On the same day as Betsy DeVos’ confirmation vote to become the next Secretary of Education, one congressman is seeking to eliminate the department she would head.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced a bill (HR 899) Tuesday that contains just one single sentence “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”
Eliminating the federal role in public education has been a conservative cause going all the way back to Ronald Reagan, and under the Trump administration, the libertarian-leaning congressman senses the time might be right to revisit this issue.
“Neither Congress nor the President, through his appointees, has the constitutional authority to dictate how and what our children must learn,” Massie said in a press release.
“Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students. Schools should be accountable. Parents have the right to choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children, including home school, public school, or private school.”
The Department of Education was established in 1980, a product of the Jimmy Carter administration that Republicans vowed to eliminate. Obviously, nearly four decades later, it remains. Getting rid of the Department of Education has long been an official part of the Republican platform before a departure from that position during the George W. Bush administration.
A co-sponsor of the bill, North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones said on Tuesday, “For years, I have advocated returning education policy to where it belongs – the state and local level.”
“D.C. bureaucrats cannot begin to understand the needs of schools and its students on an individual basis. It is time that we get the feds out of the classroom, and terminate the Department of Education,” Jones added.
The list of co-sponsors include Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).
President Trump said during the election that he believed the Department of Education “can be largely eliminated.”