WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 7, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) is listed as a co-sponsor on a bill that aims to do away with the Federal Department of Education, it was announced Tuesday.
H.R. 899 was introduced by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) , according to a news release from Massie’s office.
The bill, which is one sentence long, states, “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018,” the news release said.
On the day of Betsy DeVos’ scheduled Senate confirmation for Secretary of Education, Massie said in a prepared statement, “Neither Congress nor the President, through his appointees, has the constitutional authority to dictate how and what our children must learn.”
Massie added, “Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students. Schools should be accountable. Parents have the right to choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children, including home school, public school, or private school.”
The Department of Education began operating in 1980, and was formed by combining offices from several federal agencies. The department’s aims, according to its website, include:
Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research.
Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.
Besides Chaffetz, original co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).
Chaffetz will host a town hall meeting at Brighton High School at 2220 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600 South) at 7 p.m. Thursday.