Private Career Schools Rally to defeat Senate Bill 1544:

On the surface, Senate Bill 1544 seemed to be fairly simple.  With its roots in the Senate Veteran’s Committee, it appeared to be in the interest of the Veterans of Oregon. The legislative description of the bill stated that:  

Requires Higher Education Coordinating Commission to adopt by rule additional minimum standards regarding source of tuition revenue for licensing of career schools and schools authorized to confer degrees.”

Before the Bill was formally introduced, we(NWCC-OR) discovered the real language and the damage the bill would do to the Private Career School Industry.

  1. SB1544 redefined the 90/10 rule to include all government monies including Veteran’s Benefits into the 90%.  Currently, Veteran’s Benefits are included in the 10%.  
  2. SB1544 additionally included any monies that students received via “Institutional Loans” was to be included in the 90%.

This bill introduced during the short session (35 days) and was on a fast-track to being approved.

Thanks to a great group representing the Private Career Schools of Oregon.  Letters were written, Legislators were visited, meetings were attended, testimony was delivered and all the influence that we had control of was released.  The net result was that the Legislators realized that this was a dangerous bill and it was routed to the Ways and Means Committee where it was allowed to die gracefully at the end of the session.  This “quiet” death allowed legislators to help our sector without appearing that they did not support Veterans.  This entire initiative relied on the emotion to support our Veterans yet it had little to do with protecting Veterans.

Thank you to our friends at the following schools:

  • Sumner College
  • Concorde Career College
  • Institute of Technology
  • Carrington College
  • Aveda Institute
  • Pioneer Pacific College

What can you do to help defeat (or support) Legislative Actions

  • Invite your Legislators (Representatives and Senators) to visit your campus
  • Write letters to Legislators and their senior staff
  • Visit Legislative offices
  • Write letters to the committee members of the committee working the bill
  • Attend hearings and offer testimony
  • Prepare students to meet with and to speak in front of committees

In Oregon, a bill can move quickly.  Following is the schedule that we had to work around to defeat SB1544.  It was a fast and furious month with a lot of contact and lobbying in between the dates below.

SB 1544 life activity 

  • Jan 10, 2020: NWCC-OR starts taking action on the Legislative Initiative (LC119)
  • Jan 15, 2020: Senate Committee on Veterans hears introduction of LC119 (no public hearing)
  • Introduced by: RAYMOND CURTIS
  • Organization: Veterans Education Success (VES)
  • Jan 27, 2020: Precession Released to the Public.
  • Feb 3, 2020: Introduction and first reading. Referred to President’s desk.
  • Feb 3, 2020: Referred to Education.
  • Feb 6, 2020: Public Hearing Scheduled.
  • Feb 6, 2020: Public Hearing Scheduled.
  • Feb 6, 2020: Public Hearing held.
  • Feb 11, 2020: Work Session scheduled.
  • Feb 13, 2020: Work Session scheduled.
  • Feb 13, 2020: Work Session held.
  • Feb 14, 2020: Recommendation: Do pass with amendments and be referred to Ways and Means.
  • Feb 14, 2020: Referred to Ways and Means by order of the President.
  • Mar 7, 2020:  Session ends and by default, the Bill Dies

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