Does anyone know what the Department of Education does? When & why it was created? Good questions, all. The peanut farmer, President Carter in 1979, created its current configuration. Just like every other government program, it would solve all of our societal woes. Let’s see how they’ve done. In the seventies our high school graduation rate was about 73%. After spending hundreds of billions of our dollars that percentage has surged to…73%. So if it hasn’t had an effect on graduation rate why was it created in the first place? Another great question. Boy, I ask a lot of great questions.
Let’s jump in the Wayback Machine. Buckle up Sherman. Hit the switch Mr. Peabody.
The Department of Education had begun in 1867 as the Bureau of Education. It was born of a disingenuous bill offered by James Garfield (before he was President). It was extolled & elaborated upon by a Minnesota congressman named Ignatius Donnelly during a floor debate in 1866. Their argument for a centralized department was basically that the post civil war southern states were incapable of educating their own children. They were, he claimed, too ignorant & illiterate. He went on to explain that this problem would threaten the whole republic. In stepped a voice of reason by the name of Andrew J. Rogers. He was a democrat from New Jersey. Never thought I’d say that. Combine the term, voice of reason, with democrat from New Jersey. Funny how things change. Anywho, he observed that it was unheard of to establish a centralized bureau by which children of the various states should be educated. He correctly stated there was no Constitutional authority (like virtually everything the government does) to enable the Congress to interfere with the education of children of the different states in any manner, directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, the department was created anyway and it was the beginning of the end of proper education in America.
It’s taken a long time, but like every government department or program, it just kept getting larger, more expensive, more onerous & intrusive.
Now the Department of Education has at least 5,000 employees (small by Federal standards). The average salary is over $100,000 per year. The national average pay of a teacher is roughly half that. It has a minimum of 15 departments or offices under its control. The annual budget is 56 billion dollars plus an additional 51 billion in porkulus money. A shining example of one of the departments is the Office of Bilingual & Minority Language Affairs. Huh?! What the blank is a minority language? Ebonics maybe? This is still America, right? Aren’t we still supposed to at least pretend to promote the speaking of English? Oh, here’s a good one. There’s an office in charge of talking to other offices. How could we educate our children without the Dept. of Ed.?
Now for the what do they do. I’m sure they do plenty. I’m also sure it’s plenty useless. Bottom line is they confiscate our money, siphon some of it off & send it back to us as long as we do & act exactly as they demand. Just as are most things at the Federal level, they are the drug dealers & the states are the crack addicts. Most states are so desperate for cash, they’ll do anything for a fix. They play right into the hands of the despots. We at the state level should be dialing back our spending so we may tell the feds to take their crack & peddle it somewhere else.