You could nickname it the "school's out" bill. A new effort is afoot in Congress to completely eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) has introduced H.R. 899, which consists of only one sentence: "The Department of Education Shall Terminate on December 31, 2018."
Massie's bill has gained support among fellow Republicans since he first introduced it last month. Texas Congressman Roger Williams (R-Weatherford) is among nine co-sponsors to sign on. In a recent interview with Breitbart News, Massie said he believes his bill can attract support from both sides of the aisle, and that President Trump will sign it if it passes.
There is a strong rationale behind the bill for many grassroots conservative education activists. "Taxpayers have been putting tons of money into the system, and we have not seen in an improvement in test scores in 38 years," says Mary Clare Reim, education policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation. "We just haven't seen a lot of bang for our buck."
Reim would like to see education power removed from Washington D.C. and brought back into the home, starting with parental control. "What we've found is that when parents are the ones making decisions for their children, they will always fight for the best education for their child," she says. "We as conservatives have been advocating for a long time that the best way to get high education outcomes is by putting those decisions in the hands of parents, and allowing them more say in their child's education."
Despite GOP control of the House, Senate and the White House the future of Massie's bill is uncertain. But even if conservatives can't completely eliminate the Department of Education, Reim argues they can at least make it a lot smaller. "One legislative way that would help downsize the Department of Education is called A-Plus, which would allow states to opt out of a lot of these federal programs...that's something that conservatives should be pushing for now," she says.