Monday, April 4, 2011

Bill would establish new legislative council to advise HECB on Strategic Master Plan

Under a bill just introduced in the House, a new Higher Education Performance Advisory Council would advise the HECB on development of the state’s Strategic Master Plan for Higher Education, and would examine system changes designed to improve governance structures and increase efficiencies in educational delivery and administration.
In addition, the council, which would continue to exist under the bill until July 1, 2015, would identify and prioritize public higher education objectives that provide the greatest benefits and that require public funding. 
The HECB, which is responsible for developing a 10-year strategic master plan and updates every four years, would consider the council’s recommendations for inclusion in the plan.
HB 2049 is the most recent of a number of education governance bills introduced during the 2011 legislative session. Other proposals call for eliminating or merging state-level education entities in various ways, or for developing further recommendations on education governance.  
The prime sponsor of HB 2049 is Rep. Hans Zeiger of Puyallup.  Other sponsors include House Higher Education Committee Chair Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor, ranking minority member Larry Haler of Richland, and committee members Reuven Carlyle of Seattle and Susan Fagan of Pullman.
The Higher Education Performance Advisory Council would consist of four members each from the House and Senate, a HECB representative, and a representative of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

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