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This bill would govern the standard by which Universities keep academic records. It would have the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) come up with rules to create a uniform method of keeping academic records, that are not medical records, that could be followed by Universities.
Additionally it would expand the rule making authority for the THECB in regards to exemptions from Subchapter 61 (Regulation of Private Postsecondary Educational Institutions) for private universities that are fully accredited by and in good standing with a recognized accrediting agency. These rules would allow the Board to require an exempt institution to ensure that the financial resources and stability of the institution are adequate to provide education of a good quality and to fulfill the institution's commitments to its enrolled students. It would also all the the Board to require the institution to provide documentation to the Board of their compliance with these requirements.
Lastly, this bill would allow the THECB to require any private institution operating under, or seeking, a certificate of authority to maintain financial reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments.
This bill would add new rules and requirements on private institutions. These rules would focus on increased financial reporting and solvency of institutions. Though we understand the intentions of this legislation, it is not the role of government to govern the operations of private institutions. Government involvement in private institutions is already significant and has contributed to the ever increasing cost of higher education. The solution to helping students achieve a high quality and more affordable education is not more government regulation, but less. Individual private institutions are capable of making their own financial decisions and the principles of free markets will either reward or punish them for how they handle those decisions.
Rulemaking authority such as this bill proposes violates our principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and free markets. Therefore, we oppose this legislation.