In California, we have been working with state legislators to improve college oversight and student protections. We are also supporting California regulations to improve oversight of GI Bill colleges. We had a major win in October 2019 when the California Governor signed into law three bills we worked hard on:
- AB 1340, which requires California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to calculate students’ debt-to-income ratio at for-profit colleges and programs;
- AB 1344, which increases state oversight of out-of-state institutions that enroll California students in online programs; and
- AB1346 that helps students recover the true cost of their losses if their school closes while they are enrolled.
And we have more great bills in the works!
In Maine, we supported an important bill for two years, finally enacted in May 2019, LD 103, “An Act to Ensure the Integrity of For-Profit Colleges,” which requires annual review by the Commissioner of Education to ensure for-profit colleges are meeting adequate educational standards. For-profit colleges and universities, like their public and non-profit counterparts, will have to report how much money is spent on instruction, graduation rates, loan status of graduates, and employment status of graduates.
In Maryland we are focusing our efforts on closing the 90-10 loophole and ensuring that for-profit colleges fairly invest in the education they provide their students. In 2019 we narrowly missed passing SB 399, a bill that would’ve required for-profit schools to reduce the amount of government funding on which they currently rely by creating a state-level 85-15 rule. Our goal for 2020 is to finish what we started by passing legislation to close the 90-10 loophole and to ensure that all for-profit institutions are investing a minimum amount of their profit in instructional spending. We believe this legislation will have a huge impact on improving the quality and outcomes of private for-profit schools across the state.
In Massachusetts we worked with the Attorney General’s office on regulations to ensure school accountability.
In New York we are playing a pivotal role in educating the Governor’s office, the Senate, and the Assembly on how they can best rein in predatory and deceptive practices. In 2019, we were invited to testify on three different occasions in front of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, where we highlighted the need for stronger regulation and oversight of predatory schools. For 2020, we hope to pass legislation that will require schools to report important metrics to enable New York State leadership better understand where changes should be made to better serve students in higher education across the state.
In New Jersey we work with state advocates to support stronger regulations to ensure school accountability and transparency.
In Oregon, we have been working diligently to pass legislation that would close the 90-10 loophole for the entire state. Our bill in 2019, HB 2976, received strong bipartisan support from the very beginning. After leaving the House Committee on Education with unanimous support, we were held up in Ways and Means. However, with strong support for closing the loophole in both the House and Senate, we hope to pass our loophole closure bill – SB 1544 – during 2020 interim session.
In Virginia we worked with the State Council of Higher Education to ensure school accountability.
We collaborate with allied organizations to protect veterans and their hard-earned education benefits. Through these collaborations, we are able to increase our impact and ability to produce meaningful results. Bellow is a list of reports from other organizations that we think provide useful suggestions for state policymakers.