[hackerspaces] regulators

James B james.broyles8 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 05:58:31 CET 2014

I think there is a world of difference between free public coding classes
and $17k tuition bootcamps.

If a space is charging large amounts of money for in-depth classes, they
probably are going to attract the attention of regulators and learning
commissions. Honestly, they probably could and should just afford the
licenses if they are getting 15-17k a head.

Except possibly for a few isolated instances in the US, I don't think
regulators are going to start shutting down "Learn Python at the Library"

However, keep in mind that hackerspaces are global. There are countries
that already impose very strict policies and regulations about all sorts of

Different places even in the US have different rules about what you can and
cannot do, or rather, what behaviors does or does not classify you as an
entity engaged in regulated behavior.

It would be beneficial for any new space to become familiar with
educational regulations in their area and decide whether they wish to model
themselves in a way that is regulated or if they wish to pursue activities
that are not classified as regulated.

Informal learning in general is probably safe in most places. Charging 17k
a pop for professionally-structured learning camps will probably incur
regulator attention, however.

Also, it is funny that Venture Beat is published by Apollo Group who
themselves have a baby in trouble with regulators. Their prize cow
University of Phoenix is yet again in trouble with the Higher Learning
Commission and is on probationary notice.

The misleading title "California regulator seeks to shut down 'learn to
code' bootcamps" should be revisited as "California regulator engages in
yet another banal daily operation that normal commerce experiences as
standard practice in their industry and probably shouldn't be
sensationalized by Apollo Group."

They actually quote the regulator as stating they aren't interested in
shutting down the camps or piercing them for funds. They are doing the
standard, normal thing they do:

10 cls
20 let regulation$ = "maintained"
30 regulate educationalentities
40 if educationalentities > regulated entities, goto 30
50 goto 20 until 5PM and then clock out

If you operate a space and are concerned about regulators, then reach out
and invite educators, school board members, and even regulators to some of
your classes for the specific purpose of getting feedback. If you charge
$17k a head, you are probably going to be asked to pay for a license and
adhere to some standards.
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