On February 7, 2017, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced H.R. 899, a bill to abolish the unconstitutional Department of Education (also known as the ED), which was originally organized by President Jimmy Carter when he signed the Department of Education Organization Act on October 17, 1979. Rep. Massie's bill, which is only one sentence long, states, "The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018."
On the same day as President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed by the Senate in a rare tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence, Massie accurately pointed out, "Neither Congress nor the President, through his appointees, has the constitutional authority to dictate how and what our children must learn." Massie further 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.
Among the bill's original cosponsors, Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) said of the bill, "For years, I have advocated returning education policy to where it belongs - the state and local level." Jones added, "D.C. bureaucrats cannot begin to understand the needs of schools and its students on an individual basis. It is time that we get the feds out of the classroom, and terminate the Department of Education."
In addition to Jones, the other original cosponsors of Massie's bill include Congressmen Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho).
Also in support of the bill, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) stated on Facebook, "I've long supported getting rid of the unconstitutional Department of Education. Republicans going back to Ronald Reagan have talked about abolishing it, but it never amounted to anything more than talk."
Both as a candidate and early on in his presidency, Reagan advocated for abolishing the Department of Education. On September 24, 1981 in his Address to the Nation on the Program for Economic Recovery, President Reagan proposed getting rid of the Department of Education. "By eliminating the Department of Education less than 2 years after it was created, we cannot only reduce the budget but ensure that local needs and preferences, rather than the wishes of Washington, determine the education of our children," Reagan said.
However, by the time he left office after two-full presidential terms on January 20, 1989, the Department of Education had grown even larger and continued to expand under subsequent purportedly "conservative" Republican presidents, most notably President George W. Bush and his disastrous "No Child Left Behind" program.
Of Massie's bill, Paul further stated on Facebook, "We desperately need to release the creative energy of teachers at the local level."
Although Massie's bill does not specifically address what would happen to the many unconstitutional federal laws related to education, federal student loans, and other various federal aid programs to public schools that have been passed either prior to or since the Department of Education was created, the bill is certainly an encouraging first step in the right direction toward removing the federal government from education.
If passed and signed by President Trump, Massie's bill would accomplish what President Reagan originally promised, and more importantly it would begin returning control of education back to parents and local communities.
Please send a prewritten, editable message to your representative and senators and ask your representative to cosponsor H.R. 899, a bill to abolish the unconstitutional Department of Education, in the House and ask your senators to introduce and cosponsor a companion bill in the Senate. Let them know that you want to remove the federal government from education and return control of education back to parents and local communities by abolishing the unconstitutional Department of Education.
Phone calls can also be very effective, and of course the most effective way to educate your state legislators is by making personal visits to their offices. Click here for contact information.
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