Chairman Krishnamoorthi Requests Information From Education Department on Preventing Sex Trafficking Connected to Postsecondary Education
Washington, D.C. (July 7, 2021)— Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to bring the Department of Education’s attention a new Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation report indicating that some postsecondary vocational schools are allegedly being used as cover for illegal practices.
“In order to ensure that this problem is not more widespread, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy is seeking the Department’s assistance to root out any remaining issues,” Chairman Krishnamoorthi wrote. “The Subcommittee would like to work together to determine if any other federal funds are unknowingly being provided to bad actors, and I look forward to pursuing our shared goal of protecting against trafficking in America’s schools.”In November 2019, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) initiated an investigation into the formerly named AAAOM. The investigation uncovered indicia of fraud and suspicious behavior connected to the Academy’s massage therapy program, including irregularities in applications and internship site supervisors who had connections to prostitution or who lacked massage licenses.
While the massage students at AAAOM did not receive federal student loans, AAAOM benefited from federal dollars in other ways, including through CARES Act funding and federal student loans for degree-seeking students. The investigation and the Minnesota OHE’s consent decree resulted in new leadership of the Academy—now the Academy of Health and Wellness—and an end to the facilitation of sex trafficking through the institution.
Chairman Krishnamoorthi requested from the Department of Education its policies and procedures for protecting against sex trafficking in postsecondary education, and information on federal funds that may have gone to schools of concern.
Click here to read the letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.