Why State Schools Should Refuse Federal Money
Just recently, the Biden administration authorized guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (DoED) to block key federal funding for schools with hunting and archery programs. This ridiculous restriction, while shocking to some, was just the latest in a long line of governmental overreaches from the past few decades.
Last year, the Biden administration bullied local school districts into either supporting an immoral agenda or losing federal dollars for school lunches.
In 2016, President Barack Obama wrote every local school district, overriding local and parental authority, and told them to “let transgender students use bathrooms matching their gender identity” or else risk lawsuits or federal funding.
The reality is that despite dramatic increases in federal intervention and funding in the government education system since the 1960s, education achievement has not improved. The most widely used measures of school achievement are scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which shows no significant change. Efforts to improve educational outcomes for low-income children have also been expensive and unproductive. Even the federal college grant and loan programs have been ineffective for students. The evidence is inarguable -- the federal government’s intervention in education has been and continues to be a dismal failure.
Americans have had enough of these federal control freaks. Considering the recent offensive policies issued from DoED, states are beginning to consider whether they should continue accepting federal education funding.
DoED mandates Common Core, Marxist critical theories, the sexualization of children, anti-American propaganda, and threatens to withhold federal funding for noncompliance. None of these serve the best interests of children. DoED exists because they seek to control state education systems through bribery and blackmail using federal dollars. Additionally, they exist so that federal elites have the muscle to control children.
National test scores scream at us that children desperately need to learn reading, writing, and math, not more federally-mandated critical race theory and overt sexualization.
The key to eliminating federal intervention in government schools is to eliminate federal funding.
The time is right for states to wean themselves off the federal dole. Serious conversations are taking place throughout the country about the legitimate and effective role of the federal government in education. But who has a viable plan to dismantle the behemoth?
The “Blueprint to Establish State Control of Education by Eliminating all Federal Education Dollars,” written by United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) outlines the necessary steps to restore state sovereignty for education policy and practice -- and it’s achievable.
The Blueprint explains detailed steps to help governors and state legislators develop and execute a concrete plan, and even provides clear evidence as to how educational outcomes can improve.
States can eliminate federal funding in four steps:
1. Analyze education funds by source: federal, state, and local.
Total education spending in the United States is the second-highest funding category, behind health care but ahead of national defense. Some argue this level of spending has corrupted the system, which is why educational outcomes are so dismal, but the majority of funding comes from the states and local communities, not the federal government.
2. Conduct a Cost of Compliance Study for federal funds.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar spent on government education, it is important to assess overhead demands in terms of cost placed on the state, district, and local schools by accepting federal funds and implementing federal education programs. Once known, a determination can be made if the cost of compliance, including federally imposed control and regulation, exceeds the value of the funding. Relying on state-funded education rather than federal funds offers the opportunity to streamline compliance and return control of education policy to the state and local level.
3. Identify state programs to replace USED programs.
After completing the Cost of Compliance Study, an assessment can be made as to which programs could be eliminated because they are ineffective, inefficient, or unnecessary. Other programs could be replaced by comparable programs within the state. As each program is evaluated, a multi-step, multi-year transition plan could be established.
Eliminating federal funding opens opportunities for creative solutions based on the values, vision, and objectives of local communities, returning control to parents and community members where it belongs. Ideas for program level discussions should follow.
4. Shift education revenue responsibilities entirely back to the state.
One approach to generate required revenue could be to establish a state tax called “offset to federal funds” calculated to collect the amount needed. Since most of the federal tax is collected from income taxes, a replacement tax using the same model might be most easily understood by the public.
To keep from sending the federal government the money they previously took and gave back, taxpayers would need a mechanism to deduct this offset from their individual federal taxes. Since the state and local tax deductions were eliminated in the last major tax bill, a special arrangement would have to be made. However, there is benefit to the federal government in this arrangement as the savings from program improvements would be shared with them, since only the replacement funding is deducted.
USPIE looks forward to engaging governors, state legislators, influential think tanks, and citizen activists to further develop the proposal. The only way to eliminate the onerous, ineffective USED and return control of children’s education to parents and local communities is for Americans rise up and fight for the wellbeing of America’s future. If we don’t take a stand now, it may become too late.
Sheri Few is the Founder and President of United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) whose mission is to end the US Department of Education and all federal education mandates. USPIE has established 20 state chapters and is growing rapidly amid the national outcry from parents who want to regain control of their children’s education. Few is a nationally recognized leader on education policy and is often quoted in conservative media. Few has spent much of the last year exposing critical race theory and serving as Executive Producer for the new documentary film titled Truth & Lies in American Education.