Wednesday, August 01, 2012

'For Profit' Rasmussen Buys John Kline

A recently released Harken senate report says many 'for-profit' schools, including three in Minnesota, result in a lot of student/family debt but not in a degree. Among the three schools in Minnesota is Rasmussen Inc. which just happens to be among the top five contributors to John Kline's 2011-2012 campaign committee! Below is a partial list of donors and the amounts they've given to Kline from 'for profit' schools:

 2012 Contributors to John Kline:
  •  Assn of Private Sector Colleges/Univs  $17,500
  •  DeVry Inc  $16,750
  •  Education Affiliates  $15,000
  •  ITT Educational Services  $14,855
  •  Rasmussen Inc  $13,419
For-Profit Education is at the top of all industries in giving to Congressman John Kline ($215,224 in 2011-2012 alone!). It's no surprise that Kline chairs the House Education & Workforce Committee, but how can that amount of money not be seen as a conflict of interest? Especially in lieu of Kline's continue support to repeal existing regulations?

According to the two year investigative report, Rasmussen colleges 'took in tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to boost their marketing and profits', while many of their students 'dropped out in large numbers' often burdened with enormous debt. The report accuses the schools of spending public money "intended to support student educational opportunities" on marketing and to buttress profits. Also noted in the report was the fact that Rasmussen's programs cost several times what similar degrees cost at public colleges... Meanwhile, student dropout rates and loan default rates run many times higher than at public or nonprofit schools

Rasmussen's posted a dropout rate of 63 percent in its associate degree programs, the government said, and its bachelor's degree programs had a dropout rate of 64.2 percent. "Both rank amongst the 10 worst in the sector," the report stated. Beyond its generous marketing and recruiting budget, the report accused Rasmussen of giving credit for clearly plagiarized assignments to undercover investigators who enrolled in the college.

Yet Congressman John Kline continues to endorse for profit groups whose programs have a high student dropout rates and high loan defaults! Kline has even touted visiting Rasmussen college so either Kline (a) doesn't have a clue, or (b) doesn't give a heck about the fraud and misspent federal dollars at taxpayer expense. Kline has even gone as far as to try to kill reform and repeal regulations for these schools!
As chair of the House Education & the Workforce Committee, John Kline has a responsibility to the people that elected him to office to ensure the quality of education services and a fair and manageable cost, but John Kline has done neither.  Instead Kline has accepted thousands of dollars from the very people he should be protecting our students and education system from while eliminating reforms and regulations that would regulate the industry! Just as Kline has sold out to the 'for profit' schools, he's sold out American taxpayers.

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