Feds Preparing to Expand Influence over Nation’s Preschools

Last week, Politico’s Morning Education discussed how the Preschool Development Grants started under the Obama administration for four-year-olds were adding thousands of new early childhood slots around the nation. The report also mentioned, “States also used funding from the program to align roughly 25,000 preschool slots to federal early learning standards.” Politico based their reporting on a progress report from the U.S. Departments of Education (USED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) that is administering the old grants as they are about to be continued under the new program as codified in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). States

Congress Keeps Adding to the Education Swamp with Budget Increases

Although not surprising in an election year, congressional appropriators — who are generally not known for their political courage — are not doing anything to drain the putrid, unconstitutional swamp that is the U.S. Department of Education and its related programs. Both the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed their Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 that will begin October 1st. As we described a few months ago, the omnibus budget bill for FY 2018 exploded deficits and significantly enlarged the federal education footprint. Although there are some places where there are no new increases, the

Should Trump Merge the Education and Labor Departments? Grassroots Say No.

The dream of economic central planners as outlined in Mark Tucker’s infamous letter to Hillary Clinton “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone” took another step forward recently as corporate and government establishment insiders in the Trump administration rolled out plans to merge the U.S. Departments of Education (USED) and Labor (DOL). The proposed agency will be called the Department of Education and the Workforce. Anthony Carevale, a board member of Tucker’s National Center for Education and the Economy at the time of

Obama’s School Discipline Policies Still Causing Widespread Chaos

Conservative, pro-family and pro-school safety groups continue to duke it out with progressive, pro-gun control, social justice warriors over the contentious school discipline issue. In general, the conservatives see the federal government’s Obama-era school discipline guidance as dangerous and want it repealed, while the progressives see it as a matter of “equity” and “social justice,” wanting it continued. The raging debate and stark contrast was on full display when one compares a letter sent to Betsy DeVos by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and an op-ed at Forbes.com by a liberal supporter of social emotional learning (SEL) and

Surprise! Wasteful Government Spending Abounds in Recent Omnibus Bill

This article is part of a series focusing on Lens of Liberty, a project of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation In her Liberty Minute titled “Love My Dog,” Helen Krieble identifies a major problem with the federal government: A veterinarian in Massachusetts is studying how women react when they’re shown photographs of their children and their dogs. She hopes to find out whether mothers love their dogs as much as their children. Like millions of Americans my dog is a treasured family member and a reliable companion, so why does that relationship require scientific study? The federal government paid $370,000

One Thing President Trump Can Do Now to Make Schools Safer

The School Safety Commission ordered by President Trump that will discuss and recommend ways to keep schools safer after the tragic Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February is set to hold its first series of roundtable discussions this Wednesday, April 4th. This commission, chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. The commission held an organizational meeting last week. The first topic to be discussed under this new commission will be the possibility of rescinding the school discipline guidance issued by

Congress Explodes Deficits, Expands Nanny State with Disastrous Omnibus Bill

Tragically for our children’s futures and freedoms — but predictably, as we warned here and here — Congress heeded very few general principles or President Trump’s good ideas about preserving freedom and privacy, decreasing the federal footprint in education, supporting programs that work, or maintaining fiscal discipline. The House yesterday passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus-spending bill — that will only fund the government for six months — by a vote of 256-197. The Senate followed early this morning with a vote of 65-32. The damage this bill will do the nation’s fiscal health and to issues outside of education is well discussed

It’s Time for Congress to End These Federal Intrusions into Preschool

Last Thursday’s edition of Politico’s Morning Education had a short blurb on the status of the preschool development grants, yet another ill-considered federal preschool program imposed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Here is part of what was written: WHAT’S UP WITH PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS? Like many other programs waiting on Congress’ fiscal 2018 budget, the Preschool Development Grant program created by the Every Student Succeeds Act has yet to hit the stage. The grant program, modeled after an Obama-era initiative by the same name, authorizes funding for state-level preschool efforts for 3- and 4-year-olds to the tune of $250