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Press Releases

Student Defense Demands Hearing on Accreditation, Challenges DeVos's Rulemaking

Student Defense and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) formally submitted four comments and responses to the Department of Education’s proposed weakening of accountability criteria for recognizing accreditation agencies.  The proposal from Secretary Betsy DeVos would favor poor-performing institutions and create enormous space for bad actors to exploit the neediest students. 

  • Student Defense and AFT requested a public hearing, as required by the Higher Education Act. Link
  • Student Defense and AFT submitted a public comment on the Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, relating to accreditation issues. Link
  • Student Defense submitted a public comment on the Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, relating to the State Authorization Rule and several other provisions. Link
  • Student Defense submitted a challenge under the Data Quality Act, demanding that the Department rescind its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and fix its unlawful and unsubstantiated claims before proceeding further. Link


Student Defense is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that works, through litigation and advocacy, to advance students’ rights to educational opportunity and to ensure that higher education provides a launching point for economic mobility.

The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide. Five divisions within the AFT represent the broad spectrum of the AFT's membership: pre-K through 12th-grade teachersparaprofessionals and other school-related personnelhigher education faculty and professional stafffederal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the AFT represents approximately 80,000 early childhood educators and nearly 250,000 retiree members.