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And second, we need to pass legislation I introduced with Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, that would reduce the amount of total revenue that for-profit colleges can receive from the federal government. These student aid programs were never intended to sustain a profit-making industry, and these schools need to pull away from the federal trough.
The Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers Act would also include GI Bill funding and Department of Defense tuition assistance program funding when total federal revenue is calculated.
Instead of sending billions of dollars a year to failing for-profit schools, we should be spending that money on schools with proven track records of educating rather than exploiting students and making productive investments in infrastructure, medical research and effective worker training.
While we all like to talk about reducing wasteful spending, it’s time to take action and close the loopholes that the for-profit college industry is exploiting to pad their bottom line.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., is the Senate majority whip.