A Letter of Continuous Authority is issued pursuant to Section 401(2) of the New York State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA), which provides in relevant part as follows:
When a licensee has made timely and sufficient application for the renewal of a license or a new license with reference to any activity of a continuing nature, the existing license does not expire until the application has been finally determined by the agency, and, in case the application is denied or the terms of the new license limited, until the last day for seeking review of the agency order or a later date fixed by order of the reviewing court[.]
A school from time to time may need to demonstrate to one or more organizations overseeing its operations, e.g. an accrediting body, the U.S. Department of Education, that it has valid authority to operate under New York state law. Typically, this demonstration is necessary for the school to obtain or preserve one or more benefits that these organizations or agencies confer, such as funding, accreditation, or another educationally relevant approval.
The Letter of Continuous Authority confirms the school’s status under SAPA, which permits a school that is licensed by the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (BPSS) to lawfully operate beyond the expiration date of its previous license, without having been issued a renewal license, until a renewal inspection may be conducted by a BPSS field associate and, if the inspection warrants, the school’s license is approved to be renewed for a subsequent four-year term. However, the Letter of Continuous Authority does not confer the authority to lawfully operate beyond a license’s expiration date. This authority is conferred by statute under the conditions that SAPA specifies.
If a school’s license has expired, the school has filed a renewal application along with the required application fee before the previous license’s expiration date, and the school has met all other statutory and regulatory requirements for a renewal license to be issued, the school may be eligible for this letter.
A Letter of Continuous authority is similarly issued to ESL schools whose certifications have expired without having been renewed by their expiration dates.
The items required for a Letter of Continuous Authority to be requested by the school’s director and issued by the BPSS Licensing Unit include:
- all school staff are currently licensed as of the date of the submission of the school renewal application;
- an application and fee for the school director’s license (tied to the school’s renewal date) was submitted before the expiration of the previous school license;
- the Occupational Educational Data Survey (OEDS) was timely and completely submitted for the previous OEDS year, as per BPSS Policy Guideline 28-0909;
- the school’s financial statement was received and deemed acceptable for the previous school fiscal year, as per BPSS Policy Guideline 28-0909; and
- all tuition assessment payments are current.
If your school meets the foregoing criteria to request a Letter of Continuous Authority, it may request one from BPSS Licensing Unit Supervisor, by inquiry to the following address:
Licensing Unit Supervisor
New York State Education Department
Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision
89 Washington Avenue, EBA 560
Albany, New York 12234