After years of attempts, Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican governor, has successfully eliminated the state's Education Approval Board as an independent agency tasked with overseeing for-profit colleges.
Walker's partial veto last week of a budget bill accelerated the timetable for folding the board into the state's safety and professional services department, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. With the veto, the EAB's independent governing board has been nixed, and the agency's six employees have been laid off. They may be able to reapply for their jobs.
Advocates for the for-profit sector have questioned whether an independent agency in Wisconsin was necessary, given that 29 for-profit institutions in the state have closed in recent years. But David Dies, the EAB's executive secretary, told Inside Higher Ed last month that the small agency still oversees 218 colleges.
Critics of Walker's veto include Michael Rosen, a retired economics instructor at a Wisconsin community college and a former faculty union leader.
"Thousands of economically disadvantaged young people, single mothers, veterans and students of color, will be hurt by this veto," Rosen said in a written statement. "Wisconsin is now open for business for the predatory businesses that are educational institutions in name only."