Gary Johnson: Let’s Get Rid of the Department of Education

Gary Johnson

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as the Libertarian candidate for President unsurprisingly wants to get rid of the U.S. Department of Education.

How about getting rid of the Department of Education?” Johnson asks in a video on his education issue page. “Washington can’t educate our kids. We used to have the brightest kids in the world, and we can again, but the Department of Education stands in the way.”

His education page shares the following:

Governor Gary Johnson was one of the first governors in the nation to propose and advocate a universally available program of school choice.

He did so while governing with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature and while facing a powerful teachers’ union. He was well aware that his proposal would not be enacted and would generate fierce opposition. However, he believed it was important to raise the issue and force the teachers’ unions to defend a clearly failing status quo.

More broadly, Gov. Johnson believes there is no role for the Federal Government in education. He would eliminate the federal Department of Education, and return control to the state and local levels. He opposes Common Core and any other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools, believing the key to restoring education excellence in the U.S. lies in the innovation, freedom and flexibility that federal interference inherently discourages.

As Governor, he saw first-hand that the costs of federal education programs and mandates far outweigh any benefits, both educationally and financially.

Well we know Johnson wouldn’t make education a priority for the federal government. I can’t criticize his education policy position as it is where I’m at. The only problem is that the likelihood of a President Gary Johnson is very, very slim.

5 thoughts on “Gary Johnson: Let’s Get Rid of the Department of Education

  1. I don’t get this allegiance to school choice. Schools are funded by tax dollars … just as we fund the military, the roads and bridges, and so on.
    We don’t have the “choice” to demand that this particular road be paved or this specific bridge be built. Nor do we have the right to demand that the Navy get more funding than the Air Force … or that we should choose to produce more helicopters than tanks. Why do we want to start this sort of “choice” war?
    Education spending affects the entire society … like defense or infrastructure spending. There are no choices there. Those are societal essentials.

    1. Ah, but you **DO** have choice when it comes to which doctors you go to (Medicare, Medicaid), which universities you go to (Pell Grants, Student Loans), and which stores you buy food from (food stamps). So it seems to me that choice is a perfectly reasonable thing to expect from taxpayer funded education. Johnson’s position is perfectly reasonable (and sound). Certainly better than what Trump and Clinton have to offer.

  2. I am not sure I want to eliminate the Dept. of Education, but I would like to see it radically changed. I think the federal government’s role in most things is to help support the local governments. I would like the Dept. of Education to be a repository of “best practices” and storehouse of information that local school boards can access. As an example, if my local school board wanted to offer more foreign language classes and was curious about online programs they could contact the Dept. of Education and get information on programs available, how students are tested, potential costs and possibly get contact information of a few school systems who are doing this and have volunteered to speak with anyone interested. This would give them a reliable source with a breadth of information from all over the country at no cost.

    In no way should they set standards or have authority over local decisions. They are simply there to act as a library of information. As such, their budget could be drastically cut and meet this obligation.

  3. You don’t think there will be a President Johnson? So why even bother calling this site Libertarian Party? We need to get rid of the negativity and be positive.

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