Abolish the US Department of Education
The US Department of Education was formed in October 1979. President Jimmy Carter’s insistence on carving out an entity devoted specifically to K-12 was borne of , the nation’s largest teachers’ union, which had helped Carter secure the Democratic nomination in 1976. Until that election, the NEA had never issued a presidential endorsement. (1)
It has since grown to 4,000 employees and an annual budget of $90 billion. Before its creation as an independent Cabinet level department, federal education policy was handled through what is now the Department of Health and Human Services.
Both before and after its creation. education is the responsibility of each state causing many to wonder what value the US Department of Education brings to the table with many arguing that it should be abolished citing these reasons:
1) Student achievement has not improved since 1979. The US lags behind other countries in reading, math and science.
2) Its creation is arguably not allowed under the US Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
3) It uses its power to effectively blackmail states to do its bidding. Don’t want to participate in Common Core – we won’t send you any money. Does your state disagree with “No Child Left Behind?” No problem, it will not receive any federal funding.
4) Since its creation, $1.5 trillion dollars has been spent by the US Department of Education with student outcomes falling in almost every category. Let states be laboratories of educational programs and allow them to adapt to their individual needs.
5) Without federal government involvement, student loan programs could be privatized making them more efficient. Congress could still vote to guarantee them.
6) Abolishing the federal Department of Education would help end the administrative creep seen in every level of education. Education needs teachers not bureaucracy.
7) It would significantly add to diversity in programs and pathways to educational success.
Education in the US would improve without the federal government’s meddling through the Department of Education.