Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson pushed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through Congress, a $1 billion program to help poor students and less fortunate school districts.
When he signed the bill into law on April 11, 1965, LBJ stated that he believed that “no law I have signed or will ever sign means more to the future of America.” If he meant a bleaker future, his prediction has certainly come true.
Even before the days of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the federal government had been worming its way into the education systems of the individual states. In 1953, President Eisenhower, less than two months on the job, re-organized several agencies of the federal government into a new Cabinet department – Health, Education, and Welfare.
But it was Johnson who began a large-scale intrusion into education, an all-out effort that has not abated in half a century. And since those early days, the federal role in education has only grown, both in terms of its size and scope, as well as its cost to the American taxpayer.
From the ESEA to the Department of Education to No Child Left Behind, the new Common Core program is just the latest, and by far the worst, federal intrusion into American schools. Senator Mike Lee has rightly labeled it the “Obamacare of education,” a plan that will result in “the DC takeover of our school system. It will dumb down standards and cheapen the education our children receive.”
Written by SEN. CHRIS MCDANIEL
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