Bill Calls For Transparency For California Trade Schools

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WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California trade schools may soon have to prove they can put students on a new career path. In record numbers, students are graduating from colleges and vocational schools with no jobs to go to.

Charting a new career course can be as difficult as parallel parking an 18-wheeler.

Jody Tucker is one of about 1,000 students at Western Truck School looking for a new route in life.

“Here I am,” he said on Tuesday. “I became unemployed in a career I was in for 11 and a half years.

This West Sacramento vocational school sets its students up with jobs before they spend the $5,000 tuition.

“We have some job offers, which is great,” another student said. “I don’t see how we wouldn’t be able to get a job out there.”

But for every success story, there is a failure. Students protested at a for-profit school for medical and dental assistants earlier this year. The state shut down the school for allegedly making false claims about its programs.

Now assemblyman Marty Block (D-San Diego) wants new rules for all of California’s vocational schools.

“It’s more meaningful than ever that students know if these private for-profits are doing what they purport to be doing, giving these students training they can actually use,” he said.

Block’s bill would force all vocational schools to show students specific job placement statistics, show how many students were working after six months, their hours, their salaries and the most recent default rates on any federal loans.

It’s a new effort to fuel quality schooling and put the brakes on predatory for-profit education.

“We’ve never had a problem with being transparent,” said Michael Darling, Western Trucking’s vice president of operations. “If it’s a good school, it typically shouldn’t be an issue.”