FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2011
(AUSTIN) — The Texas Senate on Monday (March 28) overwhelmingly voted to include private, for-profit institutions and career schools and colleges in the state's higher education state's accountability system.
Senate Bill (SB) 38 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to collect accurate, timely information regarding degree-granting for-profit institutions and make it available to students, parents and state policymakers via the statewide accountability system.
"The Higher Education Accountability System tracks key performance measures that exemplify higher education institutions' missions, but the system currently applies only to public colleges and universities," Senator Zaffirini said. "Bringing for-profit institutions and career schools and colleges into the accountability system will help ensure that students have adequate information about an institution before they enroll."
Recent studies and media reports have documented problems associated with some for-profit universities, including high cohort default rates and misleading recruting practices.
"Enhancing our state's higher education accountability system would not only give students greater peace of mind about the institutions they attend, but also focus on the key components of the state's Closing the Gaps initiative: participation, success, excellence and research, " Senator Zaffirini said.
SB 38 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.legis.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free in-state hotline, 1-877-824-7038.
SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-LAREDO, is Chair of the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee. She champions legislation and funding that promote accountability and excellence for all Texas institutions of higher education.