One of the promises Trump made on the campaign trail was to rein in the Department of Education (DOE). It’s a promise he’s keeping.
Yesterday Trump signed an Executive Order, probably one of his best yet, that will allow Department of Education Head Betsy DeVos to review regulations and guidance and change them how she sees fit, within the guidelines of federal law of course.
The Order. The Executive Order is called the Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education. From the The White House:
Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to protect and preserve State and local control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, and personnel of educational institutions, schools, and school systems, consistent with applicable law, including ESEA, as amended by ESSA, and ESEA’s restrictions related to the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Sec. 2. Review of Regulations and Guidance Documents. (a) The Secretary of Education (Secretary) shall review all Department of Education (Department) regulations and guidance documents relating to DEOA, GEPA, and ESEA, as amended by ESSA.
Presser. Trump gave a press conference yesterday in which he spoke about the Executive Order and how important it is to give power of education back to localities:
“My administration has been working to reverse this fed power grab and give power back to cities and states, give power back to localities, “ said Trump. “The Executive Order I’m signing today is another critical step into restoring local control, which is so important.”
Trump went on to point out the real issue with the Department of Education and the federal government:
For too long the federal government has imposed its will on state and local government, the result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less.
What does the order do? The Executive Order gives Secretary DeVos a mandate to take action on her review of DOE policies and take action. As reported by The Washington Times:
The executive order is not expected to have an immediate impact on school districts. Policy changes will follow a report on the findings of the review.
The review will be spearheaded by the Department of Education’s Regulatory Review Task Force, according to the order.
Ms. DeVos already has authority to modify or repeal regulations that are deemed a violation of federal law. The order, however, creates a review for identifying those areas and makes clear her mandate from the president to take action.
Reducing the federal government’s role in K-12 is part of Mr. Trump’s reform agenda, which also includes the expansion of school choice programs.
Why this matters? This is extremely important for many reasons but the biggest reason of all is that the federal government has continually dictated bad policy that many localities believe they are required to follow under fear they will lose funding. The federal government also sends out “carrots” in the form of federal dollars in order to get states to follow their policies, even if they are horrible, like Common Core.
What next? It’ll be interesting to see the head-spinning of many on the left. The only reason the Department of Education is in existence was Jimmy Carter’s way of paying back the unions. There is absolutely no purpose for the DOE; there never was one, there never will be.
The DOE has done nothing but make education worse; it tramples over local control of education and has seen a massive increase in spending on education, yet only with lower and lower bang for their (our) buck.
Students don’t do better because of the massive increases in spending. Students haven’t fared better because of the DOE; they’ve probably done a hell of a lot worse as a result, especially inner city schools.
It’s beyond time that states have more control over education and education dollars. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a win for states, taxpayers, teachers and most importantly, STUDENTS.
Of course, it will be a game of wait and see to find out what is really going to happen or go away but the promise is YUUGE.