The Massachusetts Association of Private Career Schools says proposed legislation transferring oversight of for-profit training schools from the Education Department to the state agency that handles professional licensing would discredit the schools and hurt students.
The association’s director, Catherine Flaherty, said Wednesday the schools are "post-secondary education institutions just like any college." She said oversight by a consumer protection agency could carry a negative connotation.
Flaherty said her group also opposes a provision in the bill to lift a $100,000 cap on refunds students receive if a school closes. She said that would require schools to take out bonds they can’t afford, and add to students’ costs.
The 209 proprietary schools in Massachusetts have a total of 45,000 students.
Critics have accused for-profit schools of misleading recruiting and encouraging students to take on loans they can’t afford.