The following provides an overview of the rule revisions being considered to implement the legislative changes in HB 1042 as signed by Governor Nixon in June 2012. Words in boldface of the draft rule text are new or modified language. Comments will be accepted through July 31, 2012. Comments received after that date will be considered as time permits. All comments received will be posted with responses prior to filing as a proposed rulemaking. Once the proposed rule text is filed and published in the Missouri Register, there will be another opportunity to comment during the proposed rulemaking open comment period. Thank you for your interest and assistance in developing these rules.
Proposed Significant Rule Changes
- Biennial Recertification – Schools that meet certain eligibility requirements may apply for a two year certificate of approval during recertification. The most basic eligibility requirement is five years of continuous operation; however, the department is recommending additional criteria to ensure such approval is extended only to those schools that are in good standing with the state, accreditors, and the US Department of Education.
- Certification Fee – As provided in the revised statute. the annual fee for certification will change. The minimum will increase from $250 to $500 and the maximum will increase from $2,500 to $5,000. For those in between the limits, the multiplier will increase from $.001 to $.0013. Rather than being deposited into the general fund of the state treasury as current fees are, the fees will be deposited into a separate account that will be used to fund the costs associated with the operation of the Proprietary School Certification Program.
- Security Deposit – Another statutory provision will increase the maximum security deposit threshold from $25,000 to $100,000. Security deposits are safeguards for students who suffer damages that may be caused by a schoo's failure to maintain certification standards, failure to complete the agreed-upon course of instruction or failure to refund monies to which a student is entitled.This change provides additional protection by requiring schools with larger enrollments to file a higher security deposit.
- Fees – The revised statute authorizes the Coordinating Board to establish additional fees in order to ensure the revenue generated by the program is sufficient to cover the cost of operations. Fees are being proposed for certain administrative functions such as new applications, substantive changes or program reviews.
- Program Review – The revised statutes set out timelines to be followed by the department regarding new program review and the review of substantive program changes. Schools will have a more reliable calendar around which to develop and market new program offerings and to make changes to current programs.
After the July 31st cutoff date for comments, the department will consider the feedback received and, where deemed appropriate, revise the draft rules for review by the Coordinating Board at the September 5, 2012 meeting. Upon approval by the CBHE, the department will file the draft rules with the Office of the Secretary of State and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).
The Secretary of State will publish the draft rules in the Missouri Register, after which the public will have at least thirty days to submit a comment on the draft rules. Once the public comment period is closed, the department will review comments and prepare an order of rulemaking. This order is first filed with the Secretary of State and then with JCAR for their review.
The order is then published in the Missouri Register and put into final form for publication in the Code of State Regulations (CSR). The rules will become effective thirty days after publication in the CSR.
The department currently anticipates the rules will be in place by April 2013. Please check back periodically for updates to the effective date of the new rules.
Legislation and Rules Webinar
The Proprietary School Certification Program held a webinar to provide additional details regarding the revised legislation and solicit feedback for the draft rules.
To view the webinar, click on the following link: http://stateofmo.adobeconnect.com/p4u2yt5g372/