Liz Warren Calls For Education Department Investigation Over Earnings Data

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants the Education Department’s inspector general to look into the legality of the department’s use of student earnings data for loan forgiveness, according to a Tuesday report.

The Massachusetts senator’s action comes after she and fellow Democrat lawmakers scolded the Education Department for various other elements of its loan forgiveness model in 2017, reported The Washington Post.

“There is no evidence of a new data exchange agreement between the department and [the Social Security Administration] for use in borrower defense determinations, nor has there been a revision to the gainful employment information exchange agreement,” Warren told the inspector general, according to WaPo.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced a tiered system of loan forgiveness which protects taxpayers in December. According to the system, a borrower receives 50 percent relief for his loans if half of the graduates from a defrauded borrower’s college earn more than the borrower. He receives 40 percent relief for his loans if he earns more than 60 to 69 percent of his fellow graduates, and so on. (RELATED: DeVos Announces Rules Protecting Taxpayers From ‘Massive’ Student Loan Costs)

Aside from questioning whether the Education Department can use student earnings data for anything apart from analyzing technical schools, Warren alleges that gainful employment data, which does not track federal aid recipients who fail to graduate, is a poor measurement for computing loan forgiveness.

“We do not believe [the Education Department] would be authorized to use earnings information we provide under any current agreement to make decisions about whether or not to grant debt relief to borrowers in certain vocations,” the Social Security Administration wrote in an email obtained by WaPo.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the Education Department for comment, but received none in time for press.


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