THE CAP TIMES: Budget committee to consider cutting board that oversees Wisconsin’s for-profit colleges

Career College Central Summary:

  • A proposal to eliminate the board charged with overseeing for-profit schools in Wisconsin will come before the Legislature's budgeting committee on Friday.
  • The Joint Finance Committee will vote on a proposal in Gov. Scott Walker's two-year budget that would scrap the Educational Approval Board, which oversees about 250 institutions enrolling about 60,000 students. In the 2013-14 reporting period, the schools received a total of more than $350 million in tuition.
  • Supporters of the governor's proposal say it would lighten the regulatory and fiscal burden on these institutions. Opponents worry that the changes would remove protections that benefit both students and smaller institutions. 
  • The proposal would likely make Wisconsin the only state without oversight of for-profit colleges at a time when many others are ramping up their level of supervision over colleges that face heavy scrutiny throughout the nation.
  • "I don't know of any other state that would not have some kind of vetting of for-profit institutions," David Dies, director of the EAB, told the Capital Times in February.
  • The EAB has overseen for-profit schools since the passage of the G.I. Bill in 1944 — then as the Governor's Educational Advisory Committee. It's been known under its current name since 1968.
  • Under Walker's plan, complaints against schools would be handled by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Schools that need state authorization in order to receive federal financial aid would go through the Department of Financial Institutions.

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