Colleges to rally behind House transparency bill

Bill would mandate that spending be posted online

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Silly me. I thought when I read a headline like "Haley wants sit-down with SC colleges over money," it meant the governor elect would be leading higher education reforms. Not so fast, apparently.

Lacking specifics and not wanting to offend the incoming governor, college officials reacted cautiously to Haley's idea of a sit-down to tie performance to state money.

It would appear college and university leaders aren't waiting for the Haley forum. Tomorrow afternoon, House Speaker Bobby Harrell and college officials will be unveiling a higher education transparency bill requiring schools to publicly disclose all expenditures online. Representatives from both The Citadel and the College of Charleston will be on-hand for the announcement.

Posting credit cards bills online is the easy part. The hard part will be true oversight and accountability. Gov. Sanford mistakenly assumed that starving these schools from the state faucet would drive reform. What it drove was rising tuition costs. Now, state leaders are fed up with bottom-line increases for students, but they're not fed up enough to put more money in the system.

 

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