Speakers at House Hearing Assail Regulatory Burden on Colleges

Is overregulation undermining the nation’s education system? Colleges certainly think so, and Congressional Republicans say they want to find out.

On Tuesday the House education committee held the first in what it says will be a series of hearings on the regulatory burden on colleges and schools.

In an opening statement, Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, the panel’s chairman, promised to root out rules that "hinder job creation and economic growth."

"We will leave no stone unturned as we look to strengthen education and the work force," he pledged.

Much of the hearing focused on education mandates imposed on elementary and secondary schools under the No Child Left Behind Act. But lawmakers also heard from Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John’s College, in Maryland, about the "massive" federal regulation of higher education. He urged Congress to apply its "pay as you go" budget rules to regulation, eliminating old requirements as new ones are added.

"There are things we are measuring because they can be measured, not because they are good, and those are the most dangerous," he said.

Mr. Nelson drew sympathy from Mr. Kline, who said he knew regulations were "a real burden" on colleges. "We want to get at that," he added.

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THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

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