Kentucky lawmaker wants oversight of for-profit colleges shifted

The Lexington Herald-LeaderJanuary 4, 2011 

A state lawmaker wants to remove the supervision of some private, for-profit career colleges from a state agency dominated by the same people who run the colleges, citing a potential conflict of interest.

Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, is sponsoring a bill to revamp the Kentucky State Board for Proprietary Education, which licenses 122 for-profit schools offering two-year associate's degrees, technical certificates or other diplomas in different career fields.

Meeks would transfer the board's oversight of seven two-year, for-profit colleges to the state's Council on Post-secondary Education.

Six of the board's 11 seats are filled by representatives of for-profit colleges, appointed by the governor. Board chairman Mark Gabis is president of Owensboro-based Daymar College, which is being sued in McCracken Circuit Court by a group of students who allege their educations left them in debt and were inadequate for them to get good jobs or transfer their credits to other schools.

The for-profit education industry has come under scrutiny recently by Congress and the states following complaints from students who say they went into debt — often using federally guaranteed financial aid —— without getting the educations or subsequent job placements the colleges had promised.

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