In this installment of “Why Aren’t We Talking About This?”, we’ll look at the proposition that we abolish the Department of Education.
It is beyond time we return to the idea of abolishing the federal Department of Education (ED). After decades of opposition, former President Jimmy Carter, with support from the NEA, signed into law a bill creating a federal Department of Education in 1979, making it an executive department. In the subsequent presidential election, then candidate Ronald Reagan pledged to abolish the new department, and the proposal soon became a plank in the Republican Party’s platform.
Then…it became unpopular to propose eliminating the newly created department. Instead, as results have suffered year after year, the power, bureaucracy, and expense of ED grew in the guise of combating our suffering education standards. Democrats and Republican’s both have proposed or enacted legislation that grows the scope and intrusion of ED into state, local, and household affairs. The states, for their part in it, have consistently stood idly by holding a hand out, and only balk when they’re forced to comply with the burdensome dictates handed down by the ED. There are always strings attached when the federal government redistributes your money.
Consider, too, that the Department of Education currently operates on an annual budget of $80 billion. The ED has no school, and teaches no student. It’s simply a department that receives $80 billion of tax payer money every year, and disperses that money through 150 programs proclaimed to improve education conditions in the U.S. That’s $80 billion that would be best allocated by the individual communities, counties, and states.That’s $80 billion that has done nothing to improve math, reading, and science scores when viewing data beginning in 1970. The department’s budget has increased by nearly $70 billion since 1980, with no increase in performance or standards.
Everyday we are reminded by politicians, bureaucrats, and talking heads that education is a vital piece of our economic recovery puzzle. But seldom will a single one of them mention or recommend abolishing the Department of Education that stands in our way. If we want to improve the education conditions in the U.S., it’s beyond time we return the decision-making process and money back to the parents and communities, and away from a select few that want to set standards for every house and community in the country. Abolishing the Department of Education not only allows us to reallocate billions of dollars back into local schools and communities (where they can best decide where and how to spend it), but fix our broken education system as well. Abolishing the Department of Education isn’t some caveman approach to pinching pennies, but rather a pro-education approach designed to empower the parents and return the U.S. to its former prominence.
-Chris Mayo (L), candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (IN-7)