Bill Text: NY S05799 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Requires certain for-profit institutions to make annual reports to the commissioner of education and requires the commissioner to make such reports publicly available.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-13 - AMEND BY RESTORING TO ORIGINAL PRINT 5799 [S05799 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05799-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         5799--B

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                      May 15, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sens.  THOMAS, JACKSON, KRUEGER, PARKER, SKOUFIS -- read
          twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
          Committee  on  Higher Education -- committee discharged, bill amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --
          committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
          recommitted to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to reporting and publish-
          ing of certain financial statements and statistical  reports  received
          by the commissioner of education

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section  239-c
     2  to read as follows:
     3    § 239-c. For-profit higher education institutions; enhanced reporting.
     4  1.  Definitions.   As used in this section the term "for-profit institu-
     5  tion of higher education" means  any  licensed  private  career  school,
     6  certified  English  as  a  second  language  school, or online education
     7  marketplace as defined in article one hundred one of  this  chapter,  or
     8  college that:
     9    (a)  provides  a  program  leading  to  an associates or baccalaureate
    10  degree;
    11    (b) is legally authorized in New York state to provide  a  program  of
    12  education beyond secondary education; and
    13    (c) is neither a public or nonprofit institution.
    14    2. The NYS proprietary institution disclosure website. (a) The commis-
    15  sioner  shall  establish  a  publicly accessible website for the dissem-
    16  ination of data and disclosures related to  for-profit  institutions  of
    17  higher education. The website at a minimum shall publish:
    18    (i)  A  listing  of each for-profit institution of higher education in
    19  the state. Such listing of each for-profit institution of higher  educa-
    20  tion  shall  display  information  including,  but  not  limited to, the
    21  following:
    22    (1) All approved locations of the  for-profit  institution  of  higher
    23  education;

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11661-06-9

        S. 5799--B                          2

     1    (2)  Listing  of all degree and certificate programs of the for-profit
     2  institution of higher education that have been approved by  the  depart-
     3  ment;
     4    (3)  Basic  information of the for-profit institution of higher educa-
     5  tion such as the year founded and any accreditations held;
     6    (4) Whether the for-profit  institution  of  higher  education  is  an
     7  approved  state  authorization reciprocity agreement institution and, if
     8  so, the institution's membership status;
     9    (5) Whether the for-profit institution of higher education is eligible
    10  to participate in federal title IV programs;
    11    (6) Whether the for-profit institution  of  higher  education  partic-
    12  ipates in any state specific programs including, but not limited to, the
    13  tuition  assistance  program,  enhanced  tuition  awards  program,  or a
    14  program pursuant to section sixty-four hundred fifty-one of  this  chap-
    15  ter.
    16    (ii)  Forms  and/or  links  to  the  for-profit  institution of higher
    17  education's complaint process and instructions or links to  instructions
    18  detailing  how  students  can  formally  make  a complaint against their
    19  program to both their school and later, if necessary, to the department;
    20    (iii) Any reports produced regarding complaints that have been  inves-
    21  tigated  by  the  department and notice of any adverse actions that have
    22  been taken by the department against a for-profit institution of  higher
    23  education program due to a finding of a violation;
    24    (iv)  An  electronic  means  for  former students of closed for-profit
    25  institutions of higher education to formally request from the department
    26  their student transcripts or other records that may have been  collected
    27  and digitally stored by the department;
    28    (v)  Data tracking the annual enrollment at for-profit institutions of
    29  higher education; and
    30    (vi) Other information related to for-profit  institutions  of  higher
    31  education  that  the commissioner has been required by another provision
    32  of law to post on a publicly accessible website.
    33    (b) The department shall also include as a  part  of  each  for-profit
    34  institution of higher education listing information taken from the annu-
    35  al  audited  financial  statements  of  each institution. The department
    36  shall display in a way easy to understand by the public a visual  repre-
    37  sentation  portraying the financial viability of the for-profit institu-
    38  tion. The department in constructing this financial representation shall
    39  consult with members of the for-profit sector to develop a clear way  to
    40  accurately  display  relevant information that is part of the for-profit
    41  institution's annual audited financial statements. At minimum, the visu-
    42  al representation should consider finances spent  on  student  services,
    43  rent  and  upkeep, payment of professors and staff, and the amount spent
    44  on advertising, and the federal financial responsibility composite score
    45  of the institution.
    46    (c) All actions by the  federal  government,  an  accreditor,  another
    47  state,  or  country  taken  against  a  for-profit institution of higher
    48  education must be listed in a clear and conspicuous way on each for-pro-
    49  fit institution's listing.
    50    (d) The department should update the website listing for each proprie-
    51  tary institution with any changes as such information is received and at
    52  a minimum shall update annually each proprietary  institution's  listing
    53  for accuracy.
    54    (e)  The  commissioner  shall promulgate any necessary regulations for
    55  the provisions relating to the website, including a full account of  all
    56  the metrics that the commissioner shall utilize for the visual represen-

        S. 5799--B                          3

     1  tation  portraying  a  for-profit institution's financial viability. The
     2  commissioner shall also provide a  process  so  that  for-profit  insti-
     3  tutions  may, if needed, challenge what is listed for their institution.
     4  At  no time during a challenge should a for-profit institution's listing
     5  on the publicly accessible website be completely removed.
     6    3. Rapid enrollment increases or decreases at for-profit  institutions
     7  of  higher  education.  (a)  If a program at a for-profit institution of
     8  higher education that  has  been  approved  by  the  department  has  an
     9  increase  in enrollment equal to or more than fifteen percent on a year-
    10  to-year basis such enrollment increase shall  cause  the  department  to
    11  review  the  program  within  thirty  business  days.  The review of the
    12  program conducted by the department shall ensure that an institution  is
    13  still providing a quality education and is in full compliance with state
    14  law and departmental regulations. If an institution is not in compliance
    15  then the commissioner is empowered to take steps to remediate the issues
    16  and  shall flag any issues discovered on the publicly accessible website
    17  pursuant to subdivision two of this section.
    18    (b) If a program at for-profit institution of  higher  education  that
    19  has  been  approved by the department has a decrease in enrollment equal
    20  to or more than fifteen percent on a year-to-year basis such  enrollment
    21  decrease  shall cause the department to review the program within thirty
    22  business days. The review of the program  conducted  by  the  department
    23  shall  ensure that an institution is still providing a quality education
    24  and is in full compliance with state law and  departmental  regulations.
    25  If  an institution is not in compliance then the department is empowered
    26  to take steps to remediate the issues and shall flag any issues  discov-
    27  ered  on  the publicly accessible website pursuant to subdivision two of
    28  this section.
    29    (c) For violations discovered because of reviews taken by the  depart-
    30  ment  pursuant  to  paragraphs  (a)  and  (b)   of this subdivision, the
    31  commissioner depending on the severity of the infraction shall have  the
    32  authority  to  require  a  for-profit institution of higher education to
    33  operate under additional restrictions, including, but  not  limited  to,
    34  the following:
    35    (i)  Requiring the for-profit institution of higher education to enact
    36  a remediation plan with periodic reporting;
    37    (ii) Limiting new student enrollment into  impacted  programs  at  the
    38  for-profit institution of higher education in question; or
    39    (iii)  Instituting  a  moratorium  on  any  new programs or degrees or
    40  certificates that can be issued by a for-profit  institution  of  higher
    41  education.
    42    (d)  The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations governing
    43  the manner in which enrollment shall be tracked by the department  using
    44  existing incoming data.
    45    (e) Nothing in this subdivision shall limit any options for such addi-
    46  tional  enforcement measures that the commissioner may have by any other
    47  law, rule, or regulation in place at the time of the effective  date  of
    48  this section.
    49    §  2. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a
    50  law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any
    51  rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act  on  its
    52  effective date are authorized to be made and completed on or before such
    53  effective date.
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