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Scathing Report Blasts Oversight Of California Career Colleges

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A scathing report details how California regulators who have been hired to watch over the state’s career colleges are failing to do their jobs on many levels.

The 68-page report by the state auditor details how the Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education has failed to regulate career college and protect students.

“We disagree,” said bureau spokesman Russ Heimerich. “We believe we are protecting students.”

He says they’re doing the best they can with the resources they have.

The audit says the bureau:

  • had 1,100 school license applications outstanding,
  • failed to penalize unlicensed schools,
  • and failed to appropriately investigate student complaints, even when their safety was at stake.

 

That last one stems from a complaint about unsafe electrical equipment in a classroom.

“It was out of our jurisdiction,” Heimerich said, “so we have no authority to do anything about it.”

But the audit says the bureau had a duty to investigate the electrical complaint.

The auditors visited two local schools, including a commercial driving school, and found minor violations at both schools. The bureau reported no such violations.

Heimerich says the bureau will get better if it gets the 15 new employees it’s requested.

“I think we’re doing a pretty good job, and we will continue to improve the job that we’re doing,” he said.

But the bureau may not be around next year, unless the legislature decides it should continue. Otherwise, the Department of Consumer Affairs could take over its duties.

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