United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) wants to express its sincere appreciation to Lindsey Burke and The Heritage Foundation for their recent proposal to return education control to parents, local communities and states. The evidence is undeniable that forty years of federal education policy has not improved education outcomes for children despite billions and billions of spending of taxpayer dollars. It’s time to end this travesty.
In 2017, USPIE published its Blueprint to Close USED and End Federal Education Mandates. The Blueprint was informed by similar work by Vicki Alger of The Independent Institute in her book: failure: The Federal Misedukation of America’s Children , and Neal McCluskey and CATO’s: Cutting Federal Aid for K-12 Education. All four of these publications offer well-informed strategies and guidelines for Congress and the President to end wasteful and unsuccessful federal control of education.
Burke’s latest report reflects on bureaucratic waste included in federal education spending and mandates.
In 1998, Representative Pete Hoekstra (R–MI) led a commission that, like the 1994 GAO report on federal financing of state education agencies, also exposed a host of problems with federal regulations and state K–12 authority. “There are nearly three times as many federally funded employees of state education agencies administering federal education programs as there are U.S. Department of Education employees,” the commission found, dubbing these employees part of a “shadow” Department of Education.44
The commission estimated that states completed 48.6 million paperwork hours to receive federal spending, which at that time resulted in just 65 cents to 70 cents of each federal taxpayer dollar spent on education reaching the classroom.
There is no reason to believe that bloated federal mandates have reduced their bureaucratic impact on education funding since 1998, which likely reduces even further the percentage of each federal taxpayer dollar to reach the classroom. In addition, there is ample reason to assume this “shadow” Department of Education has every reason to fight back against proposals to dramatically reduce federal intervention in education.
Doing the right thing for America’s children will demand incredible political will. Please join USPIE, CATO, Independent Institute and The Heritage Foundation in the fight to return education to its proper local roots. Join the Movement and sign a Petition to President Trump.