National Black Chamber Calls on Sec. Duncan: "Enough, Turn the Lights On and Stop the Secrecy on Gainful Employment Rule That Will Hurt Minorities"

With trademark lack of transparency, DoED bulldozes through with regulation, keeps public in the dark

Despite grave charges of a secret, biased rule and launch of investigation Duncan send rule to White House

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and Lanny Davis, former Clinton White House Special Counsel, today called on Secretary Arne Duncan to stop the secrecy on the "Gainful Employment" rule and release the text of the regulation for the public to see. The Department of Education today sent the highly controversial regulation to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for final review, without publicly posting it. The rule-making process has been plagued with charges of impropriety and regulating behind closed-doors with a complete lack of transparency. 

Harry Alford, president and CEO of NBCC said:

"The Department crossed the Rubicon today by forwarding the Gainful Employment rule for final review by the OMB, seemingly numb that its impact will be to drastically limit opportunity for low-income and minority students who attend career colleges. NBCC has long opposed this rule because of the harsh impact it will have on our country's most vulnerable students.

"Last week we released a white paper depicting the department's incompetent process which includes numerous mistakes on the rule's calculation, the influence of Wall Street short-sellers and a blatantly inaccurate and intentionally distorted GAO report attacking career colleges. Even after an Inspector General investigation has been launched into the department's involvement with short-sellers, the department has been leaking content to financial analysts, but not to members of Congress or the groups that will be most impacted by the rule.

"We have called upon Secretary Arne Duncan to hit the pause button - slow this process down, be more transparent and investigate how this rule was formed. A flood of 90,000 public comments in response to the rule, bipartisan Congressional support to block implementation of the rule and numerous calls for investigations on how the rule was formed should be a strong indication to the Department of Education that Gainful Employment is bad policy.

"Rather than looking at the real consequences this rule will have on minority students and heed the call from both Republicans and Democrats to end this regulation, the department is bulldozing it through. More troubling still, is that public stakeholders are not allowed to see the status of the regulation that was sent for review. Why the secrecy?  Why is the public being kept in the dark? This process is shockingly undemocratic, and transparency must be restored. We call on Sec. Duncan to release the rule for public posting."

About NBCC

The NBCC reaches 100,000 Black owned businesses. There are 1.9 million Black owned businesses in the United States. Black businesses account for over $138 billion in annual sales. African Americans have over $1 trillion in expendable income each year according to the US Bureau of Census. The National Black Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora.

For more information, please call NBCC at (202) 466-6888 or visit www.uneducatedpolicy.com.

SOURCE National Black Chamber of Commerce



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