New bill aims to get rid of Department of Education


Kiera DeCesare, News editor

Earlier this year, Republican senators Thomas Massie from Kentucky and Barry Moore from Alabama reintroduced a bill to completely abolish the Department of Education nationally, leaving it up to the states. To replace the Department of Education, they propose that the Treasury allocate money to the states, who will then distribute the money to schools.  

The function of the Department of Education varies depending on whether you are looking at it from a state or national level. At the state level, the Department of Education creates accessible learning options for students with disabilities, helps set education standards, and helps set students up for success after high school by providing resources on things like how to get an apprenticeship or how to apply for college. At the national level, the Department of Education helps students apply for grants or college scholarships, instructs students how on to apply for financial aid and gives more information on student loan forgiveness. In addition to this, the National Department of Education conducts research on what learning methods work well, calculating dropout rates and graduation rates by state. This bill would require the Treasury to take over all these roles. 

This bill has many flaws in it. It would create huge gaps in our educational system. The Florida Department of Education alone serves over 2.8 million students, 500,000 school staff, 28 colleges and 46,000 college professors. If we left education up to the states, educational quality would vary even more state by state than it does now. This is because some states simply do not have enough funding to manage classrooms. A perfect example of this occurred in 2012: The Washington state supreme court ruled that their funds violated their state constitution, as they provided little funding to school. This also means that the richest states and richest counties would get more money and resources, leaving the poorest counties behind. 

In addition, the bill gives no guidelines for how states must allocate the funds if the Department of Education was disbanded. This means that states could give large sums to private, or religious oriented schools, which would push parents to move their students to private schools as they receive more money. 

Another flaw is, it’s a generally agreed upon fact that the college admission process has gotten increasingly more difficult over the last 30 years. Taking away the Department of Education would make this even more difficult because the Department of Education helps handle financial aid for college, including the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and helps allocate scholarship resources. 

All in all, the Department of Education fulfils many roles that would be hard for the states to take over. For the sake of children’s education, we should not eliminate this department.