With the upcoming discussions by the super committee on cutting, I’ve begun looking at areas in which we can ostensibly cut large chunks of money and not affect the nation in major ways.
This time, I’ll discuss the Dept of Education. It was signed into law in 1979 by Jimmy Carter, and started the next year. In the 31 years since it began, test scores do not show any significant movement for math, reading and science have remained flat. Meanwhile federal education spending has grown 375% (in inflation adjusted dollars) in the same time period.
What does that tell us? That states were performing the same as we do now, but with billions of dollars less. It costs about $70 billion to run the Dept of Education, including all the moneys it sends to schools everywhere, No Child Left Behind program, etc. When you include funds from other federal agencies (not including school lunches or the like), it jumps to well over $100 billion per year.
IOW, if we end most federal subsidies to education, we can easily save between $500 Billion and $1 Trillion over the next decade. And given the flat test scores since the Dept of Ed was started, it shouldn’t affect children’s education scores.
Besides, there is no Constitutional mandate for the feds to be involved in education. As FDR stated, it is a state responsibility.