State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

The Lumina Foundation hosted the Multistate Reciprocity Compact's Drafting Team and Advisory Council on Feb. 22-24 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Advisory Council provided feedback on an early version of the draft in a hearing format.  The Advisory Council met on the 22nd and the Drafting Team considered the comments made in the hearing on the 23rd and 24th. 

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. The evolution of the modern compact has provided states and territories ("the states") a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges, while simultaneously avoiding federal intervention.  Policymakers should have several compacts on their radar in 2012.  Below is list of some important compacts and a status update for each. 

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts, CSG’s Midwest Office, the Presidents’ Forum and the four regional higher education compacts met in Chicago this week to discuss CSG’s efforts to develop an interstate reciprocity compact to govern online learning in higher education.  The meeting allowed representatives from each of the regional compacts to learn about the interstate reciprocity compact, some of the specifics that may be included in the draft language, and the timeline for the project moving forward.  The meeting also provided an opportunity for all participants to consider how the regional compacts might work more closely with the national effort being led by CSG and The Presidents’ Forum. 

The Council of State Governments' National Center for Interstate Compacts has spent much of the past week convening state leaders from across the country to draft key sections of an interstate reciprocity compact.  The compact aims to help students get access to higher education online, allowing them to get the skills they need in a time when education is key to professional growth.

As more and more postsecondary institutions begin to offer classes online, the need for a streamlined regulatory review of those programs grows.

CSG, in conjunction with The Presidents’ Forum, will continue efforts to develop an Interstate Reciprocity Compact in higher education by convening the second drafting team meeting next week in Lexington.  During the meeting the drafters are expected to discuss core content areas of the compact, including, but not limited to the following:

·         applicability;

·         reciprocal acceptability of state approvals to operate;...

With this blog post I wanted to take a little time to provide a general update about some of the Compact Center’s ongoing work.  While I have blogged previously about both the Interstate Reciprocity Compact and the Interstate Transmission Line Siting Compact, I thought this was an appropriate time to revisit each project.

The first Drafting Team meeting for the Multi-State Distance Education Reciprocity Compact began with introductions followed by a review of the compacts mechanism and the opportunities it presented.  The Drafting Team then launched into a discussion of the key priciples to guide the drafting of the compact.  After this discussion and lunch, the drafters reviewed their earlier work and refined the language of the outline developed during the morning meeting.  The drafters also reviewed comments from the Advisory Panel and made additions to the outline as needed.

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts will convene the first drafting team meeting of the Interstate Reciprocity Compact September 15-16.  CSG, in conjunction with the President’s Forum and a team of subject matter experts, will begin drafting language for an interstate reciprocity compact with the goal of enhancing the current state regulatory environment and eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies for both institutions and the states where they reside. 

CSG staff was present and gave multiple presentations last week at a meeting focusing on state authorization in higher education.  The meeting, which was co-hosted by The Lumina Foundation and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, took place at the University of Maryland University College outside Washington, DC.  Amongst other issues discussed, were CSG’s efforts to develop a multi-state reciprocity compact for postsecondary education.  Attendees heard from CSG staff about the history and use of interstate compacts, the process traditionally followed by CSG when developing a compact, and potential content areas to be included in a multi-state reciprocity agreement.