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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Applauds Department of Education Action on Forced Arbitration

June 14, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) applauds the Department of Education’s proposed regulations to protect students and taxpayers from predatory practices of private, for-profit colleges and universities. Although months of regulation negotiation between advocates, stakeholders and the Department of Education did not result in a consensus in March, many of the provisions in the newly proposed rule are direct suggestions from legislation Congresswoman Waters’ has previously introduced, the Court Legal Access and Student Support Act (CLASS Act).

“I strongly support ending the use of forced arbitration agreements in consumer contracts, and am encouraged by efforts at the Department of Education to ensure that consumers can seek relief from predatory practices in court,” said Ranking Member Waters. “Schools that defraud and take advantage of students already turn lives upside down - forced arbitration in these school enrollment agreements protect scam schools and harm our students further. This new regulation will eliminate forced arbitration provisions at schools that benefit from federal funding, and ensure all students have the right to their day in court.”

By including forced arbitration clauses in student contracts, for-profit colleges and universities protect their predatory practices that harm students and taxpayers. The CLASS Act would ban this abusive practice of forcing students to sign away their rights as a cost of admission.

Congresswoman Waters’ has been a champion of student borrowers and taxpayers against the for-profit college industry since her service as a member of the California State Assembly. She has introduced various bills addressing predatory practices of these institutions including the Students Before Profits Act and the Ensuring Quality Education for Veterans Act, which close a loophole that currently incentivizes for-profit colleges to take advantage of veteran students.