The Department of Education Is About Government Not Education


Little Red School House
The Department of Education was established as a cabinet department in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. For the Children! Except, only it wasn't. It was basically a pay-off to the teachers' union as well as a way to further enshrine The State's control. Once huge albatrosses of departments and programs are created, we can never sever the ties from around our necks. The surest way to ensure control and power is to create a bureaucracy for life. Leave it to Jimmy Carter to use our children for such an end.

Ah, President Carter. When the high point of one's presidency is 'malaise', you're totally doing it wrong. The only thing he did right was to attempt to hide his brother Billy. And he even failed at that; he couldn't even stop him from foisting off "Billy Beer" on an unsuspecting public. Still, some really bad beer was nothing compared to the huge keg of waste and fail that is the Department of Education.

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When Republicans dare to point out this inescapable fact, however, predictable screeching occurs. "Why do Republicans hate education?! And children?! And science or something?!" Nothing could be further from the truth. Republicans are actually for the children, rather than just giving lip service to the same. Republicans understand that regulations and government bureaucracies do not educate; good teachers and parents do. In fact, abolishing the Department of Education used to be part of the GOP platform. But, alas, as always once a government program becomes part of the collective mindset, it's almost impossible to roll-back, never mind abolish completely,

Plus, the unions and the party that rely on the same for power and control will never allow it. The best that we can hope for, sadly, is the reform that presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is striving for. He said, "You need to dramatically shrink the federal Department of Education, get rid of virtually all of its regulations." People of all political ideology should agree with this. I mean, there comes a point when even the most enamored of a government program must see that it has reached a point of diminishing returns. The Department of Education has the smallest staff of all cabinet agencies, yet has the third largest budget. A budget that has accomplished what, exactly?

Nothing. When first established, the Department of Education had a budget of $13.1 billion and now has a budget of $77.8 billion (in 2011). Pouring good money after bad accomplishes nothing. Reams and reams of paperwork to meet arbitrary regulations does nothing but take time away from, you know, the actual educating of our children. Test scores have either gone down or remained absolutely stagnant, regardless of the money thrown at the problems. Of course, most of the money is thrown towards the unions. For the Children!

Mamas understand this. We get rid of stuff that costs us money, yet does us absolutely no good. Mamas are also smart enough and capable enough to be in control of their own children's education. It needs to go back into local hands, away from a vastly wasteful bureaucracy-filled entity centered in the way out-of-touch Washington, DC.

I'm pro-choice, when it comes to the education of our children. The Department of Education gives us little to no choice and needs to get the boot, or at least have the boot removed from the necks of parents and local teachers. Contrary to popular opinion, federal government, mamas really do know best.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Should the Department of Education Be Abolished?

 

Image via Svadilfari/Flickr

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