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We need to shut down the dept of education.
March 01, 2011
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Shut down dept of education.

Vic Biorseth, Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Of all federal expenditures in the USA, the only one the Marxocrat Party ever seeks to cut is the smallest, and the only one with a Constitutional mandate, which is, of course, National Defense. The largest portion of our national budget – entitlements and “social” programs – has no Constitutional mandate, and it thus may be argued that the federal government should not be involving itself in them in any way.

Education is not listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution as a constituted activity of the federal government. Therefore, any action of the federal government involving directing, regulating or otherwise controlling or in any way affecting education is an un-constitutional activity.

Furthermore, it is an un-constitutional activity of the federal government that is projected to expend some $77 billion this year alone, and that has involved and promises to involve a continually growing cost, every single year of its existence. In return for this massive expenditure we have a measurably declining educational ranking among American students, since the creation of the department of education. Public school students consistently score significantly lower than private and parochial school students, even though public school teachers have radically higher pay and benefits than private and parochial school teachers, and that higher pay and benefit package comes straight from the tax payers. That means that private and parochial school teachers join the rest of us in directly paying the salaries and the benefits of the public school administrators and teachers who are doing a measurably inferior job of teaching, across the board.

“Education” began life in 1980 under President Carter, and American primary education scholastics have been in radical decline since then. If you think we could not do without the giant bureaucracy of the department of education, you need to ask yourself exactly how America managed to do without it before 1980.

If you can find a copy, look at the Declaration of Independence, paying particular attention to the signatures at the end. I have one hanging on my wall. I occasionally marvel at the beautiful penmanship of all the signers. How did they all manage to learn that level of cursive penmanship in the absence of a department of education? If you ever get the chance to look at old civil war era correspondence between soldiers and sailors and their families, you might similarly marvel at the penmanship, the extensive vocabulary and good grammar, and wonder how they manages to achieve all that in the absence of a department of education.

We might wonder how Abraham Lincoln managed to become a lawyer without going to any law school, or any other school other than the smallest and humblest, and his home, in the complete absence of any department of education. Or at how it might have come to pass that President Reagan gained such a remarkable insight into the American ideal, and into the nature of this ephemeral thing called Liberty that we all take for granted, with no department of education during his formative years.

I argued to privatize public schools a long time ago in the Argument Opposing Public Education page on this site. In my neighborhood, and I think in most neighborhoods across America, these public schools are supported by local property taxes. I recommended a method of privatizing these schools, facilities and properties by use of a voucher system, but I have since changed my mind.

The whole notion at that time was predicated upon fast-tracking the Fair Tax as an absolute replacement for all current forms of taxation, and computing the appropriate amount, per pupil, that was currently brought in to the local school districts. That amount would then be distributed to parents through a school voucher system. I now think that would be a bad idea, because of complexity, and multiple possibilities of fraud and corruption. It would give a segment of government power over a potentially complex voucher system.

It might be simpler to just take the amount local school districts used to make from property taxes, which would in the future be coming in from the Fair Tax, and distribute it to all tax payers as an increase in the Fair Tax Pre-bate annual payment. Very simple; nothing to it; no bureaucrats in control of it. See the Argument Opposing Public Education page for how public schools would go private overnight, and begin competing with parochial and private schools for tuition dollars from parents.

All schools should depend on what parochial and private schools depend on right now – tuition, alumni support, endowments and charitable contributions, but no government money from any level of government. Home schoolers should be given free reign. We were a much better educated nation before “public” schools and before the department of education. Truancy laws should be abolished, when and where local politics permits it to be done. People should be free to seek education, and those who don’t really want to be in school should not be made to be there to disrupt everybody else. Everyone should be able to make his own decisions, enjoy the benefits of good ones, and suffer the consequences of bad ones.

If any part of education is to be supported by government, it should be the lowest level of government, not the highest. If a local area wants to support education, so be it. But there is no way the federal government has any business involving itself in education. The budget is never going to be balanced unless we begin cutting whole government departments, and the department of education is the perfect place to begin.

That’s my opinion; what’s yours?

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