Department Of Education: A Waste Of Taxpayer Money Or A Necessity To Our Education System?

1863 words - 7 pages

The United States Government has fifteen Cabinet level agencies which include topics such as agriculture to foreign affairs however there is one specific agency that spends billions of dollars a year which may or may not be needed. The United States Department of Education is an agency that could be minimized. The United States Department of Education should be minimized and the state and local departments should be in charge of their own education policies.
In 1867 the original Department of Education was created to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the states establish effective and competitive school systems. During that time the D.O.E. was called the Office of Education and didn’t have an official place in the Executive Branch. The United States Department of Education (D.O.E.) has been officially around since 1971 when President Jimmy Carter signed into law the creation of the D.O.E. as a Cabinet level agency. Two years later, when President Ronald Reagan took office he planned on abolishing the D.O.E. right away because he believed the federal government was intruding too much and that the state and local governments should control the education (Genovese 164). However, in 1983 the D.O.E. published A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Education Reform which critiqued America’s public education system. President Reagan was alarmed at this report and decided to retain the D.O.E. because he saw it as a weakness if our education system was producing citizens not able to contribute positively to our economy (Genovese 165). Since that year, most republican presidential candidates have considered abolishing the D.O.E. until recently.
The top contenders for the republican presidential candidates have recently brought up the thought of abolishing the Department of Education entirely or minimizing it to a great degree. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann recently said,
What I would do as president of the United States is pass the mother of all repeal bills on education. Then I would go over to the Department of Education, I’d turn off the light I would lock the door and I would send all of the money back to the states and localities. (Abolish)
Whereas Newt Gingrich former Speaker of the House believes the government needs to shrink the department and cut virtually all of its regulations (Abolish). Most of the candidates also believe that the budget of the D.O.E. needs to be cut and the money left over needs to go back to the individual states’ education departments.
President Obama has allotted 77.4 billion dollars to the Department of Education for the 2012 fiscal year. This includes the highest budgeted programs such as Race to the Top costing 900 million dollars, 300 million dollars to Title I rewards, 3.25 billion dollars to the Excellent Instructional Teams initiative, 1.3 billion dollars for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and many other costly programs funded through...

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