Staff of the U.S. Department of Education this morning refused to let attendees livestream its negotiated rule-making meeting, the first in a series of sessions where the Trump-DeVos department is aiming to roll back Obama-era rules to protect students and taxpayers from predatory practices by for-profit colleges. It then actively resisted proposals from negotiators representing veterans, students, and consumers to allow livestreaming until, after extensive debate, finally caving to what should be an obvious point: This is an open government meeting, the record of which should not be censored.
Charlotte Hancock of the Center for American Progress-affiliated Higher Ed Not Debt project began a livestream as the meeting began at 9 a.m. today in a large meeting room at a Holiday Inn close to the department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. She was halted by an Education Department staffer who said the meetings are public but livestreaming is not allowed. Hancock pushed back for several minutes, but the staffer insisted they wouldn’t begin the negotiations while the stream was going.