Governor DeSantis sues Education Department over Higher Ed accreditation process

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education.

The lawsuit contends that the Department of Education’s accreditation process is unfair to the colleges and universities in the state of Florida. DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education have passed a number of new laws in regard to both K-12 and Higher Education. One of those laws requires universities to switch accreditors every so often. According to the lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance making it virtually impossible for schools to comply with the directive:

“For a college or university to fully operate in the United States with access to federal student loans, it must be accredited by federally approved private accrediting bodies known as “accreditors.” Last year, Governor DeSantis signed legislation that requires colleges and universities to seek accreditation from different accreditors in consecutive accreditation cycles. Prior to that legislation, accrediting agencies had a monopoly on Florida colleges and universities and were able to control their operations by threatening to withhold accreditation if an institution didn’t adhere to the ideological agenda promoted by its accreditor,” said the office of Gov. DeSantis via a news release. “The U.S. Department of Education responded to this legislation with three “guidance documents” expressly aimed at Florida, including a “dear colleague letter” which “reiterated” the standards the agency would apply to determine whether an institution has “reasonable cause” to change accreditors.”

Gov. DeSantis is a 2024 presidential hopeful and is banking heavily on his education platform to build a national following.

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