The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce today approved the first in a series of education reform bills designed to revamp current Education and Secondary Education law. The Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act (H.R. 1891), sponsored by Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), passed by a vote of 23 to 16.
"This is an important step toward streamlining and simplifying the federal footprint in education," Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said. "There are more than 80 programs under current elementary and secondary education law, and that's just too complicated and too great a burden for our schools and local districts. It's time to weed out the programs that aren't working and focus on initiatives that lead to real success in the nation's classrooms. I look forward to continuing this important debate on the House floor."
Rep. Hunter said, "Despite more federal funding for education year after year, students are not reaching their full potential in the classroom. There are far too many unnecessary or redundant programs within the Department of Education to focus on programs that really work. Streamlining the existing patchwork of programs, which this bill accomplishes, will go a long way toward improving the quality of education for every American."
H.R. 1891 would eliminate more than 40 inefficient, duplicative federal education programs, reining in unnecessary bureaucracy, streamlining federal spending, and reducing the government's role in the nation's K-12 classrooms. The legislation has received widespread support from organizations such as:
Americans for Limited Government:
We applaud The Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act for the changes it will bring to the current system, which is ambiguous and often unclear where taxpayer money is spent. Your legislation will bring more transparency to the federal government's role in educating our students as well as reining in spending to curb the national debt. Read More
Americans for Tax Reform & The Center for Fiscal Accountability:
Improvements in education policy cannot be realized until the current system is streamlined and reformed. The Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act does this, repealing the authorization of over 40 of these inefficient federal education programs. This catalyzes actual and lasting reform. Read More
Council of Great City Schools:
While individual member districts may prefer to retain one or another of the programs being repealed by the bill, including the handful of programs currently funded for FY 2011, an array of small grant programs contributes little to the academic attainment necessary for national competitiveness nor helps overcome the achievement gaps that serve as a persistent barrier to educational and economic opportunity. The Council supports the Committee's effort in H.R. 1891 to begin to clean up, streamline, and refocus the Elementary and Secondary Education Act on critical national education priorities. Read More
The Heritage Foundation:
The federal burden on school leaders as a result of the numerous programs has been a distraction for local school leaders, who must worry about compliance with regulations rather than educating children. The programs have also failed to improve educational outcomes for nearly a half-century. The Education and Workforce Committee is taking a long-overdue and important step toward ensuring that taxpayer dollars are wisely used and education is serving its most important constituencies--students, parents, and taxpayers--not bureaucrats.