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Rep. Dennis Keene’s proprietary schools bill passes in House

Rep. Dennis Keene’s proprietary schools bill passes in House

Rep. Dennis Keene’s, (D-Wilder), House Bill 308 passed the House Licensing and Occupations Committee meeting and cleared the House floor on Wednesday.

Last year, State Auditor Crit Luallen conducted an audit of Kentucky’s 122 for-profit colleges after receiving complaints about high tuition, lack of job assistance and education, and a gross lack of financial accountability prompted the audit.

The audit concluded that the current board that regulates the state’s 122 for-profit colleges provided inadequate oversight, had not conducted an outside financial audit in 10 years and lacked a clear understanding of its role.

HB 308 would abolish the current State Board for Proprietary Education (BPE) and establish the Kentucky Commission on Proprietary Education, an independent agency of the Commonwealth attached to the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet for administrative purposes.  The commission will be fully funded by the schools and will not cost Kentucky taxpayers one dime.

The legislation would require the new Kentucky Commission on Proprietary Education to establish membership of commission reducing the number of proprietary school representatives so that they don’t comprise a majority of the commission’s membership (6 to 4) and decrease appointed members’ terms to two consecutive terms.

“I am encouraged by the swift passage of HB 308 because it underscores the commitment of our legislators to protect Kentuckians who have been harmed by misleading or misguided practices in the for-profit school industry,” said Rep. Keene.  “Folks trying to better their lives through education should have full confidence in the promises made by these institutions. While most proprietary schools do an admirable job preparing students for the workforce, unfortunately there are some who need more stringent oversight.”

Photo:  Rep. Dennis Keene on House floor earlier in the week discussing legislation.