FreedomWorks’ Bill of the Month for March 2017: Abolish the Department of Education

We are proud to award Rep. Thomas Massie’s (R-Ky.) bill to abolish the Department of Education, H.R. 899, as FreedomWorks’ Bill of the Month for March. His bill, only a sentence long in length, reads, “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

The Department of Education was established in 1979 and has been over-regulating the education system ever since. Co-sponsors of H.R. 899 include House Freedom Caucus members Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).

NAEP Long-Term Trend (Reading)

Rep. Massie’s bill will get rid of a system that has failed students and taken away power from teachers and parents. Test scores in reading and math have remained stagnant since the Department of Education was created, yet the cost of education per student has doubled. Success in school equates to success in the workforce; the future of our country is at risk when the Department of Education has failed to improve in over 30 years, while simultaneously raising costs. It is time to try something new, and Rep. Massie’s bill contains the solution.

NAEP Long-Term Trend (Math)

During Rep. Massie’s press release regarding the bill, he stated, “Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students. Schools should be accountable. Parents have the right to choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children, including home school, public school, or private school."

The federal government has no Constitutional jurisdiction over education, and according to the 10th amendment, these decisions should be left to the states. Parents, educators, and local representatives know what’s best for students. There is an overconcentration of power in the hands of the Washington elite, and this legislation will disperse the power throughout the country to give authority back to the people where it belongs.

FreedomWorks recently named Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) our Member of the Month for March, and within the same press release, he had this to share about the Department of Education, "Education of our students should lie primarily with parents, teachers, and state and local officials who know how to meet their individual needs best. Since its inception, the Department of Education has grown into an unrecognizable federal beast, and its policies have helped foster Common Core across the country. It is time the one-size-fits-all approach by the federal government is ended and authority is returned to the local level."

Rather than concentrating all power into one system, this bill will return power to the states. Fifty laboratories of democracy are better suited to create innovative solutions to education. This bill makes a statement that states’ rights come first;the American people are tired of taking orders from Washington D.C. The Department of Education has had over 30 years to put its money where its mouth is, and what has it had to show for itself? Answer: Flat test scores and an increased spending spree.