California and seven other states have filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos by former Corinthian Colleges students who allege the department is unfairly denying student loan debt relief to students of the now-defunct for-profit school system.
The brief was filed Wednesday in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco. It was signed by California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, along with attorneys general from Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Washington.
The Education Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The original class-action lawsuit, Martin Calvillo Manriquez vs. DeVos, was filed in December. It alleged that the Education Department’s delay in processing student loan-relief claims was “unreasonable” and that the department “unlawfully withheld the benefits of its rule.”
Becerra said during a news conference Thursday that more than 50,000 claims from former Corinthian Colleges students were still awaiting processing. Between December and May, 12,500 claims had been approved and 8,600 claims were denied, according to a graphic tweeted by the attorney general’s office during the news conference.
From June 2015 to Jan. 20, 2017, the Education Department approved 28,000 claims and denied none, according to the graphic.
“We have seen her turn back the clock and we have seen her turn her back on our students, delaying and denying debt relief,” Becerra said.