State Senate Sends Gabler’s Student Protection Act to Governor’s Desk
HARRISBURG – The state Senate today unanimously passed legislation authored by state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) that would protect students attending postsecondary schools accredited by an agency that loses its federal recognition. House Bill 2338
now awaits Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature.
“I appreciate my Senate colleagues acting swiftly in moving House Bill 2338,” Gabler said. “Students who are in the middle of their education depend on federal and state financial aid, as well as being eligible at the conclusion of their education to receive accreditation or professional licensure for the course of study they’ve gone through. This legislation ensures that any student who is in the process of their education is able to continue to pursue their career without having their life interrupted because of a bureaucratic hiccup in Washington, D.C.”
The Department of Education under the Obama administration recently decided to derecognize the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), one of the country’s largest national accrediting agencies. The move places many students at Pennsylvania’s career and technical schools in jeopardy of losing financial aid and eligibility for professional licensure.
“These schools would also have an 18-month window to receive new accreditation by another agency,” added Gabler. “Extensions would also be possible if they are deemed to be in the best interest of the student body.”
While Gabler’s bill was written with the intent of assisting all ACICS schools across Pennsylvania, including DuBois Business College (DBC), other factors led to the untimely closure of that school in late September.
“Unfortunately, no state-level legislation could have changed the outcome at DBC,” added Gabler. “In spite of that, I am proud that I have worked with DBC’s leaders to offer this bill that will save several dozen school locations across our state that face very similar situations as DBC.
“I encourage the governor to sign this bill and immediately start protecting students across our state who otherwise face a real threat to their education and career paths.”
Questions about this legislation or any state-related matter may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at (814) 375-4688, his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301 or Clearfield office at (814) 765-0593.
Representative Matt Gabler
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little