On Thursday, Maine’s Legislative Council will consider appeals on two bills addressing the issues raised in your editorial Wednesday (“Our View: For-profit school settlement deserves low grades”) for consideration in the upcoming second session of the 127th Maine Legislature.

The Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights would crack down on fraud and abuse by those making student loans and help Maine students, like those defrauded by Education Management Corp. The Maine Tuition Integrity Act would protect taxpayer dollars by making sure that student loans and grants meant to pay for education are in fact going to fund education, not advertising and CEO salaries.

Federal and state overseers of for-profit schools have chronically failed to protect students from the worst-performing institutions. Maine, via these bills, would have the tools needed to ensure that our students are receiving the education for which they and the state’s taxpayers paid.

For Maine’s economy to grow and for Mainers to realize their potential and secure livelihoods to support themselves and their families, post-secondary education is the gateway.

Addressing student loan fraud and abuse through these bills will remove an unnecessary and harmful barrier toward this goal. We urge the Legislative Council to approve them for consideration in 2016.

Jody Harris

associate director, Maine Center for Economic Policy