The Association for Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) is not giving up its efforts to sidetrack the Department of Education’s pending "gainful employment" rule — and they need your help.
On Saturday, APSCU issued an email to its member organizations under the subject line, "Urgent Call to Action — Gainful Employment." The message detailed how for-profit school allies in the United States House of Representatives presented the association with "a very real opportunity to block the Department of Education’s implementation of a ‘gainful employment’ rule."
Chairman John Kline (R-MN) of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) of the Subcommittee on Higher Education, and Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) are expected to offer an amendment this week to the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution ("CR"). The amendment would prevent the Department from using federal funds through September 30, 2011 to implement the controversial "gainful employment" regulation. The email said "if Congress passes the amendment and it is signed into law, the Department will have to stop work, at least for now, on gainful employment."
Career College Central is joining in the Association in its effort to block the regulation that could eliminate much-needed programs at schools throughout the nation, prevent access to education among minority students, and lead to the closing of many for-profit schools. Below are instructions issued by APSCU that explain how you, too, can help:
1. Contact the office of your Member of Congress by phone and email Monday morning to: a) URGE YOUR MEMBER TO SUPPORT THE KLINE/FOXX/HASTINGS/MCCARTHY Amendment to the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution on Gainful Employment and b) request a clear verbal or written indication of whether the Member of Congress will or will not support the amendment. Be persistent. Members’ offices are going to be deluged with contacts because of the many controversial issues included in the continuing resolution.
· Ideally, calls should be directed to the Chief of Staff for your Member of Congress with a follow-up email to both the Chief of Staff and Legislative Assistant who handles Education issues for the Member. A suggested script for your calls and emails is located below.
· House Member office contact information is located at: www.house.gov and is searchable by zip code. It is likely your institution has students and employees in more than one Congressional District, so feel free to reach out to Representatives in adjacent geographic areas in which those individuals reside.
· Important: Our message to each Member is simply to VOTE YES on the Kline/Foxx/Hastings/McCarthy amendment. We are NOT asking Members to take a position on the overall Continuing Resolution bill, which is highly controversial itself, and which tends to divide along party lines. We are only asking them to commit to VOTE YES ON THE KLINE/FOXX/HASTINGS/MCCARTHY AMENDMENT, which is supported by both leading Republicans and Democrats. For example, if a Member will vote against the continuing resolutions on party lines, that Member can still vote yes on the individual amendment. It is a separate vote. If a staff member in a Congressional office tells you that she/he will pass along your message to the Congressmen, politely but firmly ask for the Congressman’s staff to get back to you ASAP with the Congressman’s position. You are a constituent, and are entitled to ask not only that your message be passed along, but that you are told how the Member will vote on this critical amendment.
2. After you make contacts with your Member(s), contact APSCU. Please email Bruce.Leftwich@apscu.org to give us a report on the position indicated by the Member of Congress or her/his staff. It is helpful if you can characterize their position on the amendment as one of the following: Will Vote Yes, Leaning to Vote Yes, Undecided, Leaning to Vote No, or Will Vote No. We want as many clear commitments of Yes votes as possible, of course, but it is also important we know of Members who are still undecided and can be convinced to vote "Yes". Similarly, we do not want to spend a great deal of resources trying to convince a solid opponent of the amendment to change her/his mind.
· It is vitally important that you follow up with APSCU so that we can maintain a “whip list” of where all House Members stand on the amendment so that we can focus and direct our resources on gathering as many “yes” votes as possible.
The Senate may have to consider this issue, too, depending on what action the House takes. But that will not be before the week of February 28. We will keep you apprised of how best to approach the Senate.
SCRIPT FOR CONGRESSIONAL CALLS AND EMAILS
My name is ____. I am [Title] at [School/organization]. [One sentence explanation of school/organization’s positive educational and economic role in Representative’s district]
I am calling about an important and time sensitive matter for which we seek [Representative name]’s support.
Chairman Kline of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Chairwoman Foxx of the Subcommittee on Higher Education, and Representatives Hastings and McCarthy are expected to offer an amendment this week to the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution that would prevent the Department of Education from using funds to implement a "gainful employment" regulation.
We urge [Representative name] to SUPPORT THE KLINE/FOXX/HASTINGS/MCCARTHY AMENDMENT to block funding to implement a gainful employment regulation. Please let us know as soon as possible what the position of [Representative name] would be on this amendment. Again, we urge a YES VOTE to this amendment. Passage of this amendment by the United States House of Representatives is a top priority for [organization].[If you get staff on the phone then add this detail, and also to any follow up email: A gainful employment regulation is very harmful because it would impose a complex matrix that examines the student loan debt-to-income ratio of graduates to the student loan repayment rate of gradates in career training programs in a manner that would have a devastating and broad impact on the students who attend or seek to attend career-focused private sector colleges and universities.]