Lee defended the for-profit schools, saying they “fill a necessary void” by offering training for nontraditional students. “What matters is the quality of education,” not the ownership of these schools, she said.
Other lobbyists for the coalition are the Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, which includes former Rep. Robert Walker (R-Pa.), and Chicago-based Singer Consulting. The firm’s head, William Singer, reported in his first-quarter lobbying disclosure that he had spoken with Durbin and White House Chief of Staff William Daley about the for-profit colleges.
Pressure to turn back the Education Department rules has also come from John Sperling, a prominent Democratic donor who is also the founder of the Apollo Group Inc., the parent company for the University of Phoenix. Sperling, who has been to Capitol Hill to lobby against the regulations, contributed $105,093 in the last election cycle, including $2,400 to Reid and $28,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Even though for-profit colleges lost the last round on Capitol Hill, Arthur Keiser, chancellor of Keiser University in Florida and chairman of the APSCU board, said the schools had no choice but to keep up their lobbying campaign.
“You either fight back,” he said, “or you die.”