Federal Education Policy
Freedom and Tolerance
HSLDA believes that nearly all of the federal government’s spending on education is unconstitutional and must be eliminated. While we support the position that the federal government should not be involved in education at any level, we also support measures that incrementally reduce the control of the federal government over education.
The U.S. Department of Education was established by Congress in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). General provisions in PL 96-88 outlined the role of the Department of Education as:
1) Strengthening the federal commitment to assuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
2) Supplementing and complementing the efforts of states, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the states, the private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
3) Encouraging the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in federal education programs;
4) Promoting improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
5) Improving the coordination of federal education programs;
6) Improving the management of federal education activities; and
7) Increasing the accountability of federal education programs to the president, the congress, and the public.
Originally, supporters of PL 96-88 promised that the Department of Education would have a relatively small budget of only $14.5 billion and fewer than 100 employees. Today, however, the Department of Education enjoys a hefty budget of over $63 billion and employs approximately 4,900 people.