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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Rescission of Obsolete Regulations: 603 CMR 3.00 (Private Occupational Schools)

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
March 17, 2017

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Background

On April 26, 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to solicit public comment on the proposed rescission of four sets of obsolete regulations: 603 CMR 3.00 (Private Occupational Schools); 603 CMR 6.00 (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants); 603 CMR 38.00 (School Construction Grants), and 603 CMR 45.00 (Agricultural High Schools). This action was part of our review of regulations under our jurisdiction in accordance with Governor Baker's Executive Order EO562. We determined that the regulations listed above should be rescinded because they are obsolete due to changes in state law and practice.

Following the Board's vote in April 2016, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education invited public comment on three of the four proposed regulatory actions, as required by the state Administrative Procedure Act. In June 2016, having received no comments, the Board voted to rescind 603 CMR 6.00 (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants), 603 CMR 38.00 (School Construction Grants), and 603 CMR 45.00 (Agricultural High Schools). We deferred final action on the fourth rescission - the vote to rescind 603 CMR 3.00, Private Occupational Schools - in order to coordinate our timing with the Division of Professional Licensure, which now regulates private occupational schools per Chapter 106 of the Acts of 2012. See page 2 of this memo for additional information.

Recommendation

In December 2016, the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) filed its new regulations on private occupational schools. At the same time, our Department filed the notice of emergency rescission of 603 CMR 3.00 and then started the public comment period required by the Administrative Procedure Act. Not surprisingly, we have received no comments on the proposal to rescind these obsolete regulations. Accordingly, I recommend that the Board vote on March 28 to rescind them.

Additional Information

With the enactment of Chapter 106 of the Acts of 2012, An Act Relative to Oversight of Private Occupational Schools, the authority to regulate private proprietary schools (e.g., private trade and business schools) was transferred from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to the Division of Professional Licensure. Chapter 106 unified proprietary school licensure in a single executive office dedicated to business regulation and consumer protection, thus providing greater protection for consumers and enabling our Department to focus on our core mission of K-12 public education.

Chapter 106 directed that the Board's Regulations on Private Occupational Schools would remain in effect until DPL promulgated its own regulations governing proprietary schools. To ensure there would be no gap in regulating these schools, our Department coordinated with DPL so the effective date of the rescission would match the effective date of DPL's new regulations. We used the emergency regulations provision of G.L. c. 30A, § 3, the State Administrative Procedure Act, to align our timing with DPL and avoid the confusion that might result from having two sets of regulations from two different agencies on this matter. Under the statute, if an agency finds the immediate adoption or rescission of regulations is necessary to preserve public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the requirements of prior notice and public comment would be contrary to the public interest, the agency may dispense with the usual notice and comment requirements and adopt the regulation as an emergency regulation. An emergency regulation (in this case, an emergency rescission) remains in effect no longer than three months after filing, unless during that time the agency follows the notice and comment process.

With the Board's approval, the Department provided notice and an opportunity for public comment on the emergency rescission of the Regulations on Private Occupational Schools, in accordance with the requirements of G.L. c. 30A, §3. We received no comments. I recommend that the Board take a final vote on the rescission at the March 28 meeting.

Attached are the regulations to be rescinded and a motion. If you need any additional information, please contact me, Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson, or General Counsel Rhoda Schneider. They will be at the March 28 Board meeting to respond to your questions.

Attachments:

Download MS WORD Document
603 CMR 3.00, Regulations on Private Occupational Schools (to be rescinded)
 
Motion


Last Updated: March 23, 2017
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