State Education Department

Oversight of Unlicensed Trade Schools and Unregistered Business Schools

The State Education Department is responsible for licensing or registering certain private trade and business schools. The cost of this activity is funded by an annual assessment levied against the schools. We attempted to verify a complaint alleging that many unlicensed computer training schools operate in New York City, and target Russian immigrants. We found indications that many such schools may operate without licenses, as we visited 23 computer training schools that serve the Russian community in New York City, and found that all 23 were unlicensed. Most of these schools had not been identified by the Department, because of staffing limitations and because Department staff are unable to read the Russian newspapers in which the schools advertise for students. We recommend that the Department seek additional funding to increase its staff, obtain help in reading foreign language newspapers, and work with the Russian community in New York City to remove any impediments to licensing.

For a complete copy of Report 97-S-36 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.