Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham Co-Sponsors Bill to End U.S. Education Department

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)
AP/Zach Gibson

Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) is joining seven other House members as a co-sponsor of a bill that would terminate the federal education department.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Abraham, a physician, explains the U.S. Education Department “has become more interested in protecting the interests of unions, not the students it is supposed to serve.”

“It’s time for that to change, and the best way to initiate that change is to return education policy decision making to where it belongs, at the state and local levels,” he adds.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie (R) introduced the bill, H.R. 899, in February. The measure consists of only one sentence: “The Department of Education Shall Terminate on December 31, 2018.”

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Massie said people are taking his bill seriously.

“I think the reason people have to take this bill seriously now, is because, for the first time since Ronald Reagan, we have a president in the White House who would conceivably sign this bill,” he explained.

Massie has considered the dismantling of the federal education department.

“What I would propose is – over the course of the next two years – Betsy DeVos, the president, and Congress should work to either devolve those programs to the states, or transfer the authority for those programs to other departments,” he explained. “Ideally, all of these programs would be administered at the state level, including the authority for the tax collection. In fact, some of these programs could be done at the local school district level.”

“I like to point out that there are 4,500 bureaucrats in the Department of Education, and their average salary is $105,000 a year,” Massie said. “I’ve seen that irritate a lot of people back in Kentucky who have to have bake sales to buy copier paper for their classrooms.”

He continued:

Regardless of what happens to all of the various programs, what my bill unambiguously does is to free up that money that would be going to all of those bureaucrats. And the money that’s wasted there is not the worst part of it. The worst part of it is they control 10 percent of education funding, but – through that 10 percent of education funding – they control the curriculum and what and how our teachers are teaching.

“So, my bill is not aimed at that 10 percent,” he said. “I don’t seek to reduce educational spending. I’d like to see the control of that 10 percent go back to the states so that these 4,500 bureaucrats aren’t controlling the entire curriculum back in our schools in Kentucky.”

The seven original co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).


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