Senate Bill 520 to outsource student learning on hold

Darryl Steinberg

A controversial bill to pass off thousands of course sections in public universities to nontraditional providers of instruction—some of them for-profit or unaccredited—has been set aside for 2013.

Inside Higher Ed explains the genesis of the bill nicely:

“Senate Bill (SB) 520, unveiled in March by a Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, initially would have required the state’s 145 public colleges and universities to grant credit for low-cost online courses offered by outside groups, including for-profits companies, among them the providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The legislation was the subject of massive media coverage, with many citing it as evidence that traditional higher ed models were doomed.”

Last week Steinberg’s office announced that he was making SB 520 a two-year bill. That means the Pro Tem has tabled the legislation for 2013 and may pick up the bill next year, or discard it altogether.

CFA—along with a coalition of education allies—lobbied throughout the spring and into summer, encouraging Steinberg to amend or abandon the bill. CFA’s governmental relations team will continue to monitor SB 520 so that the faculty can respond appropriately.