Reader Geoff Nathan passes along some news about a Congress that really has too much time on its hands:
The high cost of textbooks is a widely deliberated problem without a popular solution. Now Congress has moved toward passing a law on the issue.
To ease the burden of textbook prices on students, the House of Representatives' education committee has proposed strict requirements for colleges and publishers in its version of legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the major law that governs federal student aid. Textbooks are part of the overall cost of higher education and should be included in the renewed law, said Alexa Marrero, a spokeswoman for the Republican members of the committee.
Under the bill, publishers would have to promote custom textbooks and "unbundle" materials like CD's and workbooks that are typically packaged with textbooks, raising the amount students must pay.
The bill also calls for two disclosures, one from publishers and the other from colleges.
More here, from the excellent Chronicle of Higher Education.
We can stipulate that college textbooks cost too much, that publishers are sons of bitches who don't care a goddman stitch about learnin', that colleges and universities are subsidy-sucking sinkholes that don't give a rat's ass about anything other than jacking tuition, that most college students are useless sacks of shit who should be remanded to coal mines where they might actually add something to society…and this is still a total waste of time for Congress.
Though given that our elected officials could be passing the time authorizing bombing runs and new entitlements, maybe it's not that bad really.