One sentence. Ten words.
That’s all it took for Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) to let his feelings – and plans — for the U.S. Department of Education be known. His bill, HR 899, reads: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2022.”
In a press release, Massie declared, “Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students. Schools should be accountable. Parents have the right to choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children, including home school, public school, or private school.”
Massie follows in the footsteps of President Ronald Reagan, who sought to dismantle the department created by his predecessor, President Jimmy Carter, as a payoff for the support of the almighty teachers’ unions. Reagan was not successful, so Massie picked up the fight again in 2017, when HR 899 was first introduced; it was re-introduced again in 2019, but didn’t make it to a floor vote.
The time is right for Massie to bring his fight back to Congress. The country is reeling from government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions that have forced millions of American schoolchildren to be taught, often with disastrous consequences, via distance learning. Teachers’ unions across the nation have been vocal about not returning to the classroom until a laundry list of mostly political demands have been met, much to the distress of parents.
President Joe Biden, who had no problem throwing pipeline union workers under the bus by halting the Keystone XL Pipeline project, is curiously silent when it comes to making the teachers’ unions do their jobs.
Massie’s one-line bill is unlikely to make it very far in the Democrat-controlled Congress, as most Democrats receive generous donations from the deep pockets of the still-almighty teachers’ unions. And remember, the Department of Education is one, big gift to the unions.
Massie’s co-sponsors include some very out-spoken conservative firebrands:
- Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
- Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
- Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN)
- Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
- Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
- Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)
- Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
- Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX)
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) offered Massie his support, tweeting: “A good step toward fixing education!”
Teri Christoph is editor of Fierce, a weekly newsletter about conservative women and politics.
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