In an op-ed written for Yellowhammer News, Congressman and GOP Senate candidate Bradley Byrne argued that we should abolish the U.S. Department of Education and leave education to state and local governments.
Education was important to the Founders, but they left that function to the states,” Byrne wrote.
“The federal government provides less than 20% of all education funding. So, in the U.S., education should be a state and local endeavor,” he continued.
“Nonetheless, during the Carter administration, Congress created a federal Department of Education, which now has 4,000 employees and a budget of $68 billion. It has no schools or colleges, but, like most federal departments and agencies, puts out lots of regulations and red tape to state and local schools.”
He criticized the Department for not knowing “near as much about how to educate our students or run our schools as our superintendents, principals, and teachers do.”
“I served on the Alabama State Board of Education and as the leader of our two-year college system,” Byrne said.
“I have seen firsthand the costs of federal regulation at the state level and pushed back against the overreaching federal regulations. But, when I got to Washington, I was appalled to the waste, expense, and size of the federal Department of Education.”
“Everyone in America, except for the Washington bureaucrats at the Department, would benefit from doing away with it. Taxpayers would save money. State and local education officials would be free to do their jobs. And teachers, parents and citizens would reclaim control of our schools.”
Byrne conceded that there would be no national education system if the Department was abolished, but he said that different educational choices in different states “has been a tradition in this country.”
Byrne criticized the opponents of abolishing the department as bureaucrats who want Washington to control education.
“The opponents of this idea want the power to control education from Washington, a power never intended by our Founders. And they want this power to dictate standards and policies for educating our children, and ultimately what we teach, including morality and values. It’s part of a broader agenda to reorder our society from the regressive Left. The Founders sure never intended that.”
He concluded, “It’s never too late to do the right thing. And abolishing the federal Department of Education is clearly the right thing to do. As Alabama’s Senator, that is exactly what I will do.”