LaValle and Glick to Focus on Proprietary Schools Early in Next Legislative Session

Kenneth P. LaValle

September 21, 2011

Chair of the New York State Senate’s Higher Education Committee, New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle  and Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, Chair of the State Assembly’s Higher Education Committee said today that the oversight and enforcement of regulations on proprietary colleges operating in New York State will be a priority for the coming legislative session.  LaValle and Glick have pending legislation  -- S4268A -- to amend the education law in relation to private proprietary schools.

 Proprietary colleges are for-profit colleges and universities. They are operated by their owners or investors, rather than a not-for-profit institution, religious organization, or government.

The for-profit sector of higher education has generated some disturbing headlines recently, including charges of predatory recruiting practices and tuition rip-offs that have prompted new regulations and provided fuel for critics.

“The law,” Senator LaValle said,  “needs to be updated to conform to the current needs of this area of higher education and of this vital business industry, and to provide the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision of the State Education Department the flexibility it needs to adequately continue to supervise proprietary schools, protect students and taxpayers, and preserve and strengthen this important educational and economic industry.”

"At a time when students and those seeking to upgrade their skills are faced with escalating costs of higher education," Assemblymember Glick stated, "it is important to ensure that they receive value for their investment. We must ensure that the SED has the tools it needs to protect students and tax payers of NY from the inappropriate practices of some proprietary schools. I believe this legislation will be a top priority this coming session. "

Currently, there are more than 450 licensed, registered, or certified schools. In addition, approximately 200 schools are pending licensure. Furthermore, more than 1,000 schools currently operating in New York State are unlicensed (although some may be operating under a legal exemption, the vast majority of these unlicensed schools are operating illegally).

“Our legislation,” LaValle said, “will help the State Education Department maintain its ability to regulate the industry and to strengthen schools that provide a quality education to some of our state's most vulnerable adult learners while enforcing health, safety, financial and other regulatory safeguards against those schools who, either inadvertently or intentionally do not adhere to the industry's standards and their legal obligations. “