Perez had a remarkable career in higher education. Although he is a high-school dropout and convicted criminal, that did not stop him from founding a medical college that trained nurses and had five campuses.
Dade Medical College or people affiliated with it made three quarters of a million dollars in political contributions over the years, and two Florida legislators were on its payroll. It is closed now, and its 2000 students have been left in the lurch. Most of them have student loans that still have to be paid back.
Americans should thank the writers of the Miami Herald and Michael Vasquez in particular for relentless and hard-hitting reporting about DMC and the for-profit college industry in Florida. As the Herald series of corruption in the Florida for-profit college industry revealed, a ton of Florida legislators received political contributions from the industry, helping it to flourish. In fact, 18 percent of all postsecondary students in Florida attend a for-profit, far higher than the national average--about 12 percent.
Another individual who has written great stuff on the for-profits is David Halperin, who has shown a spotlight on the way the for-profits have bought influence with legislators at both the state and national level.
If you want to understand how the for-profit college industry manages to prosper in spite of low graduation rates, high dropout rates, and high student-loan default rates, read Halperin's work in Huffington Post and the Miami Herald articles on corruption in the Florida for-profit industry. The for-profits have hired lobbyists and made strategic campaign contributions to nearly every legislator who has the power to help or hurt them. And millions of naive students have been injured by this pernicious industry.
|Debbie Wasserman Schultz: A bleeding heart liberal|
who takes political contributions from the for-profit college industry
Francisco Alvarado. Dade Medical College Has Powerful Friends but Struggling Students. Broward/Palm Beach New Times, August 29, 2013. Accessible at: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2013-08-29/news/dade-medical-college-has-powerful-friends-but-struggling-students/
Dade Medical College. Ernesto Perez to be Honored at SFBJ CEO Awards. 2013. Accessible at: http://www.dademedical.edu/rightnow/ernestoperezbehonoredsfbjceoawards
Kelly Field, "U.S. Has Forgiven Loans of More Than 3,000 Ex-Corinthian Students, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 3, 2015. Accessible at: http://chronicle.com/article/US-Has-Forgiven-Loans-of/232855/?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en
Fred Grimm. Before his fall, Ernesto Perez bought himself lots of friends. Miami Herald, November 4, 2015. Accessible at: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fred-grimm/article42988848.html
David Halperin. Exposed: For-Profit Colleges' Blueprint for Blocking Obama Regulations. Huffington Post, May 5, 2014. Accessible at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/exposed-for-profit-colleg_b_5256688.html
David Halperin. For-Profit Colleges Spend Big on Lobbyists to Fight Obama Regulation. Huffington Post, April 28, 2015. Accessible at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/for-profit-colleges-spend_b_5221407.html
David Halperin. For-Profit College Lobbyist Explains Decades of Fraud as Humanitarian Mission. Huffington Post, September 23, 2015. Accessible at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/for-profit-college-lobbyi_b_8184952.html
David Halperin. The Perfect Lobby: How One Industry Captured Washington, DC. The Nation, April 3, 2014. Accessible at: https://www.thenation.com/article/perfect-lobby-how-one-industry-captured-washington-dc/
David Halperin. Which For-Profit Lobbyist Are You? Huffington Post, March 28, 2014. Accessible at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/which-for-profit-college_b_5040172.html
Michael Vasquez. Amid criminal charges, CEO of Dade Medical Ccollege Resigns. Miami Herald, October 23, 2013. Accessible at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/23/3706821/ernesto-perez-resigns-as-head.html
David Halperin. $33 Million Per Year of Your Tax Money to For-Profit College Whose CEO Hid Criminal Record. Huffington Post, October 21, 2013. Accessible at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/33-million-per-year-of-yo_b_4136451.html
Dade Medical College owner turns himself in. Miami Herald, November 3, 2015. Accessible at: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article42643344.html
Michael Vasquez. Amid criminal charges, CEO of Dade Medical College Resigns. Miami Herald, October 23, 2013. Accessible at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/23/3706821/ernesto-perez-resigns-as-head.html
Michael Vasquez and Christina Veiga. A for-profit empire, Dade Medical College, tumbles down. Miami Herald, October 30, 2015. Accessible at: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article41967387.html