The DeVos distraction? When it comes to local education, Congress represents the greatest threat
Americans of all political stripes are wary of the federal government’s meddling in education.
Republicans and many Democrats ran successfully last year demanding that the Department of Education stop using billions in federal aid to skew local decision-making.
The new Every Student Succeeds Act, replacing No Child Left Behind, was passed in large measure to return education policies to states and local districts. “Keep Education Local” was a Trump war cry and tweet during the campaign. But the feds are about to meddle in local education again — big time — with the greatest threat not coming from Betsy DeVos but from the Congress.
According to Education Week, Congress appropriates about $55 billion annually for K-12 education ($12 billion for special education), 8.7 percent of local, state, and federal spending.
Some federal money goes for state operations, some goes to charter and private schools, but the vast majority goes to educate the close to 50 million children in the country’s 14,000 public school districts.
Everyone with children or grandchildren, everyone who may eventually have a child, everyone affected by the nation’s educational standing, everyone, has a stake in these numbers which Congress is poised to drastically change.
There is understandable outrage in some quarters over DeVos’s nomination for Secretary of Education. She is a conservative donor strongly tied to deregulated charter schools, vouchers, and religious education. The record of the DeVos-inspired charter schools program in Michigan is instructive since test scores actually declined as a result of her market-driven policies.
The fear is that DeVos will use her position to advance this agenda while curtailing Obama’s regulatory and enforcement record especially regarding civil rights. I share those concerns.The DeVos distraction? - The Hechinger Report: