Charter schools can be a haven for bright minds. When we allowed for for-profit schools, we also opened the door for unscrupulous businessmen, looking to make a quick buck. Charter schools frequently operate in poorer communities, spend an inordinate amount on advertising and then close when they can’t operate a descent school, leaving the kids at an unacceptable disadvantage.
We no longer have one of the best educational systems, despite the money we put into it from 1994 to 2012 when funding increased yearly. The budget for FY 2015 for Title 1, special needs, and other total $34.852 Billion.1
These funds should be pushed down to the state level, and the Federal Department of Education should act as an oversight agency as was originally intended. Common Core must remain because the days of Jim Crow weren’t that far behind; our parents lived it. Americans learn from their history so we aren’t doomed to repeat it.
Federal Direct Student Loan Program
In 1992, the government decided it would be a better bank than commercial banks, and took over all student loans directly.2 The total loan value grew from $516 billion to $1.3 trillion in ten years with tuition rates nearly doubling from 2000 to 2015.3 For FY 2015, the student loan expenses were budgeted at 23.661 Billion.
Only recently have government regulators demanded accountability for the educational benefits universities produce and the efficiency with which they produce them. At the same time, accrediting bodies have changed their measurement emphasis from inputs and activities to outcomes...Students want not just high-paying jobs, but an acceptable ratio of starting salary to student debt. Governments likewise care not just about the number of graduates but the total cost of producing each graduate.
The Department of Education budgeted $28 billion for Pell grants in 2016. However, from 2005 to 2010, expenditures have doubled. University of Phoenix and ITT Tech are two of the ten largest recipients for Pell Grants. Neither of which requires a high school diploma. As with charter schools, the majority of funds are spent on advertising, running predominately in poorer communities, which accrue high drop-out rates.
Mr. Cruz’s Position (from his website)
Mr. Cruz believes that all children deserve a quality education that gives them the opportunity to succeed. School choice gives students more opportunities and improves public schools, making our schools stronger, more effective, and more accountable to the communities they serve.
Mr. Cruz opposes Common Core because education decisions should be made on the state and local level, where parents and communities can be more involved and find solutions better suited to their kids’ needs.
The federal Education Department, created in 1979, was originally intended to oversee the states, not become its own bureaucracy. The majority of primary and secondary educational funds should be pushed down to the state level.
The department is necessary to administer Pell Grants. However, the federal Education department should sell all loans to commercial banks and get out of the banking industry. For $23.661 billion, their administrative fees aren’t competitive.4 Governments don’t belong in private industry.
Republicans often tout the idea of eliminating the Department of Education and legislation has been introduced to eliminate it on December 31, 2018. Pushing down the educational dollars to the state level and cutting the unnecessary bloating of a redundant department will provide a more streamlined approach to Title 1 education.
However, it was a poor idea for the U.S. government to take over all student loans. These loans should be sold to commercial banks due to high administration costs. Pell Grants, on the other hand, are a necessary entitlement that cannot merely vanish on a whim. Republicans should stop advocating the elimination of this department without a suitable replacement.