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April 27, 2017
Trump Reins in Federal Role
in Education, Common Core
Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order doing something unprecedented: establishing as the official policy of the federal government to “protect and preserve State and local control over” our nation’s education system.
You can watch the press conference and official signing of the document online.
President Trump’s executive order also directs U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review every single regulation, guidance document, or other publication from the U.S. Department of Education to see whether any of them violate laws limiting the federal role in education. The order specifically directs the secretary of education to “rescind or revise” any such regulations or guidance documents “no later than 300 days’ from yesterday.
Many of the recent laws that limit federal involvement in education were enacted as the result of advocacy by Home School Legal Defense Association. We sought language protecting homeschooling families in the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) and again when NCLB was reauthorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015).
Moving toward Freedom
In recognizing the primacy of these laws, President Trump’s executive order is unique. Past presidents—from both political parties—have often used such directives to increase federal control over various aspects of society, including education. Whenever the federal government increases its role in education, children suffer, as bureaucrats far removed from parents, teachers, and locally elected school boards exert their will over how our students are educated.
The order also singles out the “Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative” as one specific area where state and local control over education has been attacked.
HSLDA will be working with the Department of Education to identify federal actions which have weakened local and state control over education. Homeschooling families know better than anyone that when the federal government’s heavy hand reaches into education, the freedom of all parents to decide how best to educate their children is threatened.
We encourage you to contact the White House and thank President Trump for signing this executive order enforcing statutory prohibitions on federal control of education. You can contact the White House here.