PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 490-105 WAC adopt new rules and/or revise existing rules that set standards for private vocational schools. The subjects under consideration will be: (1) Financial responsibility, (2) tuition refund deadlines, (3) applicants' ability to benefit, (4) "at risk" schools, and (5) faculty qualifications.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 28C.10.040.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: This rule making is in response to the legislature's adoption of SB 5402 which increased the agency's oversight of private vocational schools. These rules will enhance the agency's oversight of schools and give it additional tools to deal with schools that are in distress.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Accredited schools are also regulated by the United States Department of Education with regard to their delivery of federal student aid. Certain types of schools are also regulated to some degree by other state agencies such as the department of health (massage schools), department of social and health services (certified nursing assistant schools), and the gambling commission (gaming schools). These agencies will be notified of this rule making.
Process for Developing New Rule: Preferred rules were developed with input from the Northwest Career Colleges Federation and the private vocational school advisory committee. A summary of the preferred rules were presented to the workforce board at its June 28, 2007, meeting. The agency will develop proposed rules and issue a CR-102 with the rules it intends to adopt. Public hearings will then be held. The workforce board will adopt rules after considering public input.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. All private vocational schools regulated by the workforce board, the federation of private career schools and colleges, and other state agencies involved with regulating some aspect of private vocational school education will be notified of the public hearings and encouraged to attend. Specific questions may be directed to Peggy Rudolph, Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, (360) 586-8682, firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 17, 2007