OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5423 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE HIGHER EDUCATION STATUTES.

SUMMARY:

This bill:

1. replaces the higher education commissioner's position on the Connecticut Allied Health Workforce Policy Board with the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) president and the executive director of the Office of Higher Education (OHE), increasing total board membership from 17 to 18;

2. assigns the Office of Educational Opportunity to OHE, rather than BOR;

3. adds a fifth gubernatorial appointee to the Planning Commission for Higher Education's membership;

4. grants immunity from civil liability to any person who donates tangible property to a regional community-technical college if such property causes damage or injury, unless it was caused by the donor's reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct;

5. requires candidates in teaching preparation programs that lead to professional certification to complete training in the awareness and identification of the unique learning style of gifted and talented children;

6. requires all teaching preparation programs that lead to professional certification to include instruction about the provision of services to gifted and talented children as part of student individualized education programs;

7. requires BOR to report to the Higher Education Consolidation Committee about the program approval process for all campuses of UConn, the Connecticut State University System, the regional-technical community colleges, and the Board for State Academic Awards;

8. allows the Higher Education Consolidation Committee to continue meeting beyond the September 15, 2012 cut-off date established in current law; and

9. requires the House speaker and the Senate president pro tempore to each appoint five members to OHE's academic review commission panel, which sSB 1139 of the current session, as amended, requires OHE to establish to hear appeals about denials of licensure or accreditation applications by independent higher education institutions.

The bill also makes technical changes.

*House Amendment “A”:

1. adds a fifth gubernatorial appointee to the Planning Commission for Higher Education,

2. grants immunity from civil liability to donors of tangible property to regional-technical community colleges,

3. adds gifted and talented training components to teacher preparation programs leading to professional licensure,

4. adds a topic to BOR's reporting requirement to the Higher Education Consolidation Committee and allows the committee to continue meeting for the indefinite future, and

5. requires the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore to each appoint five members to OHE's academic review commission panel.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013, except for the provision granting immunity to regional-technical community college donors, which takes effect October 1, 2013; and provisions affecting the Connecticut Allied Health Workforce Policy Board and the Office of Educational Opportunity, which take effect upon passage.

BACKGROUND

Connecticut Allied Health Workforce Policy Board

State law charges the board with monitoring data and trends in the allied health workforce, along with identifying recruitment and retention strategies for allied health employers and public and private higher education institutions that offer allied health programs (CGS 4-124dd).

Office of Educational Opportunity

The office assists with statewide efforts to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of disadvantaged students at institutions of higher education (CGS 10a-10).

Planning Commission for Higher Education

The commission develops and ensures the implementation of a strategic master plan for higher education. The plan must address degree attainment, the number of people entering the workforce, and the achievement gap. It also must establish numerical goals for 2015 and 2020 that (1) eliminate the postsecondary achievement gap between minority students and the general student population and (2) increase the number of people (a) earning a bachelor degree, associate degree, or certificate; (b) completing coursework at community colleges; and (c) entering the state's workforce. The plan must provide specific strategies for meeting these goals and consider the impact of education trends on higher education in Connecticut (CGS 10a-11b).

Higher Education Consolidation Committee

The committee establishes a meeting and public hearing schedule to receive updates from BOR on the progress of the consolidation of the state system of higher education. Current law permits the committee to meet until September 15, 2012 (CGS 10a-55i).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

19

Nay

0

(02/19/2013)