Oregon, 18 more sue DeVos on for-profit college delay

Education Secretary delayed rules that protect students

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2017 file photo, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. DeVos bid to become education secretary could be in trouble. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced their opposition to DeVos in speeches on the Senate floor Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP) — Democratic attorneys general in 18 states and the District of Columbia are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges.

The attorneys general who filed the lawsuit are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Washington and demands implementation of borrower defense to repayment rules.

The rules aim to make schools financially responsible for fraud and forbid them from forcing students to resolve complaints outside court.

They were created under President Barack Obama’s administration and were to take effect July 1.

On June 14, DeVos announced the rules would be delayed and rewritten, saying they created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading the lawsuit and says DeVos’ decision is “a betrayal of her office’s responsibility and a violation of federal law.”