MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker appeared before a gathering of armed services veterans in the Fox Valley today to ostensibly thank them for their service. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross slammed Walker for his hypocrisy in light of his policies that leave veterans vulnerable to being preyed upon by the predatory for-profit college industry.
“If Scott Walker really wanted to show respect for our veterans his policies would reflect that,” said Ross. “But rolling back state protections from the for-profit colleges that prey on armed service veterans shows anything but respect for their service and the sacrifices they and their families have made.”
The for-profit college industry has earned scrutiny with a track record of abuses that have left hardworking students in Wisconsin and across the nation deep in debt and without marketable degrees. Federal government scrutiny has uncovered how the industry targets veterans, minorities and low income students, encourages them to take on large student debts and oftentimes leaves those who graduate with essentially worthless degrees.
In Wisconsin, there have been several high profile closures of for-profit college chains including ITT Tech and Globe University. Such closures have left hundreds of state students in limbo, without a way to continue their education or get credit at other institutions for classes they had already completed and paid for.
Despite this track record, Walker, as part of his 2015 state budget, proposed the elimination of the Education Approval Board (EAB), the repeal of several regulatory provisions and the division of the agency’s remaining functions between the Department of Financial Institutions and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The legislature rejected the provision at that time.
Included in his 2017 state budget and signed in to law was Walker’s new plan — eliminating the EAB as a stand alone agency including the positions of executive director and board members and moving its functions to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).