U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., (R) and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., during a bill signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Trump signed four bills, H.J. Res 37, H.J. Res 44, H.J. Res. 57 and H.J. Res. 58, that nullify measures put in place during former President Obama's administration. Pool photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI | License Photo
March 28 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump revoked four Obama-era regulations, including two involving teacher training and school accountability.
In a White House ceremony Monday, Trump referred to the actions as "removing an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools."
House Joint Resolutions 57 and 58 were canceled. They measured school performance and K-12 teacher training under the Every Student Succeeds Act, a 2015 law which was passed with bipartisan support and signed by President Barack Obama.
The teacher preparation regulations required states to issue ratings for teaching programs, to ensure that new teachers were prepared. Teachers' unions opposed it, states complained of the expense and some Republicans in Congress argued the Education Department under Obama overstepped its authority. Democrats saw them as protections against loopholes states could use to hide poorly performing schools, including those with students learning English or with disabilities, from scrutiny.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the scrapped regulations "federal power grabs that took decision-making away from the states and local governments that know the unique challenges of their own populations."
A White House statement said the Obama administration's 3,037 finalized regulations represent a cost of $873 billion.
The Trump rollback Monday also included elimination of House Joint Resolution 37, which Spicer said "made it too easy for trial lawyers to go after American companies and American workers who contract with the federal government," and House Joint Resolution 44, which eliminates a rule opposed by the energy industry which gives the Bureau of Land Management a larger role in land user decisions.
The Congressional Review Act was used to overturn the regulations on Monday, a rarely used law allowing a new president and Congress to reverse regulations enacted in the last 60 days of the previous administration.