. Currently, federal law requires that colleges and universities be accredited by an Education Department–recognized accreditor in order to receive federal student aid such as Pell Grants.
“The result is that private accrediting agencies enjoy near limitless power over state institutions,” Florida officials wrote in the initial complaint. “Accrediting agencies have the power to hold billions of federal education dollars hostage based on the formulation and application of substantive education standards that are immune from meaningful government supervision.”
Another article at Inside Higher Ed has the completely predictable response from the Biden White House:
“Governor DeSantis is now bringing his culture wars, like book bans, to the long-standing system that helps ensure students receive a quality college education,” the White House said in a statement. “This administration won’t allow it. We’re committed to ensuring all students receive a high-quality education, and will fight this latest effort by opponents to get in the way of that.”
This article also boils down the issue to this:
Florida passed a law last year that required state colleges and universities to change accrediting agencies every 10 years. The complaint argues that the Education Department has issued guidance over the last year to make it more difficult for a Florida college or university to switch accreditors. The state wants a federal judge to at least toss out the guidance.
Whether you agree or disagree with what DeSantis is doing here, he deserves credit for getting involved in the issue of education, particularly higher education. The right ignored the issue for so long that the left completely took it over. More Republicans need to get involved.DONATE
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