Durbin Statement On Department Of Education OIG Report On Dream Center Schools

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the Trump Department of Education’s handling of the conversion and closure of Dream Center schools. The report found that under the direction of Principal Deputy Undersecretary Diane Auer Jones, the Department of Education failed to comply with its own internal procedures in order to assist in finding a buyer for the financially troubled Dream Center schools and expedite the sale.  The Department sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Dream Center despite that fact that they were ineligible to receive those funds.

In 2019, along with Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Durbin called on the Department of Education’s OIG to investigate the Department’s handling of the Dream Center case—including reports that millions in federal Title IV funds did not get delivered to students.  In July 2020, Durbin called for Jones’ resignation as a result of her part in the Department’s mishandling.

“This report validates the serious concerns I raised for more than two years about Ms. Auer Jones and the Department’s mishandling of Dream Center.  Today, I'm calling on the Biden Administration to implement the OIG’s recommendations and immediately extend closed school discharge eligibility for Dream Center students.  In addition, this report highlights how critical the Department’s upcoming rulemaking on issues such as for-profit conversions, closed school discharge, and institutional financial responsibility will be for protecting students and taxpayers from another Dream Center debacle.”

In October 2020, Durbin led several of his Senate colleagues in writing to then-Secretary DeVos asking that she extend the closed school discharge look back period for students who attended Dream Center and other failed for-profit colleges.