Former President George W. Bush will speak at the annual meeting of APSCU, the leading association of for-profit colleges, on June 22 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Bush is an appropriate speaker, in a sense, because his Administration’s deliberate actions made it easier for bad actors among for-profit schools to engage in a decade of waste, fraud, and abuse that earned them billions in profits but has left many former students deep in debt and without job prospects. Bush’s appearance is “presented” by Pearson, the education publishing company whose nonprofit foundation is now under investigation by the New York attorney general for allegedly seeking to improperly influence state education officials with free trips to destinations like London, Helsinki, Singapore and Rio de Janeiro.

We hope that at least APSCU is not paying President Bush, whose speaking fees “vary based on event location.”  That’s because otherwise we would be concerned about an industry financially rewarding a former politician who rewarded the industry unduly while in office. (Mitt Romney is already being groomed to be the same kind of For-Profit Education President.) Also, it’s because for-profit colleges can receive 90 percent or more of their revenue from taxpayers.  So if APSCU or its members pay President Bush to speak, it’s mostly us, the taxpayers, who will pay his fee, as well as for as for the food and hotel rooms in Vegas, the APSCU event “concert” (“Information Coming Soon!”), and other frolics.

 

Filed under: Lobbying

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