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March 13, 2017
Trump to Sign Repeal of Dangerous Education Regulations
William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations
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In a stunning victory, bipartisan majorities in Congress used the Congressional Review Act to overturn a massive Obama-era attempt to control how teachers are educated. With President Donald Trump poised to sign this repeal into law, here’s the full story.
Two years ago, we wrote about dangerous proposed regulations from the U.S. Department of Education. The Obama administration was attempting to dictate how public school teachers are trained and what they are taught.
After HSLDA and many others filed public comments opposing these proposed regulations, nothing happened for several years. Then on Halloween, October 31, 2016—nine days before the 2016 Presidential Election—the Obama administration released their final teacher preparation regulations.
HSLDA and many others believe that these midnight regulations promulgated by the Obama administration under cover of the election were a direct attack on state and local control over education. Although they would not have affected homeschoolers directly, these teacher prep regulations, just like the Common Core, would have greatly increased the federal role in education. And whenever the government expands its power into education, freedom—including for homeschoolers—will one day be threatened.
Tied to Funding
These new regulations were issued by the U.S. Department of Education without congressional approval. Under the guise of evaluating the effectiveness of teacher prep programs, the new regulations tied eligibility for federal higher education student aid to teacher prep program evaluations.
In this way they created a de facto federal standard for teacher preparation. College programs that did not meet a state’s requirements for at least two of the previous three years would have lost federal aid.
We believe that the regulations could have one day been used to control what colleges and universities teach students who are pursuing education and teaching majors.
Thankfully, our friends in Congress agreed. Using the Congressional Review Act, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal this regulation. H.J.Res. 58, the regulation repeal resolution, was passed by the House of Representatives on February 9, 2017, by a vote of 240–181. Two-hundred-thirty-five Republicans voted to repeal, joined by five Democrats.
On March 8, 2017, the Senate passed H.J.Res. 58 by a wide margin of 59–40. Fifty-one Republicans voted to repeal, joined by eight Democrats. The repeal resolution now heads to President Trump, who has promised to sign it into law.
HSLDA applauds Congress and President Trump for their action to rein in unelected federal bureaucrats in the Department of Education who attempted to regulate how colleges and universities train teachers. Thanks to Congress and the president, America’s teachers have once again been protected from the overbearing hand of the federal government.
More Resources:Letter to the U.S. Department of Education by HSLDA
Letter to Congress by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Preparation
Analysis of the Teacher Prep Rule by the American Council on Education
Heritage Foundation: Stars Align for the Congressional Review Act: How the CRA works