State Legislative and Regulatory Activity Update June 4, 2013

 

In Oregon, the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee amended and approved H.B. 3079. The bill, asamended, would require higher education institutions to provide students with fact sheets regarding cost, loans, job placement rates and related data priorto enrollment. It also stipulates that the Higher Education Coordinating Commission "shall by rule determine a process for evaluating programs and degrees that lead to a profession or trade that requires a license, registration, certificate or other authorization to practice the profession or trade in this state. This process must include a determination of the passage rates of students enrolled in these programs or degrees for the authorization required."

On May 27th in Carson City, Nevada, the Assembly Committee on Education gave S.B. 446 a "do pass" recommendation with no amendments. As previously reported, the bill would authorize Nevada's appointees to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education to enter into reciprocity agreements including "the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement for the purpose of authorizing a postsecondary educational institution that is located in another state or territory of the United States to provide distance education to residents of this State." The bill now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

In Ohio, the Senate Finance Committee released its FY 2014 and 2015 budget bill. According to the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools (OACCS), the Senate version does not contain language restoring House approved cuts for students attending degree-granting private sector colleges and universities. In testimony provided to the Senate Finance Committee last week, OACCS President Wayne Korpics stated, "Substitute House Bill 59 penalizes students attending career colleges and schools by reducing the average annual student grant amount by more than $100 from what our students receivedin the previous 2012-2013 budget. In the previous budget, our students received an average grant of $465; under Substitute House Bill 59, they would receiveonly $356. Yet, needy students attending publicly funded universities will receive a $200 annual increase ($547 to $759 per year) and enrollees at private, not-for-profit universities will get $1,700 annually. All needy students, regardless of the institution they attend, should have equal access to the state's tuition aid."

Finally in Connecticut, the Senate approved H.B.5500 clearing the way for consideration by Governor Daniel Malloy (D). Upon receipt of the bill, the Governor will have 15 days to either sign or veto it or the measure will become law without his signature. The bill requires institutions of higher education, and for-profit institutions of higher education licensed to operate in Connecticut, to provide students with the financial aid shopping sheet developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education.

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PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.