Though it expired in 2008, No Child Left Behind, the sweeping Bush-era education act that was passed in 2001 is still in effect, because federal lawmakers won’t just let it die.
“It’s time for it to go,” says Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls who believes that the law has forced educators to teach to a test and ignore other subjects, while unfairly labeling schools as “failing.” “It’s provided completely unrealistic expectations.”
HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL NO.8 (2012) – No child left behind/request repeal per Rep. Bateman is a nonbinding and toothless resolution. Still, his position puts him at odds with the state’s education department, which wants to see the act re-authorized.
The question should be whether the federal government had the authority to enact the law in the first place. A cursory reading of the U.S. Constitution will not reveal the ‘educational clause’ or anything else to justify the Department of Education, or any laws that would mandate virtually unfunded educational requirements placed on the States. So, if the federal government does not have the authority to do something, do they have the authority make others do it? Can you appropriate moneys for something you don’t have the authority to do so that you can ‘bribe’ others to do it?
“I’ve read the Constitution 100 times,” Bateman says. “I can’t see even a slight mention … that gives the feds any power in the field of education.” [The Constitution] does not say that the Federal government supersedes State laws and customs… instead, in that document’s own 10th Amendment, it states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People”
The Tenth Amendment has become known as the Reserved Powers clause of the Constitution, and since a delegated power to provide or promote education does not exist in the Constitution, states don’t have to do something they don’t want to do because the federal government says they have too.
This idea was stated in the bill:
“WHEREAS, public education is clearly an area left to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and…”
So, why then would Idaho go hat in hand to Washington, DC asking them to repeal a law when:
“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land;…” it was not “made in pursuance thereof.” Again, the “supreme law of the land” does not apply if it was not “made in pursuance thereof” of the Constitution.
Madison in Federalist 45
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce; with which the last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
This is resolution by the Idaho legislature is a very tentative step in the right direction. Due to political considerations, this was likely all that was possible at the moment, but a step is better than standing still. Liberty minded legislators and citizens of Idaho please follow the links below and maybe this resolution may be expanded on with a little push from you.
To see the TAC Tenth Amendment Commission model legislation, click HERE.
Visit the TACs legislative tracking page HERE
If you live in Idaho – act NOW.
Not tomorrow or next week. Today, not tomorrow – right now.
1. Visit the link below for contact information for your legislator:
2. Click on your legislator’s name and get their email address and TWO phone numbers – capitol and district offices.
3. CALL them. Best option – respectfully, yet firmly urge them to pass this bill. Let them know that you want them to stand up for the Constitution of the United States AND the Constitution of Idaho – they took an oath to both.
4. EMAIL them – even if you call, you can still email too. Or just send them a firm but courteous email urging them to vote yes on this bill.
5. Do the same for the Governor’s office – (208) 334-2100
6. Report Back – when you get responses, let us know! We want people to be informed of what their delegates are saying and doing.