Libertarians: Every Student Succeeds Act cements No Child Left Behind
Today President Barack Obama signed into law the latest in the federal government’s long string of education mandates, this time a bill dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Democrat- and Republican-supported bill is 1,061 pages long and was finalized only two days before the U.S. House vote, a virtual guarantee that it is loaded with pork and hidden federal controls.
Touted by co-sponsor Lamar Alexander (R) as a measure that eliminates the federal government’s ability to coerce states into using the Common Core standards, the legislation actually cements the standards further.
Breitbart News reported that, according to Jane Robbins, senior fellow at the American Principles Project, ESSA requires each state to submit a state plan for approval which must be coordinated with a maze of eleven different federal statutes, creating incentives for states to stick with Common Core rather than risk losing their federal money by trying something else.
“Like ‘reforms’ of NSA spying, ESSA gives failed federal education control new life by trimming off a few sacrificial limbs and slapping a new name on it,” said Nicholas Sarwark, national chair of the Libertarian Party.
Colorado Libertarian Party state chair and Chinese immigrant Lily Tang Williams likens ESSA and Common Core to communist China’s authoritarian education mandates and notes their passage “demonstrates that Republicans don’t truly believe in limited government, fiscal responsibility, local control, parental rights, and the privacy of students, families, and teachers; and that Democrats do not value freedom of choice, teacher autonomy, and the well-being of both students and hard-working teachers.”
“This legislation is solely about control and special interests as well as doubling down on more failed centralized Federal control and authority,” she said.
Libertarians call for an end to central government planning of education at both the federal and state level. Libertarian candidates have consistently opposed Common Core and advocate for reductions in government intrusion into education.
“We must return control of our schools to parents, teachers, and local communities; to the people who know and love the children the most, who have the greatest stake in their well-being, and who are most accountable to the taxpayers who are being required to foot the bill,” said Sarwark.
“Ending heavy-handed government control will reduce the per pupil cost of schools while dramatically improving educational outcomes, cutting red tape, and advancing individual freedom,” he said. “Millions of kids will have access to an education that prepares them to live a responsible, rewarding, and satisfying life.”