The Absurdity of Federal Education Dollars Caught in the Stimulus Mouse Trap

States have been selling control of education to the federal government at an increasingly alarming rate with no discernible benefit to students.  By accepting federal money for education, states have undermined their own sovereignty and worse, the right of parents to direct the education of their children.  US Parents Involved in Education seeks to return control of education to parents and local communities and strongly opposes the most recent “bailout” offered by the federal government in the form of grants, under the HR 748 CARES Act stimulus legislation.  U.S. Representative Thomas Massie, who sponsored HR 899 legislation to close the federal Department of Education, referred to the $1200 payments to qualifying individuals as merely “cheese in the mouse trap.”

Federal spending on education has grown exponentially over the past few decades.  United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) documents in its Blueprint to Close USED how discretionary K-12 federal spending grew from $4.5 billion in 1965 to $70.7 billion (2016 constant dollars).  The CARES stimulus spending grants add $30.8 billion to the federal Department of Education for what is termed the “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” to provide grants to support elementary and secondary education ($13.5 billion), Higher Ed ($14.25 billion), and includes state flexibility grants ($3 billion).  This is an astonishing amount especially considering that President Obama’s Race to the Top program, which ushered Common Core into every state, only added $4.4 billion.  USPIE continues to call for measures to #StopFedEd.  Sadly, this newest spending band-aid moves the ball in the wrong direction.

Importantly, evidence continues to show that all this money and federal control of education policy over the past 50 years has actually hurt student achievement.

Breitbart:  “A study released Monday [April 25, 2020] by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute reveals a historic drop in national reading and math scores among U.S. students since the adoption of the Common Core Curriculum Standards a decade ago. Nearly a decade after states adopted Common Core, the empirical evidence makes it clear that these national standards have yielded underwhelming results for students,” said Pioneer executive director Jim Stergios in a statement. “The proponents of this expensive, legally questionable policy initiative have much to answer for.”

US News & World Report: “MATH AND READING SCORES for fourth- and eighth graders in the United States dropped since 2017, and the decrease in reading achievement has government researchers particularly concerned. ‘Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance, and the lowest performing students are doing worse,’ Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistic, said during a press call Tuesday.”

USPIE continues to call on President Trump to eliminate all federal control of education and return control to parents and local communities. Stop the absurd spending. Respect that parents, children and teachers are not mice to be enticed by cheese in a mousetrap. Take the opportunity to act now!

Join the movement at USPIE.org and sign the petition.  

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