BILL REQ. #: H-3983.1
|State of Washington||63rd Legislature||2014 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 02/05/14.
AN ACT Relating to creating a higher education transparency web site; amending RCW 43.41.400; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) The legislature recognizes that the
burden of higher education costs at public institutions of higher
education has shifted significantly from the state to students since
2008, due to the decline in the proportion of costs supported by state
funding compared to tuition.
(2) The legislature further recognizes that students and the public would benefit from access to information on higher education revenues and expenditures and that this information would provide greater transparency in the higher education system.
(3) The legislature intends to establish a means for providing easily accessible information on revenues and expenditures of the state's public institutions of higher education to students and the public through a web site maintained by a state agency and with links to this web site prominently displayed on the web site of each public institution of higher education.
Sec. 2 RCW 43.41.400 and 2012 c 229 s 585 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) An education data center shall be established in the office of financial management. The education data center shall jointly, with the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee, conduct collaborative analyses of early learning, K-12, and higher education programs and education issues across the P-20 system, which includes the department of early learning, the superintendent of public instruction, the professional educator standards board, the state board of education, the state board for community and technical colleges, the workforce training and education coordinating board, the student achievement council, public and private nonprofit four-year institutions of higher education, and the employment security department. The education data center shall conduct collaborative analyses under this section with the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee and provide data electronically to the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee, to the extent permitted by state and federal confidentiality requirements. The education data center shall be considered an authorized representative of the state educational agencies in this section under applicable federal and state statutes for purposes of accessing and compiling student record data for research purposes.
(2) The education data center shall:
(a) In consultation with the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee and the agencies and organizations participating in the education data center, identify the critical research and policy questions that are intended to be addressed by the education data center and the data needed to address the questions;
(b) Coordinate with other state education agencies to compile and analyze education data, including data on student demographics that is disaggregated by distinct ethnic categories within racial subgroups, and complete P-20 research projects;
(c) Collaborate with the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee and the education and fiscal committees of the legislature in identifying the data to be compiled and analyzed to ensure that legislative interests are served;
(d) Annually provide to the K-12 data governance group a list of data elements and data quality improvements that are necessary to answer the research and policy questions identified by the education data center and have been identified by the legislative committees in (c) of this subsection. Within three months of receiving the list, the K-12 data governance group shall develop and transmit to the education data center a feasibility analysis of obtaining or improving the data, including the steps required, estimated time frame, and the financial and other resources that would be required. Based on the analysis, the education data center shall submit, if necessary, a recommendation to the legislature regarding any statutory changes or resources that would be needed to collect or improve the data;
(e) Monitor and evaluate the education data collection systems of the organizations and agencies represented in the education data center ensuring that data systems are flexible, able to adapt to evolving needs for information, and to the extent feasible and necessary, include data that are needed to conduct the analyses and provide answers to the research and policy questions identified in (a) of this subsection;
(f) Track enrollment and outcomes through the public centralized higher education enrollment system;
(g) Assist other state educational agencies' collaborative efforts to develop a long-range enrollment plan for higher education including estimates to meet demographic and workforce needs;
(h) Provide research that focuses on student transitions within and among the early learning, K-12, and higher education sectors in the P-20 system; and
(i) Make recommendations to the legislature as necessary to help ensure the goals and objectives of this section and RCW 28A.655.210 and 28A.300.507 are met.
(3) The department of early learning, superintendent of public instruction, professional educator standards board, state board of education, state board for community and technical colleges, workforce training and education coordinating board, student achievement council, public four-year institutions of higher education, and employment security department shall work with the education data center to develop data-sharing and research agreements, consistent with applicable security and confidentiality requirements, to facilitate the work of the center. Private, nonprofit institutions of higher education that provide programs of education beyond the high school level leading at least to the baccalaureate degree and are accredited by the Northwest association of schools and colleges or their peer accreditation bodies may also develop data-sharing and research agreements with the education data center, consistent with applicable security and confidentiality requirements. The education data center shall make data from collaborative analyses available to the education agencies and institutions that contribute data to the education data center to the extent allowed by federal and state security and confidentiality requirements applicable to the data of each contributing agency or institution.
(4)(a) By January 1, 2015, the education data center shall include easily accessible information on revenues and expenditures for each institution of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016 on the higher education dashboard established in RCW 28B.77.090.
(b) In maintaining revenue and expenditure information, the education data center shall:
(i) Ensure the web site is easily accessed by students and the public;
(ii) Ensure data is collected and displayed in accordance with laws relating to confidentiality and public records in chapter 42.56 RCW;
(iii) Wherever possible, use data from existing data sources including the higher education revenue and expenditure data of the legislative evaluation and accountability program committee for the purposes of RCW 44.48.150, data submitted to the office of financial management for budget and accounting purposes, and data collected by the state board for community and technical colleges and the institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016;
(iv) Include historical data to allow year-to-year comparisons;
(v) Analyze and display the data in order to communicate the relative size of revenues and expenditures for each institution of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016 in an easily accessible and understandable format;
(vi) Provide basic enrollment information for each institution of higher education for context; and
(vii) Update the web site each year.
(c) Each institution of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016 and the state board for community and technical colleges, to the extent possible and subject to laws relating to confidentiality, using existing data sources and system applications, shall prominently display on their institutional web sites a link to the education data center's data dashboard.