Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to start pulling the federal government out of K-12 education. The move signals a delivery on one of his top campaign promises to return the control of schools back to state and local officials.
Called the Education Federalism Executive Order, the measure will now bring about a 300-day review of Obama-era education regulations and research guidance for school districts, according to a report from the Washington Times. Moreover, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will advise the president on the modification or repeal of education regulations that she deems a federal overreach.
“For too long the government has imposed its will on state and local governments. The result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less,” President Trump said during a press conference. “My administration has been working to reverse this federal power grab and give power back to families, cities [and] states – give power back to localities.”
Furthermore, he explained that previous White House administrations had forced school districts to comply with increasing “whims and dictates” from Washington. He announced that his administration would break the long trend.
Joined by several Republican governors teachers, officials, and Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said, “We know local communities know it best and do it best,” as he signed the executive order. “The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”
Although the executive order will not ensure that changes will immediately be made, policy changes will follow a report on the findings of the review.
DeVos currently has the authority to alter or modify education regulations that are in violation of federal law. The review, though, creates a pathway to identify areas in which her mandate can be carried out through executive action.
The review will be forwarded by the Department of Education’s Regulatory Review Task Force and will include the expansion of school choice programs, part of Trump’s reform agenda.