Virginia Foxx, who represents the 5th Congressional District of North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives, is on the right track on education and the 10th Amendment:
The federal government’s involvement in education illustrates what happens when Washington gets too big.
First, let’s have a show of hands. How many teachers and parents love the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law? Based on the feedback I’ve received from educators and concerned parents, NCLB doesn’t have many fans. It is a perfect example of good intentions at the federal level gone awry.
NCLB is a federal, top-down attempt to improve education in America’s schools — a noble goal. If we can agree on anything, it’s that our children should be well-educated and prepared for a life of productive citizenship.
As these things almost always turn out, federal meddling resulted in a one-size-fits-all approach that neglects local concerns and produces a grotesque layer of regulation and wasteful bureaucracy. In fact, NCLB singlehandedly burdened state and local educators with 6.7 million hours of paperwork, according to the Office of Management and Budget. This is no recipe for success.
That’s only one reason we should get the federal government out of the business of education and return full control to state and local governments. Education can be a powerful force for good. Why risk letting cookie-cutter regulations and mandates from Washington distort such a powerful force? One word: money.
Where she misses the point is that she’s proposing a new law, the A-PLUS Act, to “allow” states “to consolidate federal education programs and funding and then direct these resources toward innovative solutions that result in successful schools.”
It’s a step in the right direction, something that’s rare for a federal politician. But what Virginia needs to understand is that it’s not her – or anyone else in D.C. – right or authority to “allow” states anything of the sort. The people of the states have the right to do what they want in education whether the federal politicians and bureaucrats want to give us their permission to or not.
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