The Failure in our Federal Educational System

Jake Boyd, Staff Writer

Billions of dollars wasted. Education rates dropping. Why is the federal government still controlling our education? The Department of Education was created in 1979 under President Carter. Since then, the Department of Education (on the national level), has failed students around the country.

We should remove the Department of Education and leave education laws and programs to the state legislature. The current department has proven to waste billions of dollars (adding to the national debt) on education, with no payout. Also, ever since the department came into existence, education levels in the U.S. have dropped.

According to the Cato Institute, since the passage of the Elementary/Secondary Act, federal lawmakers have launched laws and spending from 25 billion in 1965 to 108 billion in 2002 on education. Also, according to the department, the annual budget consists of $70 billion. When you include other federal spending like Head Start and the School Lunch Program, that number swells to more than $100 billion.

While the government spends all this money, results are coming back negative. According to the Stanford Report and the World Top 20 Project, The U.S. is ranked 20th in education while Finland is ranked number one. One major cut the Finland government puts into place: the abolishment of standardized tests (tests such as the SAT put into place by the federal government). U.S. math, reading and science test scores have remained flat or declined over the past four decades, according to the Cato Institute and FreedomWorks. This proves that although the federal government spends around 6 percent of its yearly spending, there is little improvement.

Some claim that the Department of Education keeps the education requirements the same throughout the states. James Hunt Jr., a former governor of North Carolina said, “U.S. students and teachers don’t have a clear understanding of what they need to know and be able to do.” I agree that there would be much confusion between different state requirements, but as long as the states have the same common set of standards, we will be fine.

I say that the Supreme Court should deem the department unconstitutional, as the control of education is not listed as a federal power. The Constitution specifically states in the 10th amendment that powers not listed in the Constitution become state responsibilities. The federal government is not authorized to meddle.