Time to close the Department of Education

The creation of the Federal Department of Education is one of the biggest travesties in the American history. The schools in the USA are run by the states. The Local Governments license their teachers, approve the curriculum programs and manage the school system including buildings equipment, transportation, and food. Every problem and every question a mother or a student has can be answered on a State level. The school system is funded by state income, sale and property taxes. Federal government just sprinkles billions of dollars on the top of the education pie to spice it up a bit.

The intrusion of the Federal government in education began when Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education as a separate cabinet seat. Ronald Reagan tried to close the new bureaucratic monstrosity, but was stopped by the democrats running the House.

There is absolutely no need for Federal Department of Education. The Feds are trying to duplicate the State Education Board’s functions and that is costing the tax-payers billions of dollars.

All presidents after Reagan kept the Education Department going. We thought George W Bush pushed our spending limits with his “No child left behind” nonsense. If we only knew what Barack Obama had in mind for the education?

The creation of The $4 billion “Race to the Top” is not the only Obama education pet project.  Investing in Innovation Fund will cost us $650 million.   In case you are wondering: “innovation” means finding innovating way to close the achievement gap. Teacher and Leader Pathways will take another $405 million. One of my favorite is the Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund ($950 million). It is great to recognize our teachers. There are similar State programs and schools and parents nominate good teachers for recognition every year. It is outrageous to spend $950 million borrowed from China for a duplicate program on a federal level. There is no excuse for that. Oregon just raised their income taxes to close their $733 budget deficit for education. The Oregon deficit gap is less than one of the President’s education pet projects. How long will the tax-payers tolerate such anomaly?

The states suffer in recession and Obama should be working on turning the economy around not turning around our schools. $3 billion dollars were appropriated by Obama for the School Turnaround Grants. At the same time the President cut the $3 billion NASA Constellation Systems budget ($3 billion dollars). The program was supposed to take us to the Moon and Mars.

I wonder what would bring us more innovation for $3 billion: NASA or the School Turnaround Program. You make the call.

The schools are under the State jurisdiction. States collect our taxes to run schools. It is not the Federal Government job to turn around schools. It is the Local Government job. The Feds job is to make sure the US economy gets out of the hole fast so the states can collect more revenue to turn around their schools.

The Federal Government job is to run NASA so we don’t have to beg the Russians to give our astronauts a lift to the space-station that was build with US tax-payer money in the first place.

The only schools that government should be running are the military schools and academies and those are separate under the Department of Defense not under the Department of Education. The national security is the main function of the federal government, education is not.

Originally the Education, Welfare, Health and Social Security were all part of one cabinet department. It is the source of all our economic problems today, the source of gigantic debt that the USA is drowning in. Like all Washington DC bureaucracies the agencies grew feet of their own and became separate departments. HHS, SS, DE kept growing until they are so big that they are suffocating the US economy. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security are in the red and Obama keeps growing their Education cousin.

It is time to finish what Reagan was not able to complete and close the Department of Education. The federal student aid and the special ed funds can be distributed by HHS or Department of Social Security with the other welfare programs. The rest of the activities that are not Federal Government business anyway should be cut out of the budget.

If you want to further explore possible savings from the Department of Education I made that easy for you by presenting you the Summery Budget Table by the Department of Education below.

Fiscal Year Recovery Fiscal Year FY 2011 FY 2010 – FY 2011
Program 2009 Act 2010 Request Amount Percent
Elementary/Secondary Education (K-12)
Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Race to the Top 0 4,350,000 0 1,350,000 1,350,000
Investing in innovation 0 650,000 0 500,000 500,000
College- and career-ready students 14,492,401 10,000,000 14,492,401 14,492,401 - 0.0%
School Turnaround Grants 545,633 3,000,000 545,633 900,000 354,367 64.9%
Effective teaching and learning: literacy 0 0 0 450,000 450,000
Effective teaching and learning: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 0 0 0 300,000 300,000
Effective teaching and learning for a well-rounded education 0 0 0 265,000 265,000
College pathways and accelerated learning 0 0 0 100,000 100,000
Assessing achievement 410,732 0 410,732 450,000 39,268 9.6%
Effective teachers and leaders State grants 0 0 0 2,500,000 2,500,000
Teacher and leader innovation fund 0 0 0 950,000 950,000
Teacher and leader pathways 0 0 0 405,000 405,000
Expanding educational options 0 0 0 490,000 490,000
Magnet schools assistance 104,829 0 100,000 110,000 10,000 10.0%
Promise neighborhoods 0 0 10,000 210,000 200,000 2000.0%
Successful, safe, and healthy students 0 0 0 410,000 410,000
21st century community learning centers 1,131,166 0 1,166,166 1,166,166 - 0.0%
English Learner Education 730,000 0 750,000 800,000 50,000 6.7%
Impact Aid 1,265,718 100,000 1,276,183 1,276,183 - 0.0%
Other ESEA 6,185,075 850,000 6,244,766 934,698 (5,310,068) -85.0%
Subtotal, ESEA 24,865,554 18,950,000 24,995,881 28,059,448 3,063,567 12.3%
Special Education (IDEA)
Grants to States (Part B) 11,505,211 11,300,000 11,505,211 11,755,211 250,000 2.2%
Other IDEA 1,074,466 900,000 1,081,824 1,090,979 9,155 0.8%
Subtotal, IDEA 12,579,677 12,200,000 12,587,035 12,846,190 259,155 2.1%
Subtotal, ESEA and IDEA 37,445,231 31,150,000 37,582,916 40,905,638 3,322,722 8.8%
Career and Technical Education State Grants 1,160,911 0 1,160,911 1,264,000 103,089 8.9%
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund 0 48,600,000 0 0 -
Other K-12 332,392 70,000 348,963 188,876 (160,087) -45.9%
Subtotal, Elementary/Secondary Education 38,938,534 79,820,000 39,092,790 42,358,514 3,265,724 8.4%
Postsecondary Education
Federal Pell Grants (discretionary only) 17,288,000 15,640,000 17,495,000 0 (17,495,000) -100.0%
Other Student Financial Aid 1,868,973 200,000 1,802,041 1,738,197 (63,844) -3.5%
Other Postsecondary Education 1,586,339 100,000 2,078,079 1,915,479 (162,600) -7.8%
Subtotal, Postsecondary Education 20,743,312 15,940,000 21,375,120 3,653,676 (17,721,444) -82.9%
IES Programs
Research, Development and Dissemination 167,196 0 200,196 260,696 60,500 30.2%
Statistics 98,521 0 108,521 117,021 8,500 7.8%
National Assessment 138,844 0 138,844 143,844 5,000 3.6%
Statewide Data Systems 65,000 250,000 58,250 65,000 6,750 11.6%
Other Programs and Activities 2,494,459 754,000 2,742,835 3,101,539 358,704 13.1%
TOTAL, ED Discretionary Funds 62,645,866 96,764,000 63,716,556 49,700,290 (14,016,266) -22.0%
TOTAL, ED DISCRETIONARY FUND WITHOUT PELL 45,357,866 81,124,000 46,221,556 49,700,290 3,478,734 7.5%
Pell Grants (discretionary and mandatory) 19,378,000 17,114,000 26,988,059 34,878,000 7,889,941 29.2%

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6 Responses to “Time to close the Department of Education”

  • Hey there Ellie,

    I’m the Casper Public Policy Examiner at Examiner.com and I’m researching an article about Obama’s threat to Veto some of the current ED legislation.

    The background info I was trying to find concerns the Operating Costs for the Bureaucracy of the Education Department. Can’t find a single source for it and the ED itself doesn’t seem to have a link (my, what a surprise eh?).

    Any help you could give me will be great appreciated. Thanks.

    JR Bailey

  • [...] does ‘education reform’ mean? Judging by President’s actions so far it means pouring billions of dollars in our education system, mostly to save union jobs during the severe [...]

  • We do not need this Government interference. Let the State and Local School Boards make the necessary decisions. Our National Gvt. has ruined enough for all of us.

  • Jackie:

    One cannot blame these corrupt actions of the US Department of Education and other agencies on President Obama,they have been corrupt since their onset. However, ignoring the corruption of government corruption and the agencies’ waste of tax payer and public money is going to end with the self destruction of the entire USA. These crooks think they are getting over on individual taxpayer-citizens, by committing impermissible commingling, fraud, and grant larceny but when the consequences surface and accountability begins their actions will not only be to their demise but to the demise of our entire country putting us AT RISK of being just another Third World Country.

  • Thomas:

    When students graduated from community based schools up to the 60′s students were more educated,healthier,and more informed about their country than students with a doctorate today.

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