Commentary: Now Is the Perfect Time to Cut Education Spending

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by Teresa Mull

 

Leftists love to label those who favor cutting education spending as “anti-children,” “anti-public school,” and basically, “anti-education.” That’s because leftists are the ones benefiting most from the increases in education spending that have, until recently, been mandated like clockwork.

“Each year, President Trump has proposed a new budget with cuts to programs at the Department of Education,” Forbes reports. “This year is no different as his new proposal shows. In addition to cuts to other areas like Medicaid and food stamps, Trump has proposed nearly an 8 percent cut to education …”

Cue the dramatic, “Trump hates kids” chorus, as well as a less-than-flattering photo of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos looking devious and pleased, these sorts of stories suggest, at the announcement of more cuts. House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) called the reductions “destructive and irrational,” a hysterical view Democrats always take when any sort of spending reduction is proposed, but never more so than when cuts affect unions that serve as their campaign cash cows.

Although many of the Trump Administration’s proposed education budget cuts deal with college loans and student aid, now is the perfect time to examine federal education spending in general. For starters, why there’s so much of it; why it’s not only wasteful but damaging to society; and ultimately, how we can do better.

As a nation, U.S. schools are failing to compete with the rest of the world. A 2017 Pew Research report found “U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries.” How can this be, when we spend approximately $706 billion on education—or $13,847 per public school student?

A new and shocking documentary produced by the United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) helps answer this question. The film, titled “Truth & Lies in American Education,” reveals “trillions of dollars [have been] wasted on federal education in the last 40 years with nothing to show for it but stagnant test scores and declining student academic achievement.”

In “Truth & Lies,” the young mother of a preschooler learns how public education uses standardized tests, anti-American and anti-Christian curricula, and progressive teachers to turn children into rabidly liberal political activists.

“Government schools are creating socialists and communists out of America’s children with your tax dollars as they pigeonhole children into jobs to fill industry demands and call it education,” reports a “Truth & Lies” press release. “American education has been stolen from parents and local communities and turned over to big government and corporate America.

“Children in today’s federally-controlled government schools are lied to in so many ways and are receiving destructive indoctrination; from gender neutrality to revisionist history, children are taught value systems that go against many parents’ beliefs,” the release continues. “They are not being taught patriotism and about America’s contributions to the world. Instead, America is portrayed as an evil oppressor while communist countries are viewed as superior.”

One need look no further than a typical public school syllabus to know that “education” in government-run schools now goes far beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Maria Biery, writing for The American Conservative in 2017, reported, “One mom took to social media to display her daughter’s fill-in-the-blank vocabulary quiz that sported questions such as, ‘It was difficult for me to [blank] my feeling when I learned that Donald J. Trump had been voted in as our 45th President’ and ‘After reading about President Trump’s immigration ban, I did not realize how [blank] the law can be.’ More parents at an upscale school in Chicago pushed back when the administration sought to have an all-school social justice day with events such as ‘Developing a Positive, Accountable White Activism for Racial Civil Rights.’”

“Truth & Lies” reveals disturbing examples such as these, along with even more reasons why political bureaucrats should not be entrusted with your money, let alone with the task of educating your child.

Let this film show that what we who favor cutting funding to “education” and granting families educational freedom are not “anti-education” or “anti-public schools.” What government-run schools do, in general, isn’t education; at best, it’s wasting money, energy, and resources. At worst, it’s dangerous indoctrination that threatens to destroy the entire identity of the nation our forefathers fought and died to build.

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Teresa Mull ([email protected]) is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute and editor of GunpowderMagazine.com.
Photo “Math Class” by woodleywonderworks. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 


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2 Thoughts to “Commentary: Now Is the Perfect Time to Cut Education Spending”

  1. scary times

    What happened to spending with results ?
    The Tennessee school system is a massive failure.
    Kids graduating without 3rd grad math skills.
    40% not graduating.
    The ONLY 100% funded state school system is a perfect example of teacher first concerns, and kids last.
    How many teachers in your local system are related ?
    How many are protected by others ?
    Want the reason for drug abuse ? The Tennessee school system is number one to blame.

  2. Randy

    Teresa Mull, getting people to run for school boards that recognize the need for fiscal responsibility should be a priority. Pointing out the wasteful spending habits at the local level will help change the poor regulation decisions made at the State and Federal Level. Much of the money spent on education has nothing to do with actual education. 8% cut, I contend that with deregulation we could cut 25% and actually improve outcomes.

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