State Rep. Mike Sparks of Tennessee has suggested texbook reform by prohibiting professors from requiring books they’ve written as requisite material for college classes.

While well-intentioned, this might not be the best solution to burdensome textbook costs.

The Daily New Journal reports:

Let higher-education boards deal with textbook policies

While we agree with state Rep. Mike Sparks that the cost of textbooks adds to the financial burden of college students, we again have to question whether legislative action is the best way to address these costs, particularly in regard to possible conflict of interest for professors who also are textbook authors.

Tennessee does not lack for administrative bodies for higher education with the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and the Tennessee High Education Commission in place.

These administrative bodies are better situated to deal with textbook policies than the General Assembly, despite the efforts of some legislators to dictate curriculum for K-12 schools.

Sparks, a Smyrna Republican, has some useful suggestions in regard to finding ways to reduce textbook costs including use of new information technology.

Since we recently questioned in this space whether textbooks have become obsolescent, we agree with Rep. Sparks that use of new information technology may allow the providing of the most up-to-date information at less cost to students.