Congressman Garrett knows that a quality education is the most precious resource we have to offer America's children. Recognizing that parents and teachers know more about educating their children than bureaucrats in Washington, DC, Congressman Garrett has been on the cutting edge of efforts in Congress to return control of education policy to local schools.
Congressman Garrett believes that by transferring requirements for education away from Washington, DC to the local level, we can move accountability for education closer to where it belongs -- in the hands of parents, students, teachers and local school boards.
The LEARN Act
As the elementary and secondary education system exists today, states receive money from the federal government for education through the Department of Education. Not surprisingly, most of this money is lost in administrative costs and bureaucratic redundancy. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 41 percent of the financial support and staffing of state education agencies is a byproduct of federal regulations and mandates. In other words, the federal government is the root cause of 41 percent of the administrative burden at the state level despite providing just 7 percent of overall education funding.
Recognizing the flaws of today's education policy, Congressman Garrett has introduced legislation that would redirect financial resources for education away from the federal government back to the states. The Local Education Authority Returns Now (LEARN) Act seeks to empower state and local governments by cutting the ties of federal mandates and bringing taxpayer money back to New Jersey.
Simply put, the LEARN Act will empower states by giving them the option to opt out of receiving federal money and instead keep one hundred percent of taxpayer money that would otherwise go the Department of Education in Washington, DC. Instead of paying federal education taxes and having large percentages of that money get lost in bureaucratic waste; states that opt out will receive a tax credit from the federal government for the exact amount they pay, which in turn can be used to locally fund education.
Stretching dollars and cutting down bureaucratic spending can help school systems in New Jersey and the rest of the country maximize their efficiency, reduce waste and improve the educational experience of their children. Now, more than ever, states need help making every dollar count. More importantly, Americans need to know their money is not being wasted in offices hundreds of miles away as they watch their local schools crumble around them.
Congressman Garrett also supports greater options for parents when their children are trapped in schools that do not meet their needs, including the use of vouchers. Congressman Garrett supports vouchers because they allow parents and students to leave their failing local school and receive a scholarship voucher for a private school they would not otherwise be able to afford. Garrett believes students should not be subject to the consequences of underperforming schools and they should have a choice to pursue a quality education without the barriers of financial cost.