President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to limit the federal government’s role in U.S. education and to return much of that control to states.
The order directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to conduct a 300-day review of K-12 education programs. She then will compile a report indicating which programs or actions overreached. DeVos also is an advocate for local control of education.
Many of Trump’s supporters have long denounced the federal government’s role in education.
“In 2015, there was a consensus that No Child Left Behind needed to be fixed and, remarkably, there was a consensus on how to fix it: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement,” said Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). “Parents and teachers should welcome the president’s commitment to ensuring that the Education Department is faithfully executing the education law as Congress wrote it–putting states and local communities back in charge of their classrooms.”
“For too long, the federal government has imposed its will on state and local governments. The result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less,” Trump said in remarks before signing the order. “My administration has been working to reverse this federal power grab and give power back to families, cities, states. Give power back to localities.”
(Next page: 3 reasons the executive order matters for U.S. schools)