Obama’s education spending bonanza rivals what Bush spent in eight years

posted at 1:03 pm on April 3, 2012 by Rob Bluey

Washington is spending more money on federal education programs than ever before. But are American students any smarter?

It’s a question worth asking in the context of President Obama’s budget request, which increases the Department of Education budget to $69.8 billion. That’s a 2.5 percent boost over 2012 levels and the largest increase proposed for any domestic government agency.

And that’s not all. Tack on another $13.3 billion in mandatory spending for Pell Grants and the total request is $83 billion. Add to that $60 billion more from Obama’s supplemental “blueprint” — covering school construction, teacher pay and compensation — and you get the picture of just how much this administration has expanded the federal government’s role in education.

The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke takes Education Secretary Arne Duncan to task for suggesting he doesn’t have enough to make do:

If enacted, these proposals would mean that in one term, President Obama has spent almost as much on education as President George W. Bush spent in two terms—even considering the fact that Bush nearly doubled the size of the DOE. …

In his testimony about the budget before the House Education and the Workforce Committee last Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated that it is “unconscionable for us to ask a generation of students to pay the price for adult political dysfunction.”

What is unconscionable is for American taxpayers to keep pouring billions into more than 150 federal education programs that are failing children. Increasing spending on the status quo won’t improve outcomes. Instead, policymakers should free states to spend dollars on the education priorities that they believe would best meet student needs.

It’s not just spending on federal education programs that should alarm liberty-minded Americans. Under Duncan’s leadership, he’s gradually and systematically stripped power away from states and further reduced local control over education.

In exchange for granting states waivers from No Child Left Behind, Duncan has required them to adopt the Common Core State Standards, national standards and tests that require states to surrender control of their classrooms. Unfortunately, too many Republican governors have misguidedly taken the bait.

The loss of freedom can be reversed. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), founder of the 10th Amendment Task Force, is championing the conservative alternative to No Child Left Behind. It’s called the A-PLUS Act, and with 93 cosponsors in the House and companion Senate bill, is fast becoming the consensus conservative approach to education reform.

“It has always been the concept of a conservative alternative,” Bishop said, “that tries to meet the needs of kids and also tries to respect the roles of government that we haven’t done so well at for seven or eight decades.”

Unless conservatives take a stand, there’s little hope of stopping Arne Duncan’s power grab and the massive expansion of government.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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Exhibit A: lefties on this site

Conclusion: NO

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM

It’s not his fault. Blame Bush. Bush handed him an educational system with such problems that he just had to increase spending.

//

Logus on April 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Throwing money down a centralized planning, educational rathole, has produced a President who can’t pronounce, “corpsman.”

Keep throwing that money down that rathole. They just aren’t spending enough.

Oh well, affirmative action will always be around, for advanced placement.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

But are American students any smarter?

They’re certainly deeper in debt.

Bitter Clinger on April 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Maybe he thinks every kid is as impervious to education as he was and is.

RBMN on April 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Whatever it may or may not have done for the students, it sure made the teacher’s unions happy!

Steven Den Beste on April 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Obama’s education indoctrination spending bonanza rivals what Bush spent in eight years

Bitter Clinger on April 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Arne Duncan… The former leader of that paragon of student achievement – the Chicago Public Schools.

Yeah. We want him deciding the future for education for the entire nation. (sarc)

Neomom on April 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

War spending good, education spending bad!

lester on April 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Students are dumber but the teachers unions are richer.

jukin3 on April 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

But are American students any smarter?

Bit of an oxymoron. Choosing to even go to college on someone else’s dime to study ancient Celtic poetry is an indication of severe mental retardation before the first lecture is even attended.

NotCoach on April 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Whatever it may or may not have done for the students, it sure made the teacher’s unions happy!

Steven Den Beste on April 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM

And, in the end, isn’t that what’s most important? /

squint on April 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Are students smarter? As an educator, in a word, NO!

DrStock on April 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I’m sure that the tots will all be very well-versed in matters of dependency, communism and homosexuality.

You go, education spending!

OhEssYouCowboys on April 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM

When we finally begin to dismantle the Federal leviathan, Departmant of Ed should be the first to go.

Bitter Clinger on April 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Another article with the word Constitution absent. Of course, the “conservative” alternative is for government to still have a role.

On another note, these “opt out” bills are unnecessary. States have the right of nullification and do not have to recognize unconstitutional law. If only they would use it.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Dante on April 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Washington is spending more money on federal education programs than ever before.

and it am working grrate.

Tim_CA on April 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Bit of an oxymoron. Choosing to even go to college on someone else’s dime to study ancient Celtic poetry is an indication of severe mental retardation before the first lecture is even attended.

NotCoach on April 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Or women’s studies – just think how far one can go in life, on the teachings of Sappho. No doubt, all the way to the oval office.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM

But are American students any smarter?

as dumb as a box of rocks…at least the ones I’ve seen recently…

PatriotRider on April 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Controlling the curriculum of elementary and secondary schools is the long term goal.

Along with increasing teacher union influence and minimizing teacher performance. (but I repeat myself.)

Wethal on April 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Cripe

cmsinaz on April 3, 2012 at 1:15 PM

War spending good, education spending bad!

lester on April 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The federal government has no constitutional business spending money on education. It does on defense, though.

CurtZHP on April 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Well, I feel smarter.

J.E. Dyer on April 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM

But are American students any smarter?

The Occupy movement should clue us in on the answer.

Bitter Clinger on April 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Obama’s education spending = VOTE-BAIT?

Don L on April 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM

And just think this isn’t the President’s “flexible” term.

magicbeans on April 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Shut this department down.

rbj on April 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Oh well, affirmative action will always be around, for advanced placement.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Derrick Bell, I live to harass white folks.

Dr Evil on April 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Obama’s education spending = VOTE-BAIT?

Don L on April 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM

increases the Department of Education budget to $69.8 billion.

I can’t see how increasing the Department of Education’s budget hurts the democrat’s Union supporters.

Dr Evil on April 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Spend we much!

Wigglesworth on April 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Education spending or Indoctrination spending ?

Bmore on April 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Rob Bishop was my government teacher in High School. Great teacher who made a subject that most kids find un-interesting, into a very compelling subject. I blame him for enabling me into becoming a political junky.

luckedout26 on April 3, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Arne Duncan wanted segregated schools for gays.

There’s that.

faraway on April 3, 2012 at 1:40 PM

To help children, the Dept. of Education needs to actually get that money into the classroom for the children- not to pay unionized teachers and administrators, pay for union-made construction projects, and otherwise view education in terms of kickbacks to political cronies.

Happy Nomad on April 3, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Part of the libs magical fairy land thinking. Throw as much money as physically possible at anything and it magically creates a paradise.

yhxqqsn on April 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM

What we need is “single-payer” for EDUCATION.

Give the parents of every school-age child in America a voucher to be used for education.

Get rid of the public school monopoly.

NoDonkey on April 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Give the parents of every school-age child in America a voucher to be used for education.

The progressives will have none of that parental choice. You may not choose the way they want you to.

Neomom on April 3, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation.

A completely unbiased source.

Mmm...Burritos on April 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Give the parents of every school-age child in America a voucher to be used for education.
The progressives will have none of that parental choice. You may not choose the way they want you to.

Neomom on April 3, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Barry chose Sidwell Friends over DC public schools.

Such leadership. Such delicious irony.

NoDonkey on April 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Spend we much!

Wigglesworth on April 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

lmao.

Perfect.

Tim_CA on April 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Trust a new blogger to swallow the liberal bait – hook, line, and sinker. If it were education spending we could live with it. Unfortunately, it is nothing but slush money funneled to unionized cronies in public education lobby to enable heftier contributions to Democrats, particularly Hussein the First himself.

Archivarix on April 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM

HEY! Arne has to support all those Teacher Unions!

It’s only fair!

GarandFan on April 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The NEA’s Anti-American Agenda Threatens Our Nation http://www.natvan.com/american-dissident-voices/adv031393.html

NEA Lawyer on Union’s Far-Left Agenda http://bit.ly/eYN8uY

Winghunter on April 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

This administration’s increasing control of the future, by way of our youth, is staggering. And they’re using our money (how much ends up with the unions?) to do it.

bntafraid on April 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

As a teacher, I am voting on Measure 2 (I believe that’s the one) here in ND to abolish property taxes.
Oh I know educators & admins are whining about this how they’ll be overdrawn.
I truly believe we need to force the state legislators & locals to come up with better funding & spending plans.
They also need to have some incentive to finally tell the Feds to go to hell when it comes to administering the education of their state citizens.
I have been vilified here on HA by liberals for my thriftiness in the science education budget.
But what I need to teach I for the most part can MacGuyver it.
If I need hi tech equipment, I can arrange for field trips, demonstrations, or equipment loan. One of the screwls I teach in is part of a technology consortium.
There are ways to get access to expensive equipment & technology without buying it all.
And I also do not need a computer or iPad for every student to teach screwl.
I don’t even need a text book to teach.
In fact, I find students learn more comprehensively when you’re not just giving them damned worksheets out of the stupid book.
What a concept.

Badger40 on April 3, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I also didn’t need a fancy Promethian board nor an air conditioner in my my room.
We also don’t need to pay for fancy bullying programs when the admins could just, like, actually DO their jobs.
We don’t need an iPad for each of the administrators bcs they do not NEED one.
There’s a lot of waste in public screwls.
And I’ve been watching it with disgust for 10 years now.

Badger40 on April 3, 2012 at 3:21 PM

It’s interesting to not in a screwl down here that they are paying a counselor to counsel for 5 periods of the day, 5 days per week serving no more than 100 students total.
There are 3 schools in this greater area sharing ONE counselor.
Why don’t they make this guy teach more?
They should.
They’re paying this person to teach 2 classes & be a counselor for 5 with a prep.
Give me a damned break.
All the guy does is watch football & track videos.
That is extracurricular stuff he gets paid to do.
But yet he does it during the screwl day.
Not cool.

Badger40 on April 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I hear you Badger, but what the heck is “screwl” for “school.” Is that some sort of teacher slang? :)

WitchDoctor on April 3, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Enriching the faceless buearocrats of the system without actually helping, you know…the children.

Get money and government out of education.

Beware the Education-Government complex.

Remember when all the wefties said to question authority?

Then they became the authority?

Now they are the tyrants they pretended to be brave against.

Heaven help us.

tom daschle concerned on April 3, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I would really like to peel this onion. To see exactly where and to whom this money is going to. Of course the students won’t get any smarter, but, more to the point, who/whom will be getting rich or richer ? After all, this is an election year and we all know what that means !

BillyPenn on April 3, 2012 at 5:28 PM