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Shrink the Department of Ed, Don't Grow It

by Tip The Canoe Harrison (Principles: Practicality, Newer Doesn't Mean Better) - 2 year ago

They are called State Universities for a reason. If the Federal government wants them to be tuition free, then let the Feds start their own Federal Universities.

Boys and girls, today’s test question is what is wrong with the following sentence:

“Hillary Clinton has promised that if she is elected President, the Federal government will make sure that students whose families earn less than $125,000 per year can attend state and community colleges and graduate debt-free.”

Aiden, stop celebrating, she isn’t President yet and Congress will never permit it anyway.

You have a question, Madison? The answer is yes, the Federal government is different from the state government.

Emma, that’s right! Did everyone hear what Emma said? She said that if the President tells the states how to run their universities then they should be called “President’s Universities” not “State Universities.” Great job Emma.

And that, in a nutshell is what is wrong with the U.S.Department of Education (DoED.) It gives out billions of dollars to schools but every single one of those dollars has a string attached. To get Federal money, the states must spend millions of dollars to request funds and, of course, the Federal government must spend millions of dollars reviewing those requests and monitoring the results. If our education system ranked higher in the world, we might say that its’ worth it. But we don’t rank very high, and it’s not worth it.

Donald Trump, to his credit, does not follow the Ted Cruz approach of saying we should outright eliminate the DoED. He recognizes that some programs provide vital services and must be maintained. But he has made it clear that the Federal government should not be micro-managing our schools with programs like No Child Left Behind, Race To the Top, and especially, Common Core. 

On this issue, Trump is right and Clinton is wrong.  Education is expensive enough and giving the DoED even more power, as Clinton’s plan would do, is exactly the wrong direction for America. Even a child can figure that out.

What do you think? 

Comments and Responses (2)

By  Facebook Commenter - 2 year ago
Most state gov are inept - the state's right philosophy was used to protect slavery - look at Kansas Gov - I can't think of a good state gov, maybe Minnesota- power should be taken from the state's not given to them. The Federal Government should have power over education. Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and many others states push a political agenda in schools.
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : As several commenters on our Facebook page have said, the state governments often make educational decisions based on political considerations. However, doesn't the Federal government do the same? The Bush DOEd had very different policies from the Obama DOEd. An important consideration here is that even without a DOEd, the Federal government remains very active in education through the court system. If states are not meeting their constitutional obligations, the Federal Courts can and do force them.
Reasoning used for ARGUMENTS presented
By  Facebook Commenter - 2 year ago
I think the more we get government out of education and just have them give the guidelines for what things people need to learn, the better off we're going to be. The reason I say that is the more involvement government has the more political and dogmatic education becomes. People left to focus on their community do a better job of problem solving and ignoring politics than people that are motivated by either political or religious values
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : Well, I'm guessing that you haven't been to a PTA executive meeting recently. Politics exists everywhere right down to the local level. If all decisions are made at the local level, for example, you can be certain that religion is going to play an outsize role in educational decisions. However, your idea that states set the guidelines and install a system for monitoring and enforcement makes the most sense. Add in Federal oversight through the court system and with the least amount of bureaucracy, we are able to get the most for our education dollars.