HBA-SEP H.B. 1985 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1985 By: Solis, Jim Economic Development 3/29/2001 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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 is a need to update the Act to better protect the students. House Bill 1985 makes revisions to the law governing the regulation of proprietary schools. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS 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 repeals the provision that authorizes a proprietary school to, in lieu of the bond, provide any other similar certificate or evidence of indebtedness as may be acceptable to TWC (SECTION 10). 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). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENT Committee Amendment No.1 restores the provision that authorizes a proprietary school to, in lieu of the required bond, provide any other similar certificate or evidence of indebtedness as may be acceptable to TWC.