BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Isadore Hall, III
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           AB 1837          Hearing Date:    6/28/2016
          |Author:    |Low                                                  |
          |Version:   |3/17/2016    Amended                                 |
          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
          |Consultant:|Felipe Lopez                                         |
          |           |                                                     |

          SUBJECT: Postsecondary education:  Office of Higher Education  
          Performance and Accountability

            DIGEST:    This bill establishes the Office of Higher Education  
          Performance and Accountability (OHEPA) as the statewide  
          postsecondary coordination and planning agency, outlines its  
          responsibilities, functions and authorities, and establishes an  
          advisory board to the office to examine and make recommendations  
          regarding its functions and operations, and to review and  
          comment on OHEPA's recommendations to the Governor and  

          Existing law:
          1)Establishes the University of California (UC), under the  
            administration of the Regents of the University of California,  
            the California State University (CSU), under the  
            administration of the Trustees of the California State  
            University, the California Community Colleges (CCC), under the  
            administration of the Board of Governors of the California  
            Community Colleges, independent institutions of higher  
            education, and private postsecondary educational institutions  
            as the segments of postsecondary education in this state. 

          2)States that the intent of the Legislature that budget and  
            policy decisions regarding postsecondary education generally  


          AB 1837 (Low)                                       Page 2 of ?
            adhere to three specified goals and that appropriate metrics  
            be identified, defined, and formally adopted to monitor  
            progress toward the achievement of the goals. 

          3)Establishes the California Postsecondary Education Commission  
            (CPEC) as the statewide postsecondary education coordinating  
            and planning agency, and provides for its functions and  

          4)Provides for the composition of the CPEC's membership.  The  
            annual Budget Acts from the 2011-12 fiscal year to the 2015-16  
            fiscal year, inclusive, have provided no funding for CPEC.

          This bill:

          1)Establishes OHEPA as the statewide postsecondary education  
            coordination and planning agency and places OHEPA under the  
            direct control of an Executive Director who shall be appointed  
            by the Governor and subject to Senate confirmation.

          2) Provides that the Executive Director is responsible for all  
            duties, powers, and responsibilities vested in OHEPA,  
            including contracting for relevant professional or consultant  

          3)Requires the Executive Director to appoint any staff positions  
            authorized by the Governor. 

          4)Establishes an Advisory Board to OHEPA for the purpose of  
            examining and making recommendations to OHEPA regarding the  
            functions and operations of OHEPA and reviewing and commenting  
            on any recommendations made by OHEPA to the Governor and  

          5)Requires the advisory board to consist of the Chairperson of  
            the Senate Committee on Education and the Chairperson of the  
            Assembly Committee on Higher Education, who serve as ex  
            officio members and six public members with experience in  
            postsecondary education, appointed to terms of four years as  

             a)   Three members of the advisory board appointed by the  
               Senate Committee on Rules.
             b)   Three members of the advisory appointed by the Speaker  
               of the Assembly.


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          6)Requires OHEPA to actively seek input from, and consult with,  
            the advisory board regarding functions, operations, and  
            recommendations of OHEPA, and provide the advisory board with  
            sufficient time to review and comment. 

          7)Requires the advisory board to meet at least quarterly, and  
            requires the advisory board to appoint one of its members to  
            represent the board for purposes of communicating with the  

          8)Specifies that the advisory board is responsible for  
            developing an independent annual report on the condition of  
            higher education in California and issuing an annual review of  
            the performance of the Executive Director of OHEPA.

          9)Requires members of the advisory board to serve without  
            compensation, but shall receive reimbursement for actual and  
            necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance  
            of their duties as board members. 

            10) Requires OHEPA to consult with higher education segments  
              and stakeholders, as appropriate, in the conduct of its  
              duties and responsibilities. 

            11) Declares that OHEPA exists for the purpose of advising the  
              Governor, the Legislature and other appropriate government  
              officials and institutions of postsecondary education and  
              specifies that OHEPA has the following functions and  

              a)    Requires, through its use of information and its  
                analytic capacity, that it inform the identification and  
                period revision of state goals and priorities for higher  
                education consistent with the existing goals and metrics  
                outlined in Statute by SB 195 (Liu, Chapter 367, Statutes  
                of 2013) and in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Budget Acts, and  
                that it biennially evaluate both statewide and  
                institutional performance in relation to these goals and  
              b)    Requires that it review and make recommendations  
                regarding cross segmental and interagency initiatives and  
                programs in areas that may include, but are not  
                necessarily limited to, efficiencies in instructional  
                delivery, financial aid, transfer, and workforce  


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              c)    Requires that it advise the Legislature and the  
                Governor regarding the need for, and the location of, new  
                institutions and campuses of public higher education. 
              d)    Requires that it review proposals by the public  
                segments, as specified, and make recommendations regarding  
                those proposals to the Legislature and the Governor. 
              e)    Requires that it act as the clearinghouse for  
                postsecondary education information and as a primary  
                source of information for the Legislature, the Governor,  
                and other agencies. 
              f)    Requires that it develop and maintain a comprehensive  
                database that ensures data compatibility, supports  
                longitudinal studies, is compatible with K-12 data  
                systems, provides Internet access to data for the sectors  
                of higher education in order to support statewide,  
                segmental and individual campus educational research  
              g)    Requires that it review all proposals for changes in  
                eligibility pools for admission to public institutions and  
                segments of postsecondary education and that it  
                periodically conduct eligibility studies.
              h)    Requires that it manage data systems and maintain  
                programmatic, policy, and fiscal expertise to receive and  
                aggregate information reported by the institutions of  
                higher education in this state. 

            12) Authorizes OHEPA to require governing boards and the  
              institutions of public postsecondary education to submit  
              data to OHEPA on plans, programs, costs, student selection  
              and retention, enrollments, and other specified information,  
              and requires OHEPA to furnish information concerning these  
              matters to the Legislature and Governor as requested by  

            13) Requires OHEPA to annually report to the Legislature and  
              the Governor regarding its progress in achieving the  
              aforementioned objectives and responsibilities by December  
              31st of each year. 

            14) Requires the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) to review  
              and report to the Legislature regarding performance of the  
              OHEPA in fulfilling its functions and responsibilities by  
              January 1, 2020.


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            15) Sunsets these provisions on January 1, 2021. 


          Purpose of the bill.  According to the author, "the state's  
          approach to higher education must become more comprehensive if  
          it is to ensure state-level workforce needs and priorities are  
          being met.  Numerous reports, including legislative reviews of  
          the Master Plan and more recent reports from higher education  
          experts, have called for California to establish a central  
          higher education body.  This central body is an important  
          element of the state's ability to honor its promise of  
          affordable, high quality postsecondary education for all high  
          school graduates and adults.  Without such an entity, California  
          cannot systematically plan to address the current and future  
          needs of all its students and overall economy. "

          The author further states that, "AB 1837 represents the next  
          necessary step in establishing greater clarity and  
          accountability for our higher education system's performance in  
          meeting the state wide goals outlined in the Master Plan of  
          equity, access, and success, alignment with workforce needs, and  
          the effective and efficient use of resources."

          California Postsecondary Education Commission.  The 1960 Master  
          Plan for Higher Education recognized that critical to the  
          success of the State's tripartite system of public higher  
          education was a central body responsible for coordination and  
          planning for higher education.  Specifically, the Master Plan  
          articulated basic state policies on higher education, such as  
          assigning missions to the different higher education segments,  
          specifying eligibility targets and expressing the state's intent  
          that higher education remain accessible, affordable, high  
          quality and accountable.  In addition, the Master plan created  
          the CPEC as an oversight body tasked with providing fiscal and  
          policy recommendations to the Governor and Legislature,  
          monitoring and coordinating public institutions, and ensuring  
          comprehensive statewide planning for higher education and  
          effective use of resources.  

          In the 2011-12 Budget Act, Governor Brown vetoed funding for  
          CPEC citing the agency's ineffectiveness in higher education  
          oversight.  However, in his veto message, the Governor  
          acknowledged the need for coordinating and guiding state higher  
          education policy and requested that stakeholders explore ways  


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          these functions could be fulfilled.  This bill proposes an  

          Improving Higher Education Oversight.  In a January 2012 report  
          by the LAO titled, "Improving Higher Education Oversight," the  
          LAO raised concerns that in the wake of CPEC's closure, the  
          future of higher education oversight was unclear.  The LAO  
          stated that while the public segments had stepped in to assume  
          some roles previously performed by the CPEC, they expressed  
          concerns about how institutional and public interests would be  

          The LAO also noted that while CPEC's performance had been  
          problematic, several important functions performed by CPEC had  
          been lost.  Among other things, the LAO recommended the  
          Legislature re-establish an independent oversight body and  
          increase the body's independence from the public higher  
          education segments, assign the body with limited and clear  
          responsibilities, and develop a more unified governing board  
          appointment process. 

          Prior/Related Legislation
          SB 195 (Liu, Chapter 367, Statutes of 2013) established  
          legislative intent that budget and policy decisions  regarding  
          postsecondary education generally adheres to the goals of  
          improving student access and success, better aligning degrees  
          and credentials with the state's economic, workforce, and civic  
          needs, and ensuring the effective and efficient use of  

          SB 42 (Liu, 2015) would have recast the CPEC as the California  
          Commission on Higher Education Performance and Accountability,  
          modified the make-up of the prior commission, reduced and  
          clarified the Commission's functions and responsibilities,  
          deleted a number of obsolete reporting requirements, and make a  
          number of conforming and technical changes.  (Vetoed by Governor  

          AB 1348 (John A. Perez, 2014)  would have established the  
          California Higher Education Authority, its governing board and  
          its responsibilities, as specified, phased-in over a three-year  
          period.  (Held in the Senate Appropriations Suspense File)

          SB 1022 (Huff, Chapter 394, Statutes of 2014) required CSU, and  


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          requested the UC, to post annual updated labor market data  
          regarding their graduates on their Internet Web sites. 

          SB 1196 (Liu, 2014) would have established a process for setting  
          postsecondary educational attainment goals and would have  
          required that these goals guide the development of plans by the  
          CCC, the CSU, and the UC for making progress towards the state's  
          goals.   (Held in the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File)

          AB 2190 (John A. Perez, 2012) would have established a new state  
          oversight and coordinating body for higher education.  (Held in  
          the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File)

          FISCAL EFFECT:                 Appropriation:  No    Fiscal  
          Com.:             Yes          Local:          Yes


          Campaign for College Opportunity
          California Competes
          California Faculty Association


          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    According to the Campaign for College  
          Opportunity, "in 2014, we released a policy brief showing how  
          states across the nation have faced and overcome some of the  
          same challenges of college access, affordability, and completion  
          that are before California's higher education systems.  All six  
          states shared some common factors that made major higher  
          education reforms and innovation possible, including a central  
          authority or agency responsible for higher education and a clear  
          vision and plan with goals for higher education.  AB 1837 fills  
          a critical void in statewide higher education planning by  
          establishing an independent body to steward a public agenda for  
          higher education and that can ensure implementation efforts to  
          help achieve state goals."


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