President Trump has signed a new executive order that will begin the process of handing more power over education to states and local districts, a move that Trump said was necessary when campaigning for the presidency last year.
Called the Education Federalism Executive Order, it will require the Department of Education to review the previous administration’s school regulations and find areas where the federal government can pull back from what many critics have deemed Washington overreach.
“For too long the government has imposed its will on state and local governments,” Trump said Wednesday at the signing ceremony. “The result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less. My administration has been working to reverse this federal power grab and give power back to families, cities, and states — give power back to localities.”
He said that the Obama administration had gone much too far in their desire to place public schools under the watchful purview of the federal government, a trend his administration was eager to reverse.
“We know local communities know it best and do it best,” said Trump. “The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”
As a Republican, Trump is naturally going to concentrate on Democratic administrations when criticizing the current state of public education, but this is a disaster for which both parties share the blame. True, Obama didn’t do anything to help, and his insistence on using the federal government to enforce a liberal social agenda (see: the transgender mandate) was ridiculous even by Democrat standards. But his predecessor, President Bush, was all too pleased to introduce the No Child Left Behind Act, which was the same kind of federal overreach that conservatives should be working to get clear of.
For more than 50 years, Washington has been on a freight train towards a national school board, which would put federal bureaucrats in charge of policy and curriculum for every public school in the country.
That, by the way, would be a violation of current U.S. law.
But that’s no consolation; when the government used billions of dollars in Race to the Top money to, ahem, persuade states into accepting the Common Core standards, they were already in violation of that law by any reasonable definition. And yet, even many Republicans – including George W.’s baby brother – eagerly embraced Common Core. So much for small-government conservatism.
And so it’s up to the guy all the fiscal conservatives told us was a New York liberal in disguise to finally do what Republicans won’t: Stand up to the teachers’ unions and send educational decisions back to the states.
Next step: Getting rid of the DoE altogether.