End the Department of Education Now: The march to a smaller government should start there

The videos shown on this article I find repulsive. The Department of Education is populated with these types of people, which equates to a lot of talk about collaboration, caring for children, and test scores. The reality is that they are just adults spending a lot of money to pretend they are actually doing something that justifies the incredible amounts of money they expect to be paid. They are good at sounding important but when watching these videos consider if there is any authority, or truth in anything they are saying. There is a disconnect between these people and reality. They collectively believe that “outsiders” shouldn’t tell them how to behave, yet they forget that the “outsiders” are the people who pay the bill, and are therefore their bosses.

The Department of Education is one of those government creations that have no place at all in education.  It shouldn’t exist.  It costs too much, and has lost its way over the years. It has a budget roughly of $107 Billion dollars and has a jaw-dropping 4,800 employees.  By the governments own estimates in preparing for a government shut-down recently roughly 89.4 percent of the employees were deemed non-essential to operations. Yes, you heard that right, 89.4 percent…….non-essential.  That means only 10.1% of the employees at the DOE are needed to operate that whole branch of government. 

In 2009 the average federal employee earned $81,258 where the average private –industry employee made $50,462.  The private-industry employee then garners approximately $10,500 per year in benefits.  The federal employee receives a staggering $42,000 or more for benefits. That means the cost per federal employee at the Department of Education is $123,258. 

Reagan immediately tried to get rid of the DOE, as he promised, but he couldn’t get the democrats in the senate to go along with him, after all, they had already taken money from the NEA, and that was the last chance we had to rid ourselves of this giant government behemoth. 

We have created a government department that costs a lot of money, and is dedicated on taking the country in a direction that is against traditional American values. It’s a progressive branch that does nothing, staffed by non-essential employees, and it is formed to solidify the political power of a strong union, and we pay for it completely with tax money. 

Locally, school boards everywhere blame the DOE for compliance, which takes the anger away from the local districts.  The bureaucracy is created to make the system so large it can never be criticized because problems are too large for any one person to ever deal with.  It’s an organization built to maintain control of the NEA.  As school funding comes crashing down, and more parents are being forced to pay for sports programs, electives, and other extra-curricular activity, teachers won’t sacrifice any of their excessive wages as they stand quietly in the corner and watch parents struggle to give their children options.  Many parents are not only paying for their tax bill, which in my neighborhood is $3000 to $5000 dollars per home per year, but now parents are trying to come up with the extra money to pay for the stuff that used to be free, included in the price of their tax bill that supports the school.  Now parents must include the cost of transportation twice a day in many schools where a bus used to pick up the child.  Now the bill to teach a child has went up because school systems led by the example of the Department of Education have extorted massive amounts of money from the tax payer.  In fact, since the Department of Education was implemented, in just the last two decades the average spending per pupil has went up 44%.  That average salary for a teacher just since 2001 has jumped up 26%.  The cost of education isn’t increasing because the cost of actual education such as books and school buildings is going up.  It’s going up because the teaching profession is unionized and unlike in the private sector when costs go up we can go to Walmart, or buy a car from Japan, in education they have a monopoly, no competition, and therefore no mechanism to bring costs down. 

In many states Medicaid costs have increased and tax revenue is decreasing as industry moves over seas to avoid higher costs of doing business in the United States.  To deal with these financial realities states have decreased education funding by 17 billion dollars over the past two fiscal years.  Funding won’t be increasing, not unless the United States creates more product and exports goods instead of importing them.  So schools rather than change their funding model which is tied up in labor costs are resorting to passing the cost increases off onto the customer, the taxpayer.  In Medina, Ohio school costs have risen 23% over the last 5 years to $75 million in 2010, most of it is wage increases.  To shave costs the Medina school board eliminated 106 teaching position, otherwise 20% of their teaching staff over two years.  Class sizes increased from 25 kids per teacher to 31.  The teachers union agreed to $1 million in concessions taking just a 2.45% pay raise instead of the scheduled 3.45%.  The average cost per teacher with salary plus benefits is about $68,000 per year. 

Medina has tried to close the revenue gap by asking for levies which voters have rejected for three consecutive years.  So the district began charging $660 to play a high-school sport, $200 to join the concert choir and $50 to act in the spring play.  Local tax payer and senior citizen 70-year-old Joyce Harris said, “We can’t afford our teeth fixed because it’s too expensive.  If we have our taxes go up to pay for little Joey’s football, that’s not exactly fair.”

Notice that Arnie says “it will not become a competitive program,” as if that were a bad thing somehow.

So the Department of Education is worthless.  Their education standards have pushed America out of first place.  Click here to see my article on Waiting for Superman.  They are too expensive, and they have paved the way for the expectation that teachers should be making six figures.  And because the Department of Education is really a front organization that provides legitimacy for the teachers union, it has only exceeded in driving up the cost of education, eliminating competition by imposing on tax payers a monopoly that is arrogant, selfish, and grossly out of touch.

Now, this is a video that pulls back the curtain on the rest of the videos from above. This is a video that I have learned is the truth over years of personal experience.

I spend a lot of time talking about these education issues because our future is being raised in this public school system and I see an organization that I am paying good money for, teaching them all the wrong things and it disgusts me.  And because of the scam I am forced to support a union that I find un-American, corrupt, and destructive to the kind of country I want to live in.  So eliminating the Department of Education is something that should have happened the day Ronald Reagan took office.  In fact, it should have never happened to begin with.  It’s unconstitutional, violates numerous issues revolving around the 10th Amendment and is just something that should be removed immediately.  It has no place in American society.  It can’t even justify itself with results.  It’s just a waste of money that stands in the way of reforming our education system to something that is more effective, and it needs to go away.


Rich Hoffman