PA 13-261—sHB 5423

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE HIGHER EDUCATION STATUTES

SUMMARY: This act makes several changes in the higher education and education statutes. Specifically, it:

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 Office of Higher Education (OHE) executive director, increasing total board membership from 17 to 18 ( 1);

2. requires the Office of Educational Opportunity to assist OHE, rather than BOR, with enrollment, retention, and graduation of disadvantaged students ( 4);

3. adds a fifth gubernatorial appointee to the Planning Commission for Higher Education's membership ( 8);

4. grants civil immunity to any person donating tangible property to a regional community-technical college resulting in damage or injury because of the donor's act, error, or omission, unless it was caused by the donor's reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct ( 9);

5. requires candidates in teaching preparation programs that lead to professional certification to (a) complete training in the awareness and identification of the unique learning style of gifted and talented children, and (b) receive instruction about the provision of services to gifted and talented children in relation to student individualized education programs ( 10);

6. 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, and the regional-technical community colleges (PA 13-247, 186 also requires UConn to report on this process) ( 11);

7. requires the Higher Education Consolidation Committee to continue meeting beyond the September 15, 2012 cut-off date established in prior law ( 11); and

8. requires the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore to each appoint five members to OHE's academic review commission panel, which hears appeals about denials of licensure or accreditation applications by independent higher education institutions (OHE must establish the panel under PA 13-118) ( 12).

The act also makes several technical and conforming changes.

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

OLR Tracking: MGS: JO: JKL: RO