WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today cosponsored a bill aimed at scaling back a new federal intrusion into state education. The bill would repeal two U.S. Department of Education regulations establishing federal standards and requirements for both college credit hours and distance learning programs.
"In the wake of a federal takeover of the student loan industry, the Administration is once again injecting the federal government into educational practices that have long been overseen by the states," Johanns said. "We must ensure unnecessary regulations and bureaucratic red tape are as far removed as possible from the education of our next generation of leaders. Many students throughout Nebraska currently depend upon the ability to pursue an online education from rural areas, and these new regulations would limit those opportunities."
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), would repeal regulations that will begin taking effect on July 1, 2011. One such regulation would set a federal definition of a credit hour. A second would prohibit an institution of higher education from offering distance learning course unless they were authorized by each and every state where one of their students resides. This would heavily impact those institutions, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, by requiring a substantial increase in costly paperwork.