Friday, July 01, 2005

SSDP finds false info on Dept of Ed site

This is infuriating. If memory serves, the prohibition profiteers led by Mark Souder made a big deal out of "reforming" the HEA provision that denies educational aid to college students with minor drug infractions as teenagers. As I recall, in response to a public outcry, Souder himself said that wasn't the intent of the legislation and promised to clarify it.

Funny thing about that fix, The Dept. of Ed failed to mention it on their website. The eagle eyed reformers at SSDP noticed. From their press release.
The U.S. Department of Education has agreed to remove false statements from its website regarding the financial aid eligibility of students with drug convictions after the organization Students for Sensible Drug Policy raised objections. The Department of Education’s webpage for aid eligibility incorrectly tells students that in order to receive aid they “must not have any drug convictions.”

While it is true that more than 160,500 students with drug convictions have been denied financial aid under a little-known provision of the Higher Education Act, the law allows some such students to regain their eligibility, depending on the type of convictions and the date they occurred.
No telling how many students saw the false information and were deterred from applying for help in pursing a college education and the Dept's response time is less than satisfactory.
While the Department of Education has pledged to fix the error, the changes won’t be uploaded to the website until July 24. The deadline for applying for financial aid for next semester is today, June 30.

The webpage in question can be viewed here.

Keep this deceit in mind the next time a drug war warrior tells you their first concern is the children.


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