Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked at a press conference today about the loss of the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education, an arm of the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulated 1,500 for-profit schools. The bureau shut down Saturday, leaving no state oversight of an industry serving an estimated 400,000 students.
Officials in Nevada and Oregon have warned that without an independent monitor, California could become a magnet for so-called "diploma mills" charging thousands of dollars for useless degrees or certificates. Democrats have said the governor dragged his feet negotiating legislation that would allow school oversight to continue.
But judging from Tuesday's response, it's not clear the governor is familiar with the issue.
"As you know we are all for funding education fully. And we all are there if a school has a problem but ... we are going to work through those difficult moments," Schwarzenegger said.
Gubernatorial press aide Bill Maile says the governor has been briefed. "The reason he didn't expound on this is because he was focused on the announcement of the new California Air Resources Board chairperson," Maile said.