Trump Blasts Left-Wing Ideology in Schools, Promises to Shutter Dept. of Education thumbnail

Trump Blasts Left-Wing Ideology in Schools, Promises to Shutter Dept. of Education

By Family Research Council

Former President Donald Trump is vowing to gut the U.S. Department of Education if he retakes the White House in November. During a speech on Saturday at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Trump pledged to shift education policy from the federal government “to the states.” Noting that America ranks “at the bottom of every list” in education, Trump said, “We’ll be able to cut education [spending] in half and get much better education in some of the states. We’ll have the best education anywhere in the world.”

In comments to The Washington Stand, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon said, “Almost every Republican nominated to run for President of the United States has suggested or promised to close the U.S. Department of Education. But it is still here.” She continued, “We can take a promise from President Trump more seriously in this regard, because he has kept similar promises, like moving the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Kilgannon warned that dismantling the Department of Education is “not quite as simple as the president just signing an executive order to close it down. There are nearly 250 statutes that require the Department of Education to perform this or that function, oversee programs, etc.” However, she did suggest that portions of the Department could be shifted to other agencies. “For example, sending the Federal Student Loan program to the Department of Treasury, or letting the Department of Justice handle civil rights issues instead of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Education Department.”

“If the federal budget for education were given to states in block grants, it would be much more efficient than the system we have now,” Kilgannon concluded. “These kinds of steps would help begin the process of shutting down the Department and they would improve outcomes for students and families.” Trump himself acknowledged that some states “won’t do as well” if left to manage education themselves. “There are a couple of states like, I would say, Gavin Newsom [and California] will not do well,” the former president posited.

Schools in California have increasingly become dominated by left-wing ideology, supported and even advanced by state executives and legislators. A bill put forth in the California Assembly last year would require middle schoolers and high schoolers to undergo lessons on “pregnancy prevention and care, including, but not limited to, guidance regarding contraceptive methods and abortion,” which would further include providing children as young as 12 with lists of abortion businesses and facilities and promote “inclusivity and support in conversations surrounding abortion.”

Another piece of Golden State legislation imposes fines on school boards and teachers for rejecting either critical race theory (CRT) or LGBT classroom content. Governor Gavin Newsom (D) last year slapped a school district with a $1.5 million fine for rejecting an LGBT-themed textbook. According to Parents Defending Education, nearly 1,100 school districts in the U.S. maintain policies requiring teachers to hide students’ gender transition attempts and efforts from parents. Well over half of those school districts are in California. California teachers have been penalized for opposing such policies and the state legislature is currently advancing legislation to make hiding children’s gender transitions the law of the land.

During his speech Saturday, Trump lambasted a number of left-wing policies that have found their home in such states as California, promising to combat them at every turn. “On day one, I will sign a new executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity, and any other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content onto our children,” the former president declared. “And I will not give one penny to any school that has a vaccine mandate or a mask mandate.”

“And I will keep men out of women’s sports on day one,” he pledged. Shortly afterwards, referring to biological males who identify as transgender and compete in girls’ or women’s sports, Trump asked, “How embarrassing is it for me to say that we will keep men out of women’s sports? Who would want men to play women’s sports?” Under incumbent President Joe Biden, Title IX of the Education Amendments has been “radically rewritten” to promote and favor biological males playing in women’s sports. Numerous Republicans have opposed the measure and it has been blocked in at least six states so far.

This is not the first time that Trump has promised to dismantle the Department of Education. At a rally in March, he pledged to “close it up.” He said, “It’s time. Close it up. When you look at the list of countries, we’re always at the bottom [on education]. We spend more money per pupil and we’re always at the bottom of a list of 40 countries.” Trump explained that the federal government “should close it up and let local areas, and frankly, states, handle education.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

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