Betsy DeVos

President Trump, Betsy DeVos Want To Reduce the Education Department's Size and Power

It's a solid budget proposal—too bad it won't go anywhere.


President Donald Trump's 2021 budget proposal doesn't do nearly enough to address the country's trillion-dollar budget deficit: As Reason's Eric Boehm explains, federal spending would increase next year, and even under the most favorable circumstances the government would continue to run a deficit until at least 2035.

But it's not all bad news, particularly on the education front. The proposal would halt the federal government's management of a large pile of education dollars, block grant the funds and distribute them to the states, and ultimately trim about $5 billion from the Department of Education, according to The Washington Examiner:

The Obama administration in 2009 pumped $3 billion into a program that awarded an extra $2 million to underperforming public schools, so long as they made certain reforms. The money came from the School Improvement Grants initiative. And yet, according to a study by the education department published at the start of 2017, "Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any [School Improvement Grant]-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment."

Placing virtually all K-12 funding into the hands of states and school districts would essentially cut the department's responsibilities in half—a move in the direction that DeVos has pushed for with some success.

Specifically, the budget would consolidate nearly all competitive K-12 grants into a single $20 billion block grant. Rather than having the federal government tell schools how to spend the money, the proposal would allow for local control.

"This budget proposal is about one thing—putting students and their needs above all else," said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a statement.

If implemented, these reforms would reduce the federal government's influence over schools, which would be a welcome development. The U.S. is ill-suited to a national, one-size-fits-all education approach, and local officials are far more accountable to taxpayers than federal bureaucrats.

The budget also expands a school choice program known as the Education Freedom Scholarships, which provides tax incentives for people to donate money—on a voluntary basis—to state-based opportunity grants for students. Kids can then use these grants to find the right school for them. (Trump mentioned a similar program in his State of the Union address.)

Sadly, these proposals are unlikely to become law. Presidential budget suggestions are frequently overridden and revised by Congress. That's a shame. Shrinking the Education Department and block-granting funds for the states is precisely the kind of common-sense thinking that is often missing in D.C. policy maker circles.

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  1. Shrinking the Education Department and block-granting funds for the states is precisely the kind of common-sense thinking that is often missing in D.C. policy maker circles.

    What is common-sense to a politician about leaving yourself open to a “How dare you!” charge of hating children? Shoveling bucket-loads of money into the educational establishment bureaucracy “for the children” is a holy sacrament of faith and even so much as suggesting that we should look into the question of what exactly we’re getting for our money is the foulest of heresies.

    1. “Hey, honey, great news, I saved us $100 on groceries this month!”
      “So what? You bought that stupid sports car for your midlife crisis!”
      “You are such a critic! Why can’t you focus on the positive?”

      1. God everything you post is so fucking stupid.

        1. Triggered Tulpa tosses and turns, trying to tackle the task of turning a trenchant turn of phrase, and takes a tactical tumble.

          1. “And what is a literation?”

          2. “…a trenchant turn of phrase…”

            You misspelled “bullshit”.
            Was that strawman heavy?

            1. Well, pretty much all fake Tulpa posts is stupid bullshit, so that probably would have been a better choice.

  2. Good. Long time coming. But of course the next dem that comes in will assert their heavy hand again. Which state will be the first to sue?

    1. “How DARE you refuse to give us orders!?!”

  3. If memory serves, Reagan wanted to eliminate the DOE and he should have but as usual the swamp had to protect their phony baloney jobs and congress was more than happy to oblige. This will never happen.

    1. Yep, Reagan never had a majority in both houses of Congress. Trump could possibly push this through if he wins re-election and the GOP keeps the Senate and flips the House, but I don’t see it happening before 2021.

      1. It won’t happen then either, just like Obama didn’t do any of his grand shit that would have required both houses, nor did Trump.

    2. After the Deep State/Global Elite, including Bush #1, tried to kill Reagan he was never the same!….I’m surprised no one has taken a shot at Donny yet! Maybe, it is because he has hired so many longtime DC Swamp Critters/Deep Staters & ZioCon Global Elites to make them think he is one of them!

      1. or MAYBEEEE it is because he’s also hired a bunch of his own guys, being just a touch chary of the FedGoon squads he’d be stuck with otherwise. The In Fill Traitors just might be scared of Trump’s homies turning on them if any “funny bidniss” breaks.

        I suspect they are also very cognisant of the extreme likelihood something like a few million patriots just might take to the streetsif Trump were to be offed at this point. And the Swamp Critters will have large circles of bright yellow mud on their chests, centred on the sternum. I think at least some have also read somewhere that those pretty Powder Blue brainbuckets are AWFULLY easy to see from a long ways away.

  4. The U.S. is ill-suited to a national, one-size-fits-all education approach

    What?! Isn’t our approach to have every child graduate from college as a STEM major and out-compete every foreigner on the planet?

    1. have every female child graduate from college as a STEM major

      1. Have every female child graduate from college as a whatever-the-fuck-degree-we-can-jam-down-their-throats-at-any-cost major.

        1. OK, so long as we call the degree some variant of STEM or STEAM.

        2. But who cares, it will be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

        3. College is a golden ticket to success and the only way to succeed in life! It doesn’t matter what degree you get or the cost. You should tell me it’s free, and send me the bill later for my own good. Those who refuse to go to college or can’t succeed in college should also share that bill.

    2. Wait, I thought the new model is every non-male non-white person of any age will get multiple degrees in gender-race studies with lots of practical experience marching, protesting, and silencing others.

      1. And a lollipop!

      2. LOL!!! U left out a Masters in finding Safe Spaces!

        1. dintchyano? WHEREVER these rats are is a “safe space”.

  5. “Hitler and Goebbels have a plan to do something with education…”

    The rest writes itself.

    1. At least they would get rid of cultural appropriation once and for all

      1. They appropriated the swastika from the Buddhists.

        1. Fuck man what mental defect compels you to relentlessly try so hard when you know everyone thinks you’re terrible. No one in the history of this board has spent more time trying to make people like him and failing than you.

        2. The symbol was used in Europe before Buddhism existed.

          1. The symbol is nearly universal, having also been used by native American tribes.

    2. You know who else…

      Oops, the joke was pre-emptively ruined, thank you so much.

    3. Give credit where it’s due. I’m pretty sure the Prussians were the pioneers in state enforced kidnapping and indoctrinating children.

      1. We can trace modern coercive progressivism to one country: Germany.

        Thanks Germany. As usual.

        1. The US has a lot in there too. It was pretty much the mainline American protestant denominations that really defined and laid out the progressive project.

  6. “This budget proposal is about one thing—putting students and their needs above all else,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a statement.

    And what are Teachers’ unions supposed to do? Sit in the gutter and sell matchsticks? You know they are literally incapable of any kind of real job, but does she care? No. That monster.

    1. Turn tricks. Some of those statutory rapist teachers are HAWT.

      1. Inordinately so I’ve noticed. And mighty young for cougars.

    2. I don’t think that this would change much for teachers. State schools aren’t going away overnight. Or probably ever.

    3. You have accurately and concisely described the ONE function to which the yoonyun elites are perfectly well suited. Nice work. IF they did nothing but that, everything everywhere would immediately show great strides forward in every aspect of their endeavours.

  7. Any funding cut can be restored.
    What is needed is to eliminate entire federal departments.
    And the “education” department would be a good one. Not authorized in the US Constitution, better done at the state (or lower) level, and dump the loans while you are at it.

    1. The “Constitution” was written exclusively by white, cisnormal (asssumed), straight (probably not all) white men. We need the Department of Education to relearn eternal truths. Or do you hate the children?

      1. “Or do you hate the children?”

        Yes, and your point is?

    2. Yeah, it should be top of the list. But there is a long list.
      The fact that no one is really proposing eliminating departments that shouldn’t exist is one of the big reasons I think both parties are utterly worthless. It’s not that they aren’t different. It’s that they are two parts of the same thing.

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  11. Can’t Trump just, you know, change the locks at the DoE?

    1. Could he move the offices to None, Alaska? Even work new construction, would save on rent and cost of living.

      A real Democrat would want to move some of those federal bureaus to Baltimore, Detroit, St Louis to create jobs in disadvantaged areas.

      1. That would actually be a slick move for Democrats. Then, as with military bases, more states would have an economic interest in keeping the federal government big.

  12. “Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any [School Improvement Grant]-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment.”

    Every good Progressive knows that the answer to this is to throw more money at it.

    1. And call people racist, sexist, anti-alphabet people, yada yada yada.

      1. And move the goal posts

  13. Reason’s compliments for Republicans always feel a lot more back-handed than its compliments for Democrats.

    1. Republican compliments are back-handed, Democratic compliments are reaching.

      Republicans actually cutting stuff from the budget is nice, but they could do better, especially on Defense. Democrats talking about reducing the debt or deficit on the campaign trail without even the flimsiest of plans is the shit.

      1. Reaching… Around.

    2. This one seemed pretty straight forward.

  14. Jerry, I’m more hopeful than you. I think the Dems time in majority, at least in the near future, is about at an end. If the new Congress flips GOP, as I’m beginning to think it may, then these proposals may be able to be tested.
    The overhaul of the judiciary, that has put around 1/3 of them in by Trump, may keep the courts from being held captive to Lefty Loonies.

  15. “The overhaul of the judiciary, that has put around 1/3 of them in by Trump, may keep the courts from being held captive to Lefty Loonies”

    And I yearn for the day that Trump/McConnell/ Graham/ FEDSOC portion will be no less than 51%; just imagine a Supreme and Appellate Courts [like the 9th] comprised of a majority of textualists/orginalists along the lines of Gorsuch?

  16. Get rid of the whole damn department. And while you’re at it get rid of commerce, labor, transportation, housing and human development, energy. That’ll be a nice start. You can move student loans into the Treasury as you wind down that whole program and move nukes management under defense.


    1. And change Defense’s name back to Department of War.

  17. “It’s a solid budget proposal—too bad it won’t go anywhere.”

    This is true of all potential budget cuts proposed by anyone, democrat or republican.

  18. If there is anything a clinger can’t stand, it’s education.

    Unless it’s backwater religious schooling, heavy on the nonsense and disdainful of science and “elite” understanding.

    Or homeschooling involving plenty of superstition and slack-jawed parents.

    1. blah blah blah only a public school victim could sound like this.

      1. You’d be surprised at what I hear from rich, lefty privately educated folks, then.

    2. The cretin thinks public schools actually educate instead of indoctrinate. (points and laughs)

  19. We have city, county, state, country ‘Education Departments’. Its all part of the higher paying jobs market. As automation replaces non government jobs, will government employees get the ax or will they continue? This is amusing:
    “The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).”

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  21. Any reduction would be nice. But this is about like me reducing my family’s budget by 25 cents or so for the year. The Federal budget is something like $3 trillion too large. And that is due to the government being involved in things that are actually forbidden in the Constitution. Does that really make the Constitution a dead letter?

  22. Shrinking? Eliminate the federal DofEd 😛

  23. Wow Reason magazine is praising something Trump is doing. That’s a new one. It is less central government.

  24. Get the Feds out of education below the High School level.
    Many of the local controls are driven by far left antics.
    Money is NOT the sole indicator of effectiveness.
    The assorted Teacher’s Unions [Organizations, whatever they choose to be called] are interested in one and only one thing.
    Increasing the salaries of teachers.

    They fight like crazy when ANY actual results and outcomes are used to try and measure the quality of the education being delivered.

    Large groups of students do not vary all that much from year to year, unless the lower level of teaching they received is the cause.

    If you are taking a calculus class you MUST understand polynomials without having to read about how to manipulate then over and over.

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  27. Government grants ate often idiotic. When I was in high school, we got a grant to put two computers in every classroom. Mind you, the teachers all had their own county provided laptops so they weren’t using these new desktops. I don’t think there was a single teacher there who failed to see the problem with 2 computers for a class of 20 – 30 students. Needless to say, most of the computers never got used. One teacher even put them in the closet (probably violating the requirements of the grant) because he valued the desk space more. Thousands of dollars were wasted on that project, but hey we spent money on education for the children. We “put computers in every classroom.” That’s what’s important, not whether it benefited anyone, not whether it was a prudent investment.

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  30. I think in general this is a very difficult question, Education Minister Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration have no new ideas. As for me, it is very sad. Instead, the government should develop an education program. After all, this is the main motivation for this department. Although the DeVos educational program has never been popular, this year’s budget offer is especially deaf to the needs of students and schools. The Trump administration was financially irresponsible to the extreme, providing huge tax cuts to wealthy corporations at the expense of taxpayers and allowing the costly partial closure of the government to drag out this process. Because of this, huge problems can arise in the field of education that need to be somehow solved. I can only offer a little help to students in the writing of speech, you can find help on my website . In general, I think that a complete reorganization of this system is needed. This will help to raise it to the highest level.

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