In a slight bit of irony, a Republican Representative from the state of Kentucky, Thomas Massie, introduced H.R. 899, a bill written to abolish the Department of Education in it's entirety, on the same day that Vice President Pence cast the unprecedented, tie-breaking vote to confirm that department's new Secretary, Betsy DeVos.
Apparently Massie is "in to the whole brevity thing" as the entire bill consists of a single sentence:
"The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018."
We wonder how many legal hours were billed by expensive D.C. attorneys in the drafting this legislation?
Massie provided a little more insight in a press release that included comments from some of the bill's seven other Republicans sponsors, including: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (Utah) and Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Jody Hice (Ga.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Raúl Labrador (Idaho).
Department of Education shall terminate on December 3On the day of Betsy DeVos’ scheduled Senate confirmation for Secretary of Education, Massie said, “Neither Congress nor the President, through his appointees, has the constitutional authority to dictate how and what our children must learn."
Massie added, "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."
“For years, I have advocated returning education policy to where it belongs - the state and local level,” said Rep. Walter Jones, an original co-sponsor. “D.C. bureaucrats cannot begin to understand the needs of schools and its students on an individual basis. It is time that we get the feds out of the classroom, and terminate the Department of Education.”
“I’ve always been a proponent of empowering parents, teachers and local school boards who best know our children and their needs," said Rep. Raul Labrador, another original co-sponsor. "Eliminating the U.S. Department of Education is the most important step we in Congress can take in returning decision making to the local level.”
"Education of our students should lie primarily with parents, teachers, and state and local officials who know how to meet their individual needs best," said freshman Rep. Andy Biggs. "Since its inception, the Department of Education has grown into an unrecognizable federal beast, and its policies have helped foster Common Core across the country. It is time the one-size-fits-all approach by the federal government is ended and authority is returned to the local level."
Well, this is awkward...the only thing that would be more awkward would be if the person taking over the Department had previously been the one to call for it's abolishment...oh wait, that happened.