Campus Talk: Pres. Obama to ask for $13.6 million for student aid enforcement unit

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 142 views 

Editor’s note: Each Tuesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Campus Talk,” a recap and roundup of education news. 

OBAMA TO ASK FOR $13.6 MILLION FOR STUDENT AID ENFORCEMENT UNIT: The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Pres. Obama will be sending a funding request for $13.6 million for the U.S. Department of Education to institute a “Student Aid Enforcement Unit.” The division will be led by a top consumer-protection lawyer from the Federal Trade Commission, Robert Kaye.

“The freestanding unit, which will report to the chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid, will initially consist of ‘a few dozen’ employees who are already involved in oversight and borrower protection, department officials told reporters on Monday. But the department plans to hire many more employees if Congress approves its budget request,” the Chronicle reported. Read more here.

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX TO BE TAKEN PRIVATE: The New York Times reports that the troubled for-profit University of Phoenix will be taken private in a $1.1 billion private equity deal. Apollo Education Group is leading the buyout of the online university accused of “shady recruiting, deceptive advertising and questionable financial aid practices.” The new owners vowed to clean up the company and the for-profit education industry. Read more in-depth at this link.

COMMISSIONER KEY NAMES STACY SMITH TO CHARTER AUTHORIZING PANEL: Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key appointed Stacy Smith, interim assistant commissioner for Learning Services, to the Charter Authorizing Panel. Smith replaces Dr. Debbie Jones, who recently left ADE to become the deputy superintendent at the Bentonville School District. Dr. Mark Gotcher, ADE deputy commissioner, has been named the panel’s vice-chair. Gotcher, who has served on the panel since July 2015, replaces Jones as vice-chair. The Charter Authorizing Panel oversees the authorization, renewal, revision and revocation of charters. The Arkansas Quality Charter Schools Act of 2013 requires the commissioner to appoint ADE staff to the panel.