A headline today at the Washington Post (6/3/11) reads, “A Reprieve for Higher-Ed Companies?” A more honest headline might have been, “A Reprieve for Us?”
The story discusses congressional action on a bill that would increase oversight of private, for-profit colleges, since many students take out government-subsidized student loans in order to attend such schools. Critics argue that the schools do a poor job of preparing students for the workforce.
The Post discloses its interests, though a bit late–in the 14th paragraph of a 22-paragraph story: “Half a dozen leading firms in for-profit education–including the Washington Post Co. on behalf of its Kaplan education division–and the trade group Coalition for Educational Success spent a total of $4.3million lobbying in 2010 and at least $2million this year.”
My favorite part of the story is this:
After an intense lobbying campaign by the for-profit education industry, the regulation–which is supposed to push for-profit companies into designing programs that will lead students to good-paying jobs–was pared back from a draft proposal that was released last summer.
“I wouldn’t say people are dancing in the streets,” said one lobbyist who asked for anonymity to protect relationships with clients and officials. “But it is certainly an improvement over the proposed regulation.”
The Post grants anonymity to a lobbyist who could very well be working on the Post‘s side in this debate? That’s a new one.