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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

CALIFORNIA S.B. 1247 - Governance & State Oversight, Governance & State Oversight (Regulatory Structure), State Financial Aid

08/04/2014

Sponsor: Senator Ted Lieu (D)

Summary: Current version (7/1/2014); Extends the operation of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, which provides for the regulation of private postsecondary educational institutions by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education in the Department of Consumer Affairs, through January 1, 2019.

Establish the Board for Private Postsecondary Education as a successor agency to the bureau on July 1, 2015. Removes the exemption from its provisions for an institution that is approved to participate in veterans financial aid programs pursuant to a specified federal law, and that is not an independent institution of higher education, thereby making the act applicable to the institution.

Requires the board, beginning July 1, 2015, to, among other things, contract with the Office of the Attorney General, or other appropriate statr agency, to establish a process for board staff to be trained to investigate complaints filed with the board, post specified information on its Internet Web site, establish a task force to identify standards for specified educational and training programs and provide a report to the Legislature regarding those programs, adopt minimum operating standards for an institution that ensure, among other things, that an institution offering a degree is accredited and that an unaccredited institution offering a degree satisfies certain requirements, and establish application processing goals and timelines to ensure that an institution’s approval to operate application is promptly reviewed by the board.

Requires the board to submit a report to the Legislature, on or before October 1, 2015, on whether data reporting and disclosure requirements under the act may be consolidated with reporting required by other federal and state regulatory bodies, to submit a report to the Legislature relating to an independent review of its staffing resources, and to contract with the Office of the Attorney General for investigative and prosecutorial services if the board has reason to believe that an institution has engaged in a pattern or practice of violating the law.

Establishes the Student Tuition Recovery Fund and requires the bureau to adopt regulations governing the administration and maintenance of the fund, including requirements relating to assessments on students and student claims against the fund, and establishes that the moneys in this fund are continuously appropriated to the bureau for specified purposes. Require regulations to ensure that students are eligible for payment from the fund in specified circumstances.

Amendment #3 (7/1/2014):  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_1201-1250/sb_1247_bill_20140701_amended_asm_v96.pdf

Amendment #2 (6/18/2014):  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_1201-1250/sb_1247_bill_20140618_amended_asm_v97.pdf

Amendment #1 (6/5/2014): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_1201-1250/sb_1247_bill_20140605_amended_asm_v98.pdf

Introduced version: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_1201-1250/sb_1247_bill_20140220_introduced.pdf

Status: Introduced 2/20/2014. Referred to Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development and Senate Committee on Education 3/6/2014. Hearing held, reported; re-referred to Committee on Education 4/28/2014. Committee on Education hearing held, reported; re-referred to Committee on Appropriations 4/30/2014. Hearing held 5/12/2014. Hearing held, reported 5/23/2014. Passed Senate 5/27/2014. Received in Assembly, referred to Assembly Committee on Higher Education and Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection 6/3/2014. Amended 6/5/2014. Hearing held, reported, re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection  6/10/2014. Amended 6/18/2014. Hearing held, reported; re-referred to Assembly Committee on Appropriations 6/24/2014. Amended 7/1/2014. Hearing scheduled 8/6/2014.

Outlook: At the scheduled hearing, the Committee on Appropriations will accept limited public testimony. A vote on this measure is expected at the hearing. Should the Committee determine this measure has a significant fiscal impact, it may place this measure in its suspense file for consideration at a later time. Per Joint Rule 61(b)(14), the committee has by August 15 to act on this measure.

This measure was withdrawn by the sponsor, amended and re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. The author's amendment is technical in nature.

After allowing for public testimony, the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection recommended this measure for passage by a 9-3 vote. The measure will next be referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations for consideration. As this measure contains fiscal provisions it must be approved by the Appropriations Committee before it may be considered by the full chamber. Per Joint Rule 61(b)(17), the committee has by August 15 to act on this measure.

This measure was withdrawn by the sponsor, amended and re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection. The author's amendment requires the task force establish application processing goals and timelines to ensure that an institution’s approval to operate application is promptly reviewed by the board. The amendment also requires the board to submit a report to the Legislature, on or before October 1, 2015, on whether data reporting and disclosure requirements under the act may be consolidated with reporting required by other federal and state regulatory bodies, to submit a report to the Legislature relating to an independent review of its staffing resources, and to contract with the Office of the Attorney General for investigative and prosecutorial services if certain conditions are satisfied.

The Assembly Committee on Higher Education recommended this measure for passage by a 9-2 vote to the full chamber which re-referred the measure to the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection for further consideration. According to legislative sources, the measure is expected to amended further. The amendments requested by the committed include the addition of a requirement that the board report to the Legislature on or before October 1, 2015 on whether data reporting and disclosure requirements under the Act efforts to streamline could be appropriately consolidated with reporting required by other regulatory bodies, including, but not limited to, reporting required by the United States Department of Education, the California Student Aid Commission, or accrediting agencies. The board's approval process for institutions while ensuring It is the intent of the Legislature that the same or similar data information, as is required to be reported to the board pursuant to this article, is being reported to students in a clear and conspicuous manner.

There are several areas in this measure where clarifying amendments were also requested by committee members, including in the areas of transition provisions, the definition of applicant and owner, the ability to benefit examinations and defining an educational program to mean courses or modules that provide education or training and experience leading to the award of a recognized educational credential, such as a degree or diploma.

Registering in favor of this measure were representatives of The Children's Advocacy Institute, Center for Public Interest Law, Veteran's Legal Clinic and Young Invincible. The California Coalition of accredited Career Schools were the only to officially register their opposition with the committee.

This measure was withdrawn by the sponsor, amended and re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. The author's amendment is extensive and deals with, among other things, the creation of the Board of Private Postsecondary Education as a successor agency to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education in the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Assembly referred this measure to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, chaired by Assembly Member Das Williams (D), and Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection. Before this measure may be considered by the second committee of referral, it must first be reported out by this committee. Committees are not required to consider every measure referred.

The Senate adopted this measure by a 33-3 vote.

The sponsor is a member of the majority party. The Democratic Party controls both legislative chambers as well as the Office of Governor.

Effective Date: Upon approval by the Governor.

*Information providedd by www.stateside.com