Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1985
By: Solis, Jim
Economic Development


In 1972, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Proprietary School Act to
provide protection for students in proprietary schools and to provide
certification and regulation of the schools.  Because of changes that have
occurred over the past 30 years there was a need to update the Act to
better protect proprietary school students.  House Bill 1985 makes
revisions to the law governing the regulation of proprietary schools. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 1985 amends the Education Code to require the Texas Workforce
Commission (TWC) to reexamine the premises of a proprietary school as
frequently as TWC considers necessary and authorizes TWC to renew, revoke,
or deny renewal of the school's certificate of approval (Sec. 132.056).
The bill increases the maximum amount of a bond provided by a proprietary
school for a period during which the certificate is issued from $25,000 to
$35,000 for a certificate issued for a period that begins in the fiscal
year ending August 31, 2002, and to $50,000 for a certificate issued for
period that begins on or after September 1, 2002 (Sec. 132.060).  

The bill specifies the terms of a minimum refund of tuition and fees for a
student who enters a resident course of not more than 12 months in length
but terminates or withdraws (Sec. 132.061). 

The bill requires a person soliciting prospective students for or on behalf
of a proprietary school to be registered as a representative of the
proprietary school (Sec. 132.151). 

The bill increases, from $400 to $600, the fee that TWC may charge, in
certain circumstances, for an investigation at a proprietary school to
resolve a complaint against the school.  The bill authorizes TWC to charge
each proprietary school a fee for the cost of a service that collects,
analyzes, and reports studentlevel data to assess the outcome of students
who attend proprietary schools (Sec. 132.201). 

The bill increases, from $25,000 to $50,000, the maximum amount that may be
taken from the proprietary school tuition protection fund for student
refunds for a closed proprietary school if the value of the school's bond
is less than the amount required for student refunds (Sec. 132.242). 

The bill also expands the definition of an owner of a proprietary school to
include the beneficiary of a trust in which the ownership is held in the
trust or a person who owns at least 10 percent ownership interest of a
school owned by another legal entity (Sec. 132.001). 


September 1, 2001.