Crady deGolian, Director of CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, outlines the top 5 compacts to watch in 2015, including those dealing with medical, EMS, physical therapy, and telepsychology licensing, and the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which seeks to achieve interstate reciprocity in the regulation of distance regulation.  

When it comes to solving problems, states increasingly are turning to a mechanism that dates back to America’s colonial past—the interstate compact. Compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. They provide states a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges.

Compacts, which are governed by the tenets of contract law, provide states an enforceable, sustainable and durable tool capable of ensuring permanent change...

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement has now been approved in nine states, with eight of those states already approving institutional participation in the agreement.  Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, and Washington have already joined SARA.  The existing higher education regional compacts are actively assisting their member states in ensuring that states wishing to participate in the agreement meet the necessary requirements to join.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the establishment of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and encourages its member jurisdictions to consider the new interstate agreement as an innovative policy solution that will increase degree attainment and reduce costs for students, states, and institutions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments staff will provide ongoing assistance to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements’ national office and the four regional higher education compacts in their efforts to raise awareness about SARA.

Legislators at the CSG National and CSG West Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, learned about the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement during a discussion highlighting the compact’s history and potential impact for states.

“Distance education is not the only answer to the challenges facing higher education in this country, but it needs to be part of the solution and until we achieve reciprocity across state lines, we will never be able to fully take advantage of it,” said Marshall Hill, executive director of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is intended to broaden the availability of—and access to—accredited online degree programs by reducing state regulatory barriers while ensuring strong consumer safeguards. The agreement is finalized and states are starting to participate. This session provided an update on progress of the agreement, as well as a discussion about what your state needs to do to become a member.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) will be highlighted at CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference in Baltimore and again at CSG’s Annual meeting in Anchorage.  The session in Baltimore will begin at 1:15 PM on Tuesday, August 5 and the session in Anchorage will take place at 9:00 AM on Sunday, August 10th.  Both presentations are intended to inform policymakers about the new agreement and the potential benefits it can offer both states and institutions. 

Policymakers attending The Council of State Governments’ National and CSG West 2014 Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, will have an opportunity hear about a new distance learning compact being developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts....
Policymakers attending The Council of State Governments’ National and CSG West 2014 Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, will have an opportunity hear about a new distance learning compact being developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts....

Since its founding, CSG’s Compact Center has worked to promote the use of interstate compacts as an ideal tool to meet the demand for cooperative state action.  During that time there have been approximately 180 adoptions of CSG supported compacts, including 10 separate adoptions of different projects during the 2014 legislative session. Two of those compacts have expanded to all 50 states, while the Educational Opportunity for Military Compact has now grown to 48 states.  Below is a summary of various CSG compact projects.

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