A Republican’s Dishonest Portrayal of the Department Of Education

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz has come forward to announce his support for legislation which would abolish the Department Of Education.  He called out the DOE for having a “one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter” approach, with unelected Federal bureaucrats shaping the minds of our youth, and insisted that education is best handled by the “state and local communities.”

This is unfortunately an all-too-common way that many Republicans project issues.  States and local communities have plenty of freedom in how they go about formulating their own educational curriculum and requirements – look no further than the controversial portrayal of history offered by some textbooks in Texas.   The federal government has virtually no role in the curriculum and control of public schools.

He said that the parents should be able to choose the most appropriate way of educating their children, specifically mentioning public, private, or home schooling.  We already have that choice, with any hindrance of that decision coming from state or local laws, not federal.

But all of that is beside the point. The real shame is in his dishonesty by omission. By far, the largest percentage of the Department Of Education’s budget goes towards Pell Grants and other student aid (38% 2015 budget). Is there a single mention of Pell Grants or other student aid in his statements?

Because if his constituency knew he wanted to dismember a department that issued grants and other forms of assistance to students from poor families, his position would not be as popular.

When you speak of abolishing a department of the Federal Government, maybe you should at least mention it’s primary budgetary purpose.